Recap: VISION :: BGSUGD Portfolio Review Event
The 13th annual BGSUGD Portfolio Review Day was unlike any other as it wasn’t a day. It was a super, fantastic event! Due to Covid-19, our traditional face-to-face portfolio review day scheduled for April 18 at Madhouse in Toledo was transformed into a virtual event from April 18 – April 27. Thirty-five graphic designers, creative strategist and design leaders generously donated their time and wisdom to critique 51 design portfolios of our juniors and seniors. Through usage of shared cloud storage folders, design professional were assigned to a least four student portfolios and were able to provide feedback through written comments, voice to text, and video. Each student received reviews from three professional designers for a total of 153 reviews! This new online format provided the Graphic Design division the opportunity reach out to its alumni network across the country to participate in the review process. Reviewers hailed from Ohio, Maine, Colorado, Illinois, California and New York. We are very proud of our students for adapting to the change and showing up strong for the event. Thank you to our outstanding reviewers for supporting our students and the BGSUGD program. Be well.
Portfolio page examples in slider by: Lindsay West, Gyona Rice, Arika Zeigler, Anna Kiesewetter, Brad Simpson, Kaitlyn DiBiase, Mackenna Willis, Matty Nuhfer and Maya Hodgins.
MEET OUR REVIEWERS
Assistant Director of Creative Services // University of Illinois – Division Intercollegiate Athletics
Paige Apkarian is the Assistant Director of Creative Services for Fighting Illini Athletics. She joined the University of Illinois Athletics staff in August 2019.
Paige is responsible in assisting with the creative identity and production of the Fighting Illini Athletics brand in both print and digital mediums.
Previously Paige worked in creative services with the Green Bay Packers, Toledo Rockets and Bowling Green State University School of Art.
Originally from Lima, Ohio, Paige earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Bowling Green State University in 2018.
Graphic Designer // alyssabatch.com
Alyssa is a graphic designer at The University of Toledo in the marketing/communications department. She has a strong entrepreneurial mindset and likes to focus her creative abilities to compliment her business passion. She is currently receiving her M.B.A. in business administration, to evolve her marketing knowledge. She has successfully tackled large campaigns, and brand launches in her years with the university and is continuing to expand her abilities by diving into some web design.
Graphic Designer // Freelance Designer
I enjoy using design to organize, streamline, and solve problems in various forms: from handmade to computer made, traditional to experimental, simple to complex. While all things vintage and handmade ignite my work, I appreciate and keep my eyes open
to the modern. My design experience includes local, regional, and national work within agency, in-house, freelance, and higher education realms. Clients include The Toledo Zoo, Handmade Toledo, SMART Recovery, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame.
UI/UX & Branding // Spoke
Professional background includes experience as a designer for a non-profit school, an in-house designer, a tech startup UI/UX lead, and quality assurance at a digital design agency.
Current role is designing for a full-service agency where we support everything from international companies to local startups. I provide services such as branding, writing, user research, and prototyping, working collaboratively with both my team of developers, contractors, and the clients themselves to ensure the success of the projects
Graphic Designer // Alex Dartt Design
Alex Dartt is a graphic designer based in Toledo, OH as both an in-house designer/communications manager for The National Exchange Club and freelance designer as his own entity. Specializing in logos and branding, he also has experience in print and web-based graphics via numerous applications. Since obtaining his BFA from BGSUGD in 2015, career experience has ranged from designing for the Toledo Mud Hens & Toledo Walleye, print designer for CGS Imaging and now his current in-house role. Niching into apparel and sports design, he was able to work with a couple of NBA players in 2019. Go BGSUGD!
Associate Creative Director // Interrupt
Over two decades’ experience as an award-winning visionary leader, creative director, designer and manager for high-profile clients. People-focused relationship manager, building success through client loyalty, teaching, and mentoring. Sustained mastery of trends and technology through industry participation, as educator and administrator at major universities, and design business owner.
Creative thinker. Passionate storyteller. Captain and deckhand. Keeper of high standards. Always hungry for what’s next. Core Competencies: Strategy, ideation and creative art direction and leadership; print and web design and production; copywriting; naming; brand creation, acceleration, audit and management; design presentation; client development and management; client relations; third-party commission/procurement; enterprise-level CMS-driven website development; multi-media marketing; basically, all things old- and new-school design.
