Designers put technical skills to use in AIGA


Young AE Kim

South Dakota State’s American Institute for Graphic Arts group meets in Grove Hall to discuss their project that focuses on the Fair Immigrant Foundation.

Tim Morgan, Reporter

Asking anyone in South Dakota State’s American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) group what design is may stump them, but having them show you good design is far easier.

AIGA is an organization where graphic designers take the technical skills they’ve learned in class and apply it through project work or events.

For Tom Bates, president of SDSU AIGA, good design is 99 percent invisible, the other one percent visible is “bad.” This idea affects how the club sets up its meetings.

Lucas Latza, sophomore graphic design major, finds the club useful for improving his classwork for graphic design because he makes connections with designers who are further along in SDSU’s program.

“I’ve started following people on Instagram who are in the club. I follow their work and they follow me,” he said. “People just come up to me and are eager to commend my work.”

One way the club does this is through skillshare sessions.

“(Skillshare) is helpful,” Latza said. “Someone shows how to do something, use a tool or share cool things to do.”

This April, AIGA plans on hosting Design Jam 3, a “head-to-head tournament-style competition for designers to test their creativity and savviness on the computer,” said Bates.

AIGA also does its part to connect design students to potential employers and enhance professional skills beyond SDSU. This upcoming academic year, design students will travel to China, Korea and Japan.

The club sends students to the AIGA National Design Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota each year.

“I was blown away,” said Bates. “I want to bring that excitement to our designers on campus.”

SDSU AIGA meets 5 p.m. Tuesdays in Grove Hall. AIGA is a part of the nation’s oldest and largest professional graphic design organization.

“Every designer should be part of AIGA,” Bates said. “It’s a place where you can be creative, stay in tuned with cutting-edge trends and styles in our industry, and a way to make friends and connections with like-minded people.”