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UW-Eau Claire graphic designers win five awards in international competition

RELEASED: March 11, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire received five awards in the 2010 association-wide promotion and marketing competition of the Association of College Unions International. Winning entries were exhibited and the awards presented at ACUI's 90th annual conference Feb. 28-March 4 in New York City.

The awards recognize the work of graphic design coordinator Sara Brunner and student graphic designer Amanda Matzke, both employed in the University Centers information design services area.

Brunner's design for The Green Bean, an organic store located in Davies Center, received first place in the miscellaneous promotions category. The concept stemmed from vintage can labels and seed packets, evoking the idea of homegrown, natural food. The design creates an environment reminiscent of a garden, with a crosshatched background resembling lattice or a trellis that supports a vine while it grows. Vibrant colors and a casual type with simple modifications add a whimsical tone to the overall look of the logo. The logo appears on the front window, with supporting graphics appearing on each side the store and on interior signs. Decorative banners above the windows on each side apply elements from the logo. Chalkboards in the corner of the store advertise items on sale, new products or the various fruits and vegetables available.

Brunner's Summer Events 2009 promotion received two second-place awards (brochure, promotional campaign). The design concept conveys the spirit of summer and the program's outdoor venue, unified by the theme "Welcome to our Backyard." Vibrant colors, simple textures, playful lollipop trees and precarious birds shape the environment. The lightness of the theme and imagery reaches out to all age groups. Concepts were implemented in the brochure, ads and posters.

The Forum and Artists Series promotional campaign for the 2009-10 season received a third place award. With the theme, "We Bring the World to You," Brunner centered the concept of the season booklet on the idea of a leather-bound travel journal used to document experiences. Marble endpapers serve as start and end markers for the information in the 20-page booklet, which presents the distinct nature of each program through ruled journal pages, Polaroid-style photos, warm colors and patterns, postage imagery and package tags. Design elements were extracted from the booklet for posters, flyers and ads.

Brunner received a bachelor's degree in graphic design from UW-Eau Claire in May 2007. She joined the information design staff in September 2008.

Matzke's poster for "Waltz with Bashir," an Israeli documentary screened by the International Film Society, received second place in the student division. The feature-length animated film reconstructs the suppressed memories of the filmmaker and his fellow soldiers about a massacre that took place during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. One soldier's memories have been emerging in a recurring nightmare about dogs. A frame of the film was captured and edited to draw an arresting and abstract reference to the film's theme. The menacing dog image conveys that the film is not for the faint of heart, something viewers can understand even before they read the synopsis that is incorporated into the design.

A candidate for a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design, Matzke received a BFA in photography from UW-Eau Claire in May 2006. She began working for the University Centers in June.

A Student Affairs unit of UW-Eau Claire, the University Centers is a longtime member of the Association of College Unions International. ACUI has served the college union and student activities field since 1914, and its members represent nearly 1,000 campuses around the world. The annual Steal This Idea competition awards excellence in college union and student activities graphics and marketing materials. UW-Eau Claire was the only Wisconsin institution recognized in the 2010 competition. A complete list of award winners is available online, and the winners will be featured in the July 2010 issue of ACUI's magazine, The Bulletin.

University Centers awards received from 2002-09 are among those collected in "Steal These Ideas," a book of campus marketing materials and graphics published by ACUI in January.

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JS/DW

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