Associate Designer // Cappello’s
Tyler has lived many lives. After moving to Chicago upon graduation from BGSU, he cut his teeth at Grip Design, Firebelly, and lastly as the printshop manager for Delicious Design League — all the while teaching design at Chicago Portfolio School. Now, Tyler is living in Denver, working as an Associate Designer for the grain-free food company Cappello’s. He spends his free time teaching at Denver Ad School, writing and performing music in various bands, rock climbing, and deepening his meditation/yoga practice.
Design Manager // Enquiron
Alma is a graphic designer based in Portland, Maine. In her working-life most of her time is spent as an in-house designer, including work in higher education, travel & events, and currently for a small B2B sorta-tech company. In addition to 9ish-5ish, Alma is a freelancer for a variety of clients – doing mostly branding, print, layout, and some U/I work.
Graphic Designer // North Design
Vanessa Flory is a Graphic Designer at North Design where she has the pleasure of working with local brands such as the Toledo Region brand, Metroparks Toledo, The Ability Center of Greater Toledo and more. Vanessa is a proud BGSU graduate, a Toledo native, and the current Co-President of AIGA Toledo.
Chief Creative Officer // MadAveGroup
“I work with clients to simplify, clarify and elevate their message,” said Scott. “Using authentic dialogue, I apply my ‘who cares?’ questioning to help them identify their company’s true value to consumers.”
Scott has been with the agency now known as MadAveGroup for 26 years. He serves clients as a copywriter, voiceoever talent, and audio and video producer / director.
He’s also a member of the Forbes Agency Council, an invitation-only organization for senior-level executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies.
Scott says that “good creative is so important because 1) it establishes the tone for the brand and 2) it captures the audience’s attention and then draws them into the message. From there, we can educate, persuade and motivate.”
Scott is a pioneer of Humor On Hold. In fact, he coined the phrase. “I believe in the power of humor to disarm, differentiate, and deliver memorable impressions that an audience will recall long after their initial exposure to the content.”
His work has been recognized more than 120 times in local, regional, national and international award competitions. He’s served several times as an Addy Awards judge and sits on the national Telly Awards Judging Council.
Associate Creative Director // Hanson Inc.
Graphic Designer with experience in numerous creative fields. Former touring musician and long time creative. Well traveled in U.S. and Canada, excited about all forms of design. I consider myself a Hands-On Creative, capable of moving fluidly across digital/physical boundaries per project needs. Passionate about graphic design, music, film, branding, games, gaming, comics, typography, concept creation & story, technology in all it’s working wonders, and problem solving. I’m adept at working with new software, branding, print & digital design conventions, brand patterns, content creation, writing, shooting and editing video & audio, creating motion graphics, scripts, and some light cinema4d. Work easily with web devs as a designer and believe in best practices for lean code and designing for function as much as brand messaging.
Graphic Designer // Pukka, Inc.
My name is Angie Higgins and I am a Graphic Designer. My strengths lie in branding, corporate collateral, digital marketing, strategizing and conceptualizing. I love branding and strongly believe that branding starts with our ability to build a conversation and/or relationship with our consumers, how we choose to portray this as designers can make or break a brand.
Design Director // Freeman & Self
Graphic artist, design thinker & curator, focusing on helping people work together and facilitating creative communities.
Creative Partner // Awesome Otter
When it comes to building strong brands, messaging and user experiences, Zachary knows how to keep it real. He’s a serial entrepreneur with a passion for business and design. An award-winning designer in print and packaging, Zachary’s experience makes him the ideal creative partner for lifestyle, culture, consumer goods and more. Helping businesses grow through authentic branding, strong visual communication and awesome swag gets Zachary charged up.
Graphic Designer // Madhouse
Ashley graduated with her BFA in Graphic Design from Bowling Green State University in 2013. Since then, she’s been a designer at Madhouse in Toledo, OH focused primarily on print and branding. She loves working at an agency made up of almost entirely creative. She has been a member of AIGA for a decade and is a huge fan of the thriving and supportive arts community in Toledo. Ashley considers herself a serial hobbyist with a passion for food, crafting, thrifting, nature, antiquing, comedy, sunshine, and kindness.
