Image is Everything

Graphic Design Department Ready for Requests


Photo by Jaden Kolenbrander

Executive Editor and senior Brynn Clare designs an advertisement for the Timberwolf Agency. Clare took on the role of Executive Editor, the highest leadership position in the Timberwolf Agency, to have a more active role in the class. “I didn’t know about the leadership positions beforehand, but I thought that being able to work a little closer with everyone else sounded fun,” Clare said. “Besides, I plan to major in a graphic-design related field and the experience will be nice to have.”

Jaden Kolenbrander, Reporter

The Timberwolf Agency, the school’s graphic design department and class, is back on track for another year of creating designs which advertise the school’s most essential programs.

It is responsible for producing the posters, logos and online graphics of the school’s clubs and organizations. This can range from advertisements for the newest clubs and honor societies to informative graphics about this year’s assistant principals or DEN schedule. Despite their background role working for other programs, they are in charge of notifying students about potential opportunities at school and facilitating their day-to-day routines.

“I think graphic design is crucial in general because if you look around you, whether it’s the phone you’re using or the package of food you’re eating from, there’s not a single item that doesn’t use graphic design to some extent,” head of Timberwolf Agency Anthony Garcia said. “At school, the graphic design program actually contributes to organizations and groups that need our skills to promote themselves, so what we create eventually serves the broader community. It’s part of the school’s culture – each group helps one another out.” 

Through tutorials and graphic design pointers curated by Garcia and the Timberwolf Agency leadership, its members learn the principles of graphic design and how to work on two of the most widely used applications for the field: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. However, the skills in the class can come of use far beyond the graphic design industry, according to junior James Thompson-Reid.

“I joined graphic design because I am looking for a career in the video game development industry,” Thompson-Reid said. “It will give me the experience I need to handle the more artistic choices a developer needs to make while developing a video game, such as designing sprites. I entered graphic design with very little knowledge about drawing artwork, but through the material we were taught in Graphic Design One and the experience I’ve had designing for other people in Graphic Design Two, I can say that I have learned a lot.”

The class sets aside five minutes at the beginning of the period to discuss good news and updates about each other as well as any announcements from Garcia. Afterwards, though, students break into the same computer lab used by the Broadcast team, a modestly-sized room next to the Broadcast recording studio filled with desks and computer towers lining the floors. This is where they work on design requests, with the only light in the room coming from the lamps and computer screens. Although Garcia checks in occasionally, the Timberwolf Agency lets its members work in a hands-off environment.

“What I have liked about the graphic design class so far is that it’s a very free-reign class,” Executive Editor and senior Brynn Clare said. “There’s the aspect of receiving requests and submitting your own designs that eventually get printed onto posters and shown around the school, but it’s also about having approximately an hour and a half to spend the way you need to, working without being micromanaged. It’s an environment that feels like an actual workplace and encourages creativity.”

The agency accepts design requests, assigns them to students and sets a deadline for when those designs must be completed. After the draft is checked by an editor and Garcia, it is printed and put onto bulletin boards across the school or on the requesting organization’s social media account, advertising opportunities available to students with the help and artistic choices of the design team. For junior Tamara Eslava, this is the process she went through to design a poster for the Psychology Club.

Above illustrates Junior Tamara Eslava’s poster for the Psychology Club. Eslava said she likes creating designs for her fellow peers. “What I love about this poster was the opportunity to create a piece of artwork on my own,” Eslava said. “I’m grateful for the chance to work with peers so that they can advertise their clubs.”

“What I love about this poster and the process of creating it was the opportunity to completely make a piece of artwork on my own,” Eslava said. “I made the image all by myself using the tools given to us in the Timberwolf Agency, starting with the background and the silhouettes of the humans before filling in the little details like the arrangement of the poster. It was made possible by the creative liberty we have in this class, and I’m grateful for the chance to work with peers so that they can advertise their clubs with my artwork.”

This year, Graphic Design One students were placed alongside returning members of the Timberwolf Agency to learn the basics of graphic design. For those students, tutorials for online editing platforms and graphic design principles were posted to catch them up to speed, and they involve topics from choosing the right selection tool to making complex shapes and patterns with the shape builder tool in Adobe Illustrator. According to Graphic Design One members, like junior Caleb Taylor, they find them helpful.

“I joined because I had prior experience with Photoshop,” Taylor said. “However, I’m definitely a bit rusty with other tools we use for design, and the tutorials are really helpful in making us produce the best products we can. I’m excited to create more designs for the school.”

According to Garcia, output from the Timberwolf Agency was scarce during virtual school because most of the school’s organizations were inactive and unable to conduct their usual activities. This year, as students are back in person, Garcia says he is expecting requests to surge back in and encourages students and staff to consider sending one on the Timberwolf Agency Project Request form.

“The hardest part about last year was how little activity there was in the Timberwolf Agency due to a lack of clubs and organizations to take requests from,” Garcia said. “Students weren’t able to have the fun, interactive experience we usually do. Communication and technology issues were also difficult, as this is a class heavily reliant on students having the necessary technology to run graphic design software. Now that we’re back, we’re luckily seeing more activity and urge more people to send us projects so that school events are properly advertised.”