When the arts and business collide

On April 12, Youngstown State University’s chapter of the American Advertising Federation will join forces with graphic design students to compete in the 40th annual National Student Advertising Competition.

Working together for the first time, graphic design students and the Alpha Delta Sigma Advertising Club will propose an advertising campaign endorsing the competition’s sponsor, Glidden Paint, and its availability at Walmart.

“What’s exciting is that the infusion of the graphic design students will enhance the visual presentation of the advertising campaign,” said Richard Helfrich, an assistant professor of graphic design.

Helfrich indicated that the marketing and the graphic design programs have already formed a healthy relationship. He expects that this new coalition will lead to success.

“I am fully confident that [the ADS Club] will place. They have a really well rounded program in marketing and advertising — same thing with [the graphic design program]. It’s just a nice confluence of the two programs,” Helfrich said. “I feel good about their chances.”

Michael Pontikos, a marketing and advertising professor at YSU and adviser of the ADS Club, has worked in the advertising industry for over 16 years.

Pontikos also has an interest in graphic design and has won national awards for his creativity.

“The business and graphic design students need to do this more often. It’s great to see the collaboration between these two fields that go hand in hand,” Pontikos said. “With the addition of the graphic design students adding their talents to the mix, it only makes us stronger.”

The team will present a notebook of research and surveys that explore Glidden Paint’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in front of a panel of judges. The first-place team will move on to the national conference in June. Melanie Arnold, a third-year student majoring in graphic and interactive design, describes graphic design as “art with a purpose.” She looks forward to competing at NSAC and is striving to make the team’s notebook aesthetically pleasing.

“I am more excited than nervous because it will be something that I can put on a resume. It’s giving me experience with business people, like the business majors, that will be the professionals in two or three years,” she said.

Victoria Baughman, a senior advertising and public relations major, serves as president of the ADS Club. Baughman said the collaboration will make the presentation stronger and that is a good way for the club to connect with another department.

“I think we will be successful. We have a great team, and we have worked really hard,” she said.