Greeting Card Project a Success
Many Northern alumni and friends are receiving holiday greetings in the mail that feature a familiar green-and-gold color scheme on the front and university logo on the back.
The NMU chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) initiated a venture to produce, promote and sell greeting cards that showcase the creativity of art and design students.
“When I wanted to send out cards from the college last year, we had to order them out of a catalog from an outside vendor,” said Rajib Sanyal (Business). “But I noticed one card I received from another university said on the back that it was student work. When the leaders of the AMA approached me about money for a field trip, I suggested they look into a card line because it had the potential to generate revenue and give them an experience to put on their resumes. It would also highlight the student talent in our growing art and design program. I told the students I would finance part of it because it complements our college’s emphasis on entrepreneurship.”
According to AMA member Kendall Sutliff, the first-time effort was a success. It not only ended in the black, with the profits earmarked for the AMA’s annual marketing tour; it also taught students valuable lessons in managing a project from concept to completion.
“It was great to take what we’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to a real project, yet know that if we lost money it wasn’t the end of the world,” Sutliff said. “It was set up to be a learning experience and it turned out to be a very positive one. There are some things we would do differently next time – like having designs in place before promoting the cards so people can envision what they’re going to be like. But overall, it went very well.”
The AMA solicited prospective designs for a winter holiday card and a note card that could be included in a four-piece set. Twenty-six students in a graphic communication class taught by Keith Ellis (Art and Design) submitted ideas for each and a campus committee made the final selections.
The winning designers' names appear on the back of their respective cards. The holiday version features the work of NMU junior Amelia Marschall.
"I liked being able to work with a client in mind to help give me direction," Marschall said. "That is why I tried to make the card reflect Northern with the colors and a tree that might remind people of the logo. I thought there were a lot of great designs in my class, so I was very excited to have been chosen and to be able to have this project in my portfolio."
The winning note-card designers are: senior Geoff Rockey, green and gold trees; senior Dana Zimnie, single green tree; junior Crystal Zrelak, green swirls; and junior Stefanie Pozin, thank you.