Tag Archives: Design & Graphics Technology

Dunwoody’s Pete Rivard becomes AIGA MN Director of Education

Dunwoody Pre-Media Principal Instructor Pete Rivard has taken on a new leadership role as the Director of Education for the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) of Minnesota.

The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) was founded in New York in 1914 and has since spread across the nation, boasting 70 chapters and over 25,000 members. The organization is the oldest and largest professional membership association for graphic designers and professionals in related fields like printing, prepress, photography, illustration, paper manufacturing/distribution, and writing.

AIGA Minnesota with 1,300 members ranks as the fourth largest chapter in the nation. It’s also known for being among the most active chapters, holding monthly networking events, an annual Design Camp, and more.

“During this year’s Design Camp, I met people from Connecticut and Montana,” Pre-Media Principal Instructor Pete Rivard said. “They’re designers whose chapters apparently don’t feature that ambitious of an event, so they just jump on a plane and join in on what we’ve got going on here.”

Rivard accepts AIGA MN Board of Directors position

Pre-Media Technologies Principal Instructor Pete RivardAlong with this large and active membership body, there comes a need for a strong board of directors made up of members from across the Minnesota design profession. These board members each take charge of an area specifically suited to his or her talents and interests in order to benefit the full membership.

And there’s no question why Rivard was chosen to take over as Director of Education.

Along with his 13 years working in prepress technician and management roles and five years in technical support and training, Rivard has spent the last 17 years teaching at Dunwoody. And he’s made a big impact at the College in that time. He is constantly developing the Pre-Media Technologies program curriculum to meet industry needs, training future designers and packaging technicians, and helping students build their networks and find internships.

And now Rivard hopes to bring his experience to AIGA MN.

“I feel like there’s way more opportunity for collaboration among high school and college faculty regionally,” Rivard said. “And especially in terms of getting kids from middle school and upwards aware of the thousands of jobs in the graphics industry in this state, and how much need there is for fresh talent.”

In an effort to promote this collaboration, Rivard will be responsible for organizing educational events for all three of AIGA MN’s constituencies–students, faculty, and practicing professionals–throughout the year.

Rivard raises the profile

Rivard is also excited to have the chance to get Dunwoody’s name out there.

“We have a real opportunity to raise our profile in the design community through this,” Rivard said. “Some creative studios still don’t recognize the Associate of Applied Science degree as well-rounded preparation. They’d like to see a BFA. But at the same time, our students are just killing it in terms of technical chops and landing design jobs upon graduating.”

These students are doing things like earning first place in national design competitions and designing and producing POS displays for real-world clients.

Rivard is committed to the valuable, hands-on experience and education that Dunwoody provides. And he hopes he can continue to increase the Design & Graphics Technology program’s visibility throughout his two-year term as Director of Education at AIGA MN.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s design programs.

Dunwoody students sweep national packaging design competition


A team of Dunwoody College of Technology Design & Graphics Technology students won first place in both categories of the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC) Annual Student Packaging Design Competition “Design to an Opportunity.”

The 2014 competition was a three-part structural and graphic design project and 27 colleges nationwide participated. The Dunwoody team–Stephanie Burdorf, Charlotte LaCour, Jenna Weiler, Dan Mueller, Noah Rabinowitz and Finn Pearson–was challenged to create a real-world marketing solution for the College that included a standing display for use at college fairs or on campus; a mailing envelope to send to potential students; and a welcome kit for new students.

“We were judged on the creativity, marketability, design attributes, manufacturing, durability, and ease of assembly for the structure of all three projects,” said team leader Stephanie Burdorf. “We were also judged separately on the graphics of all three projects on how well they created a brand and tied-in with each other to give them all a similar look.”

Graphically, the team used the College’s branding guidelines and in-house photographs, while also incorporating archived photos from the 1920’s and centennial seal to celebrate the College’s 100-year history.