Rebecca Maag *
Hi, I’m Becca! I’m a graduate of BGSU, class of 2016. I majored in graphic design and minored in marketing. My design career started as an intern for the BGSU School of Art Galleries where I designed print and tv signage for events. Because of portfolio review day, I found myself interning at Hanson Inc, which has become my full time career designing websites, motion graphics, conceptual, and digital experiences. I’ve been with Hanson for almost 5 years. My tools of the trade include Photoshop, Lightroom, In-Design, Illustrator, After Effects, Sketch App, and Keynote.
Last year, I began pursuing online education by independent teachers and communities to further grow my skillset which reignited my passion for photography and marketing. In April 2019 I took the leap and started my own business, Rebecca Maag Photo & Design, LLC with a focus on couples and wedding photography. I love developing connections with my clients and capturing unique stories that they can cherish for a lifetime.
Overall, I love design and photography with a focus on storytelling, symbolism, and juxtoposition. I’m a firm believer that there is always room for growth and empathy in one’s career! I look forward to seeing your work!
Visual Designer // Hanson
Toledo-based designer and current board member of AIGA Toledo, Jacob Parr has 6+ years specializing in brand development and UX/UI.
He is also one half of Sparr Games, creating inventive tabletop games and two successful Kickstarter campaigns.
If challenged to a game of croquet, he will defeat you.
CEO // SPOKE Design
W. Gene Powell is President and Chief Creative Officer of SPOKE — a Toledo, Ohio-based digital agency specializing in online Branding, Usability and Findability. After nearly two decades in design and advertising, Gene launched Spoke with the goal of helping small, medium and enterprise level businesses define and build digital marketing platforms that influence and empower customers. An award-winning designer, his interactive, film and print work has been honored by the Detroit Chapter of the AIGA, STEP Inside Design Magazine, The Toledo Ad Club, the e-Healthcare Leadership Awards and the Communication Union of Norway.
Graphic Designer // KAO USA
I am a 2017 BGSU Graphic Design grad. I have worked in many industries such as food, automotive and cosmetics. I am currently working in the cosmetic industry as a packaging designer, as well as working on social content, web, and advertising. I love the idea that design does not have to be solely done on the computer but can be a combination of multiple medias.
UX Lead // Marxent
Ryan is UX Lead at Marxent, where he leads product design for their 3D Cloud Commerce platform in Augmented and Virtual Reality. He has worked with clients such as: Lowe’s, Ashley Homestore, La-Z-Boy, Bob’s Furniture, Speedway, Kingfisher, Harley Davidson and AZEK — across the Unites States and with international clients.
Previously, he designed for the 2012 Obama Campaign in Chicago and worked tirelessly to reelect President Barack Obama. Ryan had the pleasure of working on a variety of projects—branding, print & merchandise, as well as my primary responsibility: designing for BarackObama.com.
He received his BFA in Graphic Design from Bowling Green State University.
Senior Art Director // HART
Matt Rowland is a Senior Art Director at Hart Associates, a cross-media marketing communications firm in Toledo, Ohio. Current clients include Caterpillar, Buckeye Nutrition, ProMedica and OSU. Matt has 14 years of industry experience, covering the full range of touchpoints – print, dimensional and collateral elements, video, digital and mobile design.
Before joining Hart, Matt was a Senior Designer at Madhouse, where he helped elevate design for BGSU, Mercy College, Toledo Mud Hens, Toledo Museum of Art, Owens Corning and others.
Matt spent the previous seven years as part of the design team at North. He played an integral role in branding cities like Sochi and PyeongChang in their quest to earn the right to host the Olympics, helping Russia achieve its 2018 FIFA World Cup hosting rights, and bringing life to the brands Icelantic (skis), Moscow Youth Olympic Games, Helios Investment Partners and many others.
Matt previously served as President and Vice-President of AIGA Toledo and is currently a member of the Art in Public Places board for the Arts Commission of Toledo. A native of Iowa, Matt graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BFA in graphic design.
Art Director // NetJets
I graduated from BGSU with a degree in Graphic Design and a Minor in Marketing in 2009. I live in Columbus, Ohio and my design career is full of experience working with central Ohio’s largest and fastest-growing agencies, retail giants, community changing nonprofits, and private aviation leaders. I currently work for NetJets as an Art Director on their Marketing team. NetJets is the global leader in private aviation and they make the impossible possible for their Owners by delivering exceptional travel experiences. My job can vary a ton from working on photoshoots, redesigning our crew uniforms, creating printed collateral, doing event design for the Super Bowl, the Masters, and Equestrian competitions to name a few. I love the variety of design problems that my job gives me to solve, no two days are ever the same which is fun. I also work as a freelance designer helping local nonprofits that promote causes I’m passionate about better communicate their missions through design.
