Brittany Ridley

The Xerox Printing Innovation Award was originally a competition for professional printing companies throughout the country. But three years ago, Cal Poly’s graphic communication department (GrC) decided that it had the resources and the talent to compete with the best.

After its third year of entering a publication, “4-forty Magazine: A Compilation of Student Work,” the GrC 440 (Magazine and Newspaper Design Technology) class was awarded second place.

“This award is for professionals that have the highest technology for achievement,” said Harvey Levenson, head of the graphic communication department. “We said, ‘Look, it doesn’t say that schools can’t compete, so why not?’”

Students enrolled in the class determined the genre and target audience for their magazine, often using their own artwork, photography and articles when designing each of the pages, said Lorraine Donegan, assistant professor for the graphic communication department and GrC 440 professor.

“When I started teaching this class I said, ‘Can we print a magazine?’ And everyone was like ‘I don’t know,’” Donegan said.

In seven weeks, the students were required to provide a cover logo, front cover design, back page advertisement, masthead, table of contents, editorial content and a two-page feature spread.

“The project spans over the first seven weeks of the quarter and then the last three weeks,” said Dongan. “Bob Pinkin, GrC technician and I work together on printing and producing the magazine.”

Xerox presented the award to Donegan on Oct. 3 at a graphic arts exposition in Chicago.

The company was impressed with the success Cal Poly’s graphic communication department, which had used tools donated by the Xerox Corp., Donegan said.

“They were so impressed that number one, these students were doing great work, and number two, they were utilizing their equipment,” Donegan said. “What’s great is that it has really brought Cal Poly into this and they (Xerox) are saying ‘Wow, Cal Poly is utilizing this technology.’”

Donegan has not only succeeded within her department, but has also been recognized for her accomplishments by Cal Poly.

“This year she won the Prestigious University Adviser of the Year. She was voted No. 1 adviser in the whole university,” Levenson said. “Lorraine’s knowledge balances creativity and technology. She is astute when it comes to digital media, she manages our Web site and she is very studious in print/non-print digital imaging.”

Donegan said that she looks forward to re-entering a new “4-forty Magazine” next year, and winning first place.

“The objective of this project is for the students to learn the process of preparing digital files for submission,” Donegan said. “The students do such a great job at this and they really love it.”

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