“Structurally, we designed three separate units that would follow the enrollment process for Dunwoody that would allow optimal student retention. The standee is designed to rotate, allowing for viewer interaction as well as utilizing the entire space for attention grabbing graphics and information,” explained Burdorf. “The mailing envelope is designed to create a visually intriguing piece that serves as an attractive and durable folder. And finally, the welcome kit is designed to be handed out to new students as a place to hold all materials gathered throughout their first day experience. This structure was also designed to fit inside a locker, increasing locker sales as well as making it easier for a student to use throughout the year.”

Burdof said the team learned a lot through the competition.

“Not only have we all become more proficient with the Adobe and Esko programs and software, but we also all had a chance to work in a real world setting,” she said. “We had to work as a team, follow a strict timeline, research on what was in place as well as what was needed, find materials, and work with different departments as well as industry partners.”

Dunwoody’s Design & Graphics Technology program has a rich history of winning national competitions, but this is the first non-flexographic win, the first international win, and the largest and deepest in talent in terms of number of schools competing.

“Because of the timing of the competition, we are obliged to compete with first-year students, as no team member can participate after graduation, and the annual AICC deadline is in late June,” said Principal Instructor and Faculty Advisor Pete Rivard. “The four-year universities with their graduate programs typically field teams with juniors, seniors, and even graduate students, each with successive years of competition experience. So this is an absolute David vs. Goliath story, if you amend the details to have David surrounded by dozens of Goliaths.”

The Design & Graphics Technology faculty said they couldn’t be more proud of their students. For the past several years, they have observed North America’s best colleges and universities compete for the AICC recognition, and it was only last year that they felt the College was ready to enter the competition. Last year’s team won second place in both the structural and graphic design categories for their Lifeguard Chair.

Rivard said this year’s team took complete ownership of their project and delivered excellence with little faculty guidance.

The team expressed gratitude for the industry partners who helped bring their standee concept to life: the biggest industry partner Esko, for crucial design software; Liberty Carton-Golden Valley, who supplied the team at no cost with all the freshly manufactured corrugated that they asked for;  Ambassador Press and The Bureau, who provided CAD table time and some large format printing; and Dunwoody admissions and marketing staff members for initial guidance and concept critiques that helped the team design and manufacture marketing and admissions items that had real value.

The team was invited to attend AICC/TAPPI 2014 Corrugated Week, Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2014, at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif.  They plan to use their $1,000 cash prize for the AICC contest win to go toward travel expenses to ensure all team members can attend the event. In addition to the monetary award, they will also receive an engraved plaque commemorating their win in the competition.

Dunwoody’s Design & Graphics Technology department offers two-year degrees in Graphic Design and Pre-Media Technologies.


Dunwoody team wins the Phoenix Challenge

The Dunwoody team on stage accepting the trophy for their win

For the second year in a row, Dunwoody’s team took first place in the Phoenix Challenge, an annual product design and printing competition sponsored by the Flexographic Technical Association. Teams from Dunwoody’s Design & Graphics Technology Department have now won three out of the four Phoenix Challenge competitions. Previously, it was called the Harper Challenge. Dunwoody teams won four out of five of those competitions, meaning that in the past decade, the College is 7 for 10 in national titles in flexographic competitions.

The Phoenix Challenge Trophy

The students who represented Dunwoody at the Challenge are: Matt Christianson, Mitch Hanson, Mary Johnson and DJ Rickerd. Instructors Shawn Oetjen and Tom Herold, as well as the rest of the faculty in the program, provided guidance and feedback.

The Phoenix Challenge was held April 30 as part of the Foundation of the Flexographic Technical Association (FFTA) Annual Forum and Info*Flex event. Dunwoody competed against teams from colleges and universities across North American, including Cal Poly, Clemson, Western Michigan and Ryerson.

This year’s challenge was to create a promotional product for a golf fund-raising event. Dunwoody’s team created the Whole-In-One, which combines all the promotional elements that were part of the challenge, including a golf ball package, raffle ticket, score card and water bottle.

Dunwoody’s Phoenix Challenge team would like to thank the following donors for helping with materials and other support:

Anderson & Vreeland


Du Pont

Esko Artwork

Fasson /Avery Dennison


Flint Group




Sani – Blast / Eaglewood technologies