DISCOVER Graphic Communication Management

Meg Elwood

Here’s a major for those who want to mix creativity with business. If you have ever wanted to take a shot at creating your own key chains, decals, stickers or even tote bags, check out GCM Technologies. Graphic Communication Management, also known as GCM, focuses on every step in print production from the design to the finished product. The program offers multiple hands-on classes such as GCM Technologies, taught by Hope Carroll, a passionate instructor who wishes to expose students to a little bit of everything the program is truly capable of.

“They [students] really get a wide range of experience,” said Carroll. “We teach them all of the printing process and they really have to understand what the plate looks like, how the image gets to the plate to the paper…we teach them all of the processes and they design for those processes and then they actually come and print them and they have a finished product when their done.”

The class introduces students to designing through Adobe Creative Cloud programs as well as the basics of effective typography. While graphic design is an important step in the production process, GCM focuses on what happens after the design process, so it’s a perfect class for someone who is wanting to go in and get creative for the fun of it in order to gain technical knowledge of machines.

“The students who come into this program love the hands-on part of it [the class]. They don’t mind getting ink on their hands, they don’t mind that they have to cut their own paper, it’s a design to finished product,” said Carroll.

Using their own designs fit for the project, students are then able to gain hands-on experience using small hand printers like screen printers, and even large machine printers like flexographic and lithographic printers to turn their digital creation into an actual item.

“Students are really getting an introduction to the breadth of the industry. What printing processes are out there, what kind of job opportunities are out there for them,” said Carroll, “They get an understanding that it doesn’t stop at design, in design you have to understand how it’s going to be finished, how’s it going to be printed. There’s a lot of technical knowledge involved with that.”

It is a creatively challenging class where you actually have all of the materials in front of you as you would in a real job position and learn how to use them, which can be very valuable.

Check back next week for information on the GCM student organization, GCA.