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Multimedia students market school, community

EXPERIENCE — Thurman Gross, a senior in the multimedia and design program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, creates animation for his project. -- Contributed

BLOOMINGDALE — Multimedia and design students at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School are putting their skills to good use by marketing the school and community groups.

Instructor Cody LaRue said his 33 students have created recreational videos, posters, business cards, logos, graphic designs for websites and other creations for clients including Saline Township EMS, Country Pantry Candles, Celebrations, the Jefferson County Health Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Among more recent accomplishments were the annual design of billboards and commercials advertising JCJVS in collaboration with EM-Media Inc. The billboards are on display throughout the county and commercials frequently air on local TV stations.

At the conclusion, they will compile their experiences into portfolios to help them seek gainful employment in the future.

LaRue said his pupils are being exposed to working in the real world and learning the tools of the trade. While his 11 seniors primarily do the work, his 22 juniors offer assistance with the projects.

“We designed shirts for the sophomore tours. The students drew a mascot and I turned it into a T-shirt design. A lot of outside companies have also asked us for logos, pictures and posts for their website,” he added. “They are a professional quality because the companies will be using them. We are focusing on the marketing aspect and putting meaning behind the designs–everything with a purpose.”

Students are using modern technology such as iPads recommended by professional artists, many of which serve on LaRue’s advisory committee, to learn how to do more retro-type art digitally and they are also becoming knowledgeable of current design trends including grime art styles to manipulate pictures.

“We’re experimenting with new technology and trying to figure out how to adapt to that,” he added. “I want them to do professional designs and also have fun creatively expressing themselves.”

Seniors are creating 3-D animation YouTube Crash Course tutorials while original T-shirt and hoodie designs are available on the program’s online apparel store at www.storefrontier.com/JVS-Multimedia-and-Design. Some of the students who plan to have careers in the field said they have gained plenty of experience working with the program.

“It’s enjoyable. We get to show our skills and it also gives us a lot of challenges,” said senior Ryan Morale, who plans to study film production at Pittsburgh Technical College after graduation. “This class is really fun and pushes us to be better at what we’re doing. I believe that it can set us apart from other programs.”

Senior Lane Adkins, who hopes to study multimedia at the Cleveland Institute of Art, agreed.

“This lab pushes you to do your best. Here, we give it everything we have and it increase the knowledge you have with media and makes you better than you were before. It’s like working a normal job and there are people who help (each other.) Being in this lab is different because you do video, photography and voice work. It’s just amazing to me that you can learn it all.”

For information about the program or potential projects, contact LaRue at (740) 264-5545, extension 311, or by e-mail at laruec@jeffjvs.org.

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