For its seventh year, snowboard company Never Summer is selling boards created by Warren Tech students after about 90 teenagers from the school’s graphic design department competed to submit …
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Customers can pre-order a board with any of the 10 designs by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Proceeds go directly to Warren Tech.
For its seventh year, snowboard company Never Summer is selling boards created by Warren Tech students after about 90 teenagers from the school’s graphic design department competed to submit eye-catching designs.
Company chairman Vince Sanders and others from the Never Summer team presented the project to students back in October, giving recommendations and highlighting current design trends in several industries. Months earlier, many of the participating students had already started thinking about how they would approach their chance to participate in the yearly tradition.
“There’s a lot more pressure with this project in wanting to make a good product because it’s going to go out to the world,” said senior Harley Cohen, who started brainstorming her design last summer. “It’s really cool we’re offered this opportunity. Not a lot of students can say the same.”
Cohen’s design took first place in an online popular vote, gaining more than 3,000 votes. She was named the winner of the contest alongside junior Gracie Gish —who won the company office employees’ vote —and senior Logan Wicke, who won the factory employees’ vote.
Never Summer also named a top 10, who will each receive a snowboard with their design on it, and whose boards will be available for purchase.
Never Summer partners with multiple schools and youth organizations, but its largest partnership is with Warren Tech, with students’ participation in the snowboard design contest having grown year after year, Sanders said.
Instructor Scot Odendahl, who oversees the school’s graphic design department with fellow instructor Pete Cunis, said one of his favorite parts of the project has been seeing students’ different approaches. The project has seen students hand-paint, photograph and electronically sketch their designs, with all designs digitized into a final product.
Students had several months to complete their final product before Never Summer judges narrowed the pool down to a top 25. Those 25 students then presented to some Never Summer staff members, who chose 10 board designs to be voted on.
“It gives the students some real-world experience as far as what can be commercially viable. They learn client expectations and develop self-confidence,” Sanders*said. “And for us, the students are producing things that we’re using.”
Gish agreed: “It gives you a kickstart into a good, solid career,” she said.
Cohen, Gish and several of their fellow classmates in the top 10 had this to say about their design processes:
Harley Cohen, grade 12. Design: Row 2, Second from left
“Mine was obviously inspired by space and celestial, fun stuff. My favorite part of this project has been just seeing all the natural beauty in the world and out of it. It’s rewarding having that finished piece. I do really love graphic design, and I think I could make a career out of it.”
Gracie Gish, grade 11. Design: Row 1, Middle
“I wanted to go with some brighter colors and show the contrast between the good and bad of being human. I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone else’s designs. I love coming to Warren Tech — It feels like a big family with everyone having the same interests. Graphic design is so much more fun than I ever thought it could be.”
Anna Hayes, grade 12. Design: Row 2, Left
“My design was hand-painted, which was a bit challenging, but also kind of fun. I wanted to do it based on a Chinese legend and I thought the curves of the fish would complement the curves of the snowboard. This is my second year in graphic design. Some day, I’d love to get paid for what I do.”
Jake Redfoot, grade 11. Design: Row 1, Left
“I did this design because I wanted to do something I’ve never seen. I got started with design in eighth grade, and I’d like to do it as a career. My favorite part of this project has been trying new things — I ended up learning a lot of new techniques.”
Kyle Schwartz, grade 12. Design: Row 1, Second from left
“I made my design based on Chinese yin and yang. I wanted to have contrasting colors on opposite sides. I’ve done design for as long as I can remember; I have a background of street art and graffiti. I’m a snowboarder myself and I enjoyed combining my passions with this project. It was a really fun process.”
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