Grants Manager // Toledo Museum of Art
A dynamic leader in education and nonprofit administration with over fifteen years of experience advancing individuals, programs, and organizations to maximize their potential. Proven success leading grants-funded programming, academic departments, and production of multimedia projects for respected institutions.
Partner // Madhouse
Rob Seiffert is a Founding Partner and Motion Graphics Creative Director at Madhouse. A product of the Bowling Green State University Graphic Design program, Rob’s talents extend well beyond communication design. He is a true craftsman in every sense of the word. A builder and sculptor of all things wood, metal, stone and glass, Rob brings an original and invaluable perspective on design to the Madhouse team. The same meticulous attention to detail and craft goes into every video project Rob takes on and it shows with numerous regional and national awards garnered. Rob is also an accomplished musician, writer, rapper, helicopter pilot (radio-controlled) and voice-over specialist.
Associate Director, Strategy & Insights // WD Partners
Morgan (BGSUGD ’12) started her career as a brand marketing graphic designer at Abercrombie & Fitch in Columbus, OH, designing in-store and on-product marketing for 4 years. For Hollister, she had the opportunity to design the first Snapchat geofilter used by a global retailer and created event branding for a s’mores event that broke a Guinness World Record. She went back to school to pursue her MBA at Georgetown University where she focused on marketing, consumer insights, and design thinking. Her internship was at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, OH, where she worked on the Swiffer and Mr. Clean brands in a design management role. She led the packaging design for the Swiffer Super Extender duster and worked on the Mr. Clean Clean Freak as well as Mr. Clean Sheets packaging development projects. Since graduating, she has been identifying trends, creating persona mindsets, and developing experience strategies for clients at WD Partners, a retail design firm in Columbus, OH. In her spare time, Morgan still does freelance design work, including designing the branding for a local wine house, Coast, and multiple wedding invitation suites.
As someone who has experienced multiple types of work environments and interview structures, Morgan would be happy to answer any questions about the differences between working in the corporate and agency worlds and to provide interview (and negotiating!) coaching.
Senior Art Director // AKQA
Kara Smarsh is a senior art director with AKQA in San Francisco, currently working on the Levi’s brand account. In the past eight years since graduating from the BGSU design program, she has worked on marketing for Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, J.Crew, and John Varvatos, among others. Starting in digital design, she moved on to create new typographic and brand style guides for multiple fashion names and now works across photography, video, and design in her work.
Art Director // Code and Theory
Brandon is an Art Director living and working in New York City. Upon graduation in 2014, he has worked with studios like RoAndCo, Wednesday Agency, Odgis + Co, and most recently Code and Theory. His work has spanned across clients such as Louis Vuitton, adidas, CNN, & Fenty Beauty.
Throughout much of his work he believes in simplicity, intelligence, and clarity. By always advocating for a thoughtful and conceptual approach, he is able to bridge ideas in a variety of mediums. Often inspired by ecology and interconnectivity–he also attends Pratt Institute for a Sustainable Design program where he is learning more on how healthy design choices can positively impact our environment.
Outside of design he enjoys botany explorations, olfaction of interesting scents, and mindfulness.
Motion Designer // Graphic Artist // Freelancer
13+ years of industry experience that includes, motion design, animation, illustration, branding/identity, and print advertising. Currently freelancing in Los Angeles, California with a focus in motion design and animation.
Digital Media Producer // The Blade
I am a creative who loves to problem solve and keep busy. My heart is creating pieces that have that WOW factor and pull on the heart strings (you know, make you think or feel a little something!). An organized mess would be a good way to describe my process. I mostly work in illustrator and photoshop for digital graphics, but who says that you have to be good at one thing? I also do photography, draw, paint, manage social media pages, make videos, design events, build websites, and have fun finger-painting with my 3 kids.
Senior Graphic Designer // Midmark Corporation
Hello! I’m a BGSUGD alumni with 10 years of industry experience in house at medical solutions manufacturer. I specialize in strategy and storytelling, while creating design solutions within the Veterinary market. I primarily work from home, I’m married, and am the proud father of 4.
