Graphix OU shares knowledge of the Creative Suite


Nicole Morsfield

Graphix helps out other students by teaching them how to use different Adobe programs like Illustrator and InDesign.

For anyone in the design field, having extensive knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite is a crucial piece to an arsenal of skills. In an effort to help students figure the programs out, Graphix OU hosted its third installment in a series of Adobe workshops on Thursday, Nov. 2 and focused on the Adobe Illustrator program.

Each workshop is focused on a specific program; Photoshop and After Effects have been taught previously and InDesign will be taught on Nov. 16. This is the first year that Graphix OU has hosted these workshops, and the group has found that students learn a great deal from them.

“When a student arrives, it’s really casual at first,” said Derek Queen, vice president of Graphix OU. “They can bring their laptops if they want to and follow along with us. Not everyone has the programs, so we try to make it so that when we go through all the steps, they can just take notes.”

Instructors aren’t professors, but other students. Queen taught the Photoshop and Illustrator classes, and Oakland University alumna Destanee Freeman taught the After Effects workshop.

“I think that the nice thing about students teaching it is that it’s helping out other students,” Queen said. “I love the idea of Graphix OU being a network of creative students who want to learn with and from each other, and I think that this is a really good opportunity to do that.”

Graphix OU’s goal with the workshops is to provide opportunities for students they won’t get in the classroom.

“In the Illustrator workshop I’m going to be teaching a couple of things that I only learned in our elective course, digital illustration,” Queen said. “If I didn’t take that class, I never would have learned these techniques which have done so much for my work in the professional field and in my other classes as well.”

or design students, learning how to use the different programs in the Creative Suite and being comfortable using them is a necessity.

“Adobe is pretty much the standard software that a majority of graphic designers use,” said Rachael Brown, a freelance graphic designer. “Design programs and schools teach it.”

Adobe is very versatile, as well, where projects can be worked on in all of their various programs.

“The Adobe programs really do work together nicely,” Queen said. “You can import Photoshop and Illustrator files into InDesign or After Effects or Premiere. They’re really flexible programs to use and they can be applied to a variety of different things.”

These workshops aren’t only for design students. Students in any creative field or even those who want to learn more about the programs are welcome.

“You need to be able to understand the software as there are many jobs that require you to use it,” Brown said. “There may also be situations where you are handling multiple responsibilities. Plus, it’s always good to understand what all employees at a company do.”

In the winter semester, the workshops are planned to be more professionally geared with a focus on portfolio building. The American Institute of Graphic Arts hosts a student portfolio night in February.

Graphix OU hopes to have a portfolio workshop and then, in February, attend the portfolio night so students can bring their portfolios and receive feedback from professionals in the field.