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Creative Process

Graphic design work enhances connection to campus

Published on April 25, 2017
Story and photo by Sarah Sabatke

Cathryn Vilbig has worked for the Student and Auxiliary Services marketing team for two years as a student graphic designer. The team supports the Missouri Student Unions and University of Missouri Campus Stores, including The Mizzou Store.

Cathryn Vilbig

Cathryn Vilbig, senior, Art and Journalism major from St. Louis, Missouri.

“We do general signage a lot,” Vilbig says. “All the stores have what we call ‘hot spot signs,’ and those are just enormous signs that they put up in their display windows. We try to do several of those a semester.”

Vilbig recently designed the large banners that hang in the stairwells of the MU Student Center. The process took several weeks, and she says she ended up creating around 100 Mizzou-themed designs for the unions to choose from.

The process of designing signage or banners usually begins with an idea from someone within the unions or campus stores, who passes on the information to Vilbig.

“I’ll spend time researching or sketching for the project and just kind of getting ideas,” she says. Vilbig then narrows down the designs and presents the ones she thinks will be most successful.

Vilbig enjoys her work and says it makes her feel more connected to the campus community. “It’s fun to be able to walk through [Memorial Union and the MU Student Center] and be like, ‘Oh, I made that, and that and that,’ ” she says.

In addition to her on-campus job, Vilbig also works at the Mud Room, a pottery studio in downtown Columbia. She enjoys the hands-on nature of the job, and says she likes to call herself a “studio hand.”

After graduation, Vilbig hopes to work as an art director for an advertising agency, but she isn’t sure where exactly she will end up. To her, art is the most important thing.

“I’m not very picky,” she says. “As long as I get to keep making things.”

This story was originally published in the division annual report, 2016 Student Affairs Highlights.

Published by the Division of Student Affairs, 211 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211 | Phone: 573-882-6776 | Fax: 573-882-0158 | E-mail: StudentAffairs@missouri.edu

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Last updated: May 4, 2017