Owner/Designer // Ashley Vetter Design
Ashley creates work for print, UI/web, social media content development, tradeshow and store display, packaging design, and video/animation. All of this with tremendous creative execution, attention to detail, and an unmatched work-ethic for her own company, Ashley Vetter Design. Ashley enjoys the art of finding creative solutions and collaborating with others in their fields of expertise to produce client work that exceeds expectations.
Ashley graduated from BGSU with a degree in Visual Communication Technology and interned full-time at Hart for two semesters and in Owens Community College’s Marketing Department for one semester. She started her design career at Insight Advertising Agency in Bowling Green where she spent three years and experienced many of the roles in an advertising agency setting. She then spent over ten years at Communica, a full-service advertising agency in Toledo. At Communica, she designed and art directed for the Toledo Zoo, Masco Cabinetry/KraftMaid, Cooper Tire, Hercules Tire, Auria, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Rudolph Libbe Group, IAC, Automotive News, BASF, and many other local, national and international clients.
In the community, Ashley is actively involved in the Wood County 4-H Program as a volunteer, advisor, and board member of the Wood County 4-H Committee as well as the Wood County Clover Legacy Foundation. Ashley has been recognized with two Outstanding Service to 4-H Awards as well as the highest honor, the 5th H Award, awarded to those who go above and beyond the call of 4-H volunteers. Ashley is a trustee for the Bowling Green Community Foundation and a past board member and event chair for AIGA Toledo. She enjoys spending time with her two children, helping with her husband’s family farm, camping, making pottery and photography.
Designer // Dan Weeks Design
Dan Weeks has been in the advertising and communications business as a Designer and Art Director both in the corporate environment and in business with partners and employees. After graduating from The Institute of Design in Visual Communications at The Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago he worked for one of the largest design firms in the country, Unimark International where he works on corporate Identities for JCPenny, Memorex, and Ford Motor Company. Years later he was hired by Owens-Illinois as the senior designer in their advertising & communications department. After leaving O-I he opened his own firm and has been a member of the ad community to the present day.
Dan’s work has been included in the NY Art Directors annuals. Two of Dan’s posters were used in the NY Art Directors Annual calender, sold all over the country. His work has also appeared in the Graphis Poster and Packaging Annuals, NY Art Direction logo and stationary annuals, CA magazine and was recently included in the Graphis 100 Years of Trademarks compilation. His annual reports, brochures, exhibits and identities have won Addys and Crystal awards over the years, and a cook book designed for the Toledo Museum of Art won a national book design award. Dan recently was honored by the Toledo Ad Club with their Silver Award for a life time of achievement.
Co-Founder, Creative Lead // Anchor Creative Ltd
Ivan Wesley is the co-founder and creative lead of Anchor Creative Ltd. Since graduating with his BFA in graphic design from BGSU in 2002, he has been designing for leading CPG brands like Disney, Baskin-Robbins, and Marzetti as well as challenger brands like Nutpods, Tia Lupita and Genius Juice. His specialized niche is branding and package design for both the food and beverage industry as well as the toy and game industry.
Founding Principal // Singularity Design Co
An insatiably curious, creative problem solver and daydreamer, Benjie Wilhelm approaches life and design from a perspective of growth and learning, engaging in collaborative conversation with his clients. His agile approach to design has helped him to build brand experiences for Fortune 500 companies, tech startups, and non-profit organizations.
As the founder and creative force behind Singularity Design Co., Benjie’s passion for good design culminates in the moment where sublime function is illuminated by succinct form; this is when design becomes the nuanced art of communication.
Thorough work and introspection have led Benjie to the discovery of his own aesthetic, which is beautiful in its simplicity and elegant functionality. It is the place where a work can communicate at its highest frequency with as few visual parts as possible—a homogenization of clarity, modernity, geometry, and typography. Having cultivated his own aesthetic, Benjie has become adept in asking questions and giving feedback to help others find and refine theirs. In approaching life and design work from a perspective of lifelong learning, Benjie has become a skilled collaborator who fully invests himself in the pursuit of an ideal state, acting as a mentor for stakeholders, helping them to discover their own singularity.
Benjie’s work can be viewed at his company’s website: www.singularitydesign.co.
Graphic designer by trade and senior art director in title—Zach Zollars is driven to create work that is as appealing to the eye as the intellect. Skilled in both traditional and digital platforms, Zach is adept at developing innovative, award-winning solutions in branding, print, broadcast, digital, and environmental design.