A lot goes into designing brands, logos and marketing concepts. The field of graphic design has grown over the years, mostly due to the way businesses choose to relate their service or product to the world. Part of the push to make students ready for century workplaces involves helping students find the path that is right for them.

The Rome Area Council for the Arts (RACA) works to expose our community to the arts and decided to partner with V3’s graphic design department to offer a three-day workshop they would call Align Design Series. By covering all of the elements of graphic design, students from many area schools got an overview of what awaits them if they decide to pursue this career path.

Creative Director and Designer at V3, Ellie Borromeo, took the lead role of teaching the class and developing the materials for Align.

“The conversation started with Ian Griffin who is the owner of V3 and he is also on the Board of Directors for RACA,” Borromeo explained. “Because of the type of work we do at V3, we thought that it would be great to provide a design workshop series to introduce graphic design and industry-relevant design foundations to interested students. We wanted to contribute to furthering the knowledge of design within this community and demonstrate its ubiquitous relevance within top-performing companies today. Because design is a growing and adapting industry that encompasses so many aspects of a company’s brand, Rome Area Council for the Arts’ leadership thought this would be an effective way to show more students how they could pursue a creative career.”

So, the ball started rolling and all parties began putting the pieces in place to make this vision a reality. Darlington School was willing to host the workshop in their school library and Borromeo dove headfirst into creating enough content to make the workshop informative for students who signed up to attend.

"Rome is such a great community for forming partnerships and collaborations in the arts world."

“This was essentially an overview of what graphic design is because we only had three days to cover the essence of the field,” said Borromeo. “For the first workshop we focused on the foundations, like design principles and history, the process of crafting ideas and concepts, and grids, page layout, color and typography.

“Branding and developing logos and identities were the core of our second workshop. We also worked with Adobe Creative Suite, the software relevant to the industry, and some of the basic tools they need to do the work,” Borromeo added.

The group was comprised of students from Armuchee, Coosa, Darlington, Floyd County College and Career Academy, Pepperell and Rome High. The aspiring young artists also discussed career paths and colleges. Rome Area Council for the Arts provided lunch to attendees and Borromeo arranged for guest professionals in the field to visit and explain the real-world application for graphic design. Their goal was to hopefully further help the students determine if they’re interested in design as a career and see its applicability.

Guest speakers for the second session of the workshop included Leanne Cook, Senior Director of Marketing at Harbin Clinic and J.F Steele, Art Director for Harbin Clinic. Cook and Steele talked with the students about marketing strategies and how they work closely together to marry the art with the message. From videos to billboards, these two local professionals provide a consistent brand and they also develop ways to make Harbin Clinic’s services clear to potential clients and patients.

The third session of the workshop concluded with two guest speakers, Christopher Knowles and Collin Vaughn. Christopher Knowles is the co-chair for the design program at The Creative Circus, which is a portfolio school in Atlanta. He is also the owner of a design studio, Bureau Christopher Knowles. Knowles spoke to the students about his journey before finally settling on graphic design and how he realized that design is everywhere. His message also focused on helping the students find educational direction if pursuing a career in design, speaking to the strengths of attending an independent school like the Creative Circus and how much fun being a designer truly is.

The final guest speaker, who was able to provide insight for the group, was an artist out of Birmingham, Ala. Collin Vaughn, owner of Locomotive Creative, uses graphic design, logo design, marketing concepts and art to develop ways companies can connect to their target audience.

“Ian brought this idea to the table,” said Mandy Maloney Executive Director for Rome Area Council for the Arts, “because he recognized the need for more knowledge about the design industry in our community. He wanted to show students how they could build a career in the arts and I thought it was a great idea. I asked him what he thought our effort should look like and we came to the conclusion that we could lead a workshop.”

Workshop Instructor Ellie Borromeo speaks about logo design and branding

Maloney said that when planning the project, they reached out to Darlington because they had many of the resources available to aid in teaching the workshop.

“Rome is such a great community for forming partnerships and collaborations in the arts world. These partnerships are so important for us and the work we do.  The Align Design Series was such a natural extension of our mission and we are really grateful to Darlington and V3 for their commitment to art education. The facilities, talent and technologies are so important when taking on a project of this nature and I am glad RACA had the foresight to recognize how impactful this project would be for the arts. The students expressed how much they appreciated the Board’s generosity. It all came together in a really cool way,” Maloney said.

Because the children our community is tasked with educating are maturing faster and faster each year, Maloney was pleasantly surprised at the level of astuteness demonstrated by the room of young learners who gave up three Saturdays to study graphic design.

“They came to us with such amazing, God-given talent and I loved seeing what they were able to do with the proper guidance. Ellie was the perfect person to link graphic design to other professional aspirations they may have, so I think Align has helped all of the students who signed up for the workshop,” smiled Maloney. “I sometimes forgot that they were high school kids because of the level of questions they were asking and the focus they had when reviewing the materials. They are really the cream of the crop and awesome kids.”

“Design can relate to so many other skill sets,” said Borromeo. “I really enjoyed seeing students who enjoy the process, as well as the end result. Hopefully, these students will build on what they have learned during our time together.”

During the Align Design Series workshop, V3 Magazine held a contest offering a student in the workshop a chance to design the cover of their November 2018 issue. The winner, Lily Chesnut, is a senior at Coosa High School and she attended all three days of Align. Her work will be printed on the cover of V3’s special Taste and Toast edition of the magazine, which is dedicated to food and beverage, and the people who work in the food service industry.

You can find more of Lily’s work on her Facebook page at Facebook page @lilychesnutarts https://www.facebook.com/lilychesnutarts/ and on her Instagram account, @lilychesnutarts

She made the logo below for her project Sanctuary: New Life during the align design series. Another example of her work also below, a traditional artwork. 

has been a Rome local since graduating from Berry College in 2016 with her B.A. in Communication and Spanish. When she's not writing awesome V3 articles, she fills her time with acting for TV/Film, cooking new vegan recipes, and singing to Shakira while driving in her car.