A makerspace makeover

Published 12.12.2022

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In the expansive space of a graphic design lab, Duncan C. Wentzel, of Huntingdon, shares his creations.Backed by his makerspace logos, John P. Greenwald, of Manheim, answers questions posed by the group. Creating a more welcoming environment through design and boosting awareness of The Dr. Welch Workshop: A Makerspace at Penn College are among the goals of graphic design juniors enrolled in the Fall 2022 Environmental Graphic Design (ART320) course taught by Brian A. Flynn, assistant professor of graphic design. Students were tasked with designing new branding elements for the space and, on Friday, they presented their final designs, including logos, symbols for workstations, maps and brochures.

The juniors were also tasked with designing symbols for seven workstations in the space; here, Destiny N. Walter, of Middleburg, presents hers."Having the graphic design class take this project on has been amazing," said Kat A. Valentine, manager of makerspace operations. "It was clear to me that the makerspace needed a lot of help to make it feel more welcoming and accessible, and to get a stronger logo, but I wasn’t sure how to tackle the project myself.

After each presentation, the students faced tough questions and comments from their professor, Brian A. Flynn."Brian Flynn’s willingness to turn an entire semester over to working on this project, and the students’ willingness to undertake it, is going to make a tremendous difference to the look and feel of the makerspace!"

ART320 focuses on the study of design as it relates to signage, wayfinding systems, exhibition graphics and environmental advertising. The course explores the unique problems associated with form, space and user experience, and challenges students to produce designs that display acuity in the areas of message, usability and environmental appropriateness.

Brochures were also explored by the class and shared for consideration at the final presentations."The Environmental Graphic Design class did a great job capturing the needs of a makerspace rebrand," said Anthony J. Pace, dean of academic operations, who attended the final presentations. "Each student was thoughtful in their approach to this task and curated a design that really focused on the end-user experience, safety, a sense of belonging, cohesiveness, etc. I look forward to exploring the feasibility of implementing a new design in the near future."

Brock R. Hower, of Montoursville, discusses his map -- a design element aimed at improving navigation within the space.A collaborative learning center, Penn College's Makerspace is located in the Carl Building Technologies Center and features a range of workstations for woodworking, welding, metalworking, laser cutting, sewing, spray painting and 3D printing.


Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel,
writer/photo editor