Ink in My Veins Alyssa Brubaker

CMG-141: Cross-Media Graphics

My first semester at UW-Stout, Cross-Media Graphics introduced me to the basics of multi-channel marketing campaigns, a number of print processes, and common industry software like the Adobe Creative Suite. Throughout the course I had the opportunity to design and create a variety of products, including these bright and fun business cards which were printed on a Konica Minolta Bizhub C6000 digital press!
Another Cross-Media Graphics project allowed me to create my own sketchpad cover. For the first part of the assignment, students were asked to design artwork in black and cyan duotone. My artwork was chosen for production on a two-color Heidelberg QM46 as part of a class demonstration, which made my first foray into offset platemaking and production even more exciting!
A third Cross-Media Graphics project asked students to create a vector graphic for output on a Roland vinyl cutter. My finished decal featured song lyrics and audio control icons, and was carefully sized so I could mount it on my laptop with the Apple logo illuminating the "Play" icon!

CMG-270: Postpress Operations

My second semester in the Cross-Media Graphics Management program, Postpress Operations introduced me to a wide variety of finishing techniques including binding and die-cutting. For my first experience with perfect binding, I designed and digitally output my own sketchbook covers. After attending a brief demonstration about the perfect binding process, I used the covers to bind and trim my own sketchbooks!
Another Postpress Operations project required students to attend a laser engraver demonstration and submit three deliverables featuring die-cut elements. For my first submission, I chose to create a spiral-bound notebook. Circles die-cut into the chipboard cover revealed a thin sheet of holographic plastic beneath.
For my second submission, I designed a notecard with die-cut lettering on the front. After completing the notecard, I felt like something was missing, so I opted to die-cut a matching envelope as well!
For my third die-cut submission, I designed and produced folded sleeves from cover stock. Sealed on three sides, each sleeve features a QR code to my LinkedIn account on the back and a die-cut logo of my initials on the front. The die-cut reveals a business card inside which can be easily accessed with a pull-tab at the top.
A third Postpress Operations project asked students to design and produce a deliverable featuring mechanical binding. I chose to create a 2016–2017 academic planner with weekly and monthly calendar spreads, tabbed dividers, a die-cut folder for keepsakes, and more. A quote die-cut into the sturdy chipboard cover revealed the underlying artwork.

CMG-443: Cross-Media Practicum

One of my team's Practicum jobs was to create new pew pads to insert in small padfolios for Our Savior's Lutheran Church of Menomonie. We revised the artwork to be more easily readable, and then printed, padded, and trimmed the final product! For all of us in Team 5, this job was our first experience with the padding process.
Another of my team's Practicum jobs was to design and produce a 2018 calendar promoting the newly-renamed Graphic Communications program using silver metallic ink provided by Color Logic. After a couple of weeks spent reworking a layout again and again until the artwork was finally approved, we were able to get some hands-on experience with a Heidelberg SM74 offset press!

Other Creations

Courses during my second year in the Cross-Media Graphics program introduced me to packaging design. For Premedia Graphics Production, I designed Earth Day-themed vector artwork using Adobe Illustrator and then learned to use an Esko software plug-in to apply the artwork to a 3D model of a square box.
Another course, Cross-Media Personalization, required students to use Esko software as well, though in a slightly different capacity. I learned to create my own 3D model based on an existing product, add sleeves or labels as necessary, and then apply artwork and specialty finishing operations to the completed model.
While employed as a Communication Technologies lab assistant during the summer of 2016, I was asked to design a vinyl banner for a high school graduation party. The project served as my first experience in wide-format digital printing, and also as an introduction to the finishing operation of grommeting!
During the summer of 2017, our department office was updated with new paint and furniture. I had the opportunity to design, printed and helped apply a large vinyl graphic to a permanent cabinet fixture so it would better fit the new color scheme!
In my free time, I like to engage in some self-guided learning by scouring the Internet for fun and interesting Adobe tutorials. A Photoshop tutorial on negative space techniques was instrumental in creating this Facebook cover image!
After stumbling upon a cool splatter-paint portrait somewhere in the depths of Google, I searched for tutorials on that technique as well. The process was a lot of fun, but the working file size spurred some major protest on the part of my laptop!
Whether due to a class, to my work as a lab assistant, or to some personal project I'm chipping away on, the metaphorical (and often literal) ink on my hands barely ever has a chance to dry.
Created By
Alyssa Brubaker

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