Design Team Feature

Today, the Design Team currently has 10 wonderfully talented individuals across many majors including visual communications, animation, and even architecture! Everyone is tasked to work on a multitude of projects—and while most of them work either solo or with one other Designer—there are many design-heavy projects like the MUTT board, The Loading Zone, and website designs to keep them busy. 

CERES Building in the ’80s.

The Journey of CERES 

Right now, one of the biggest websites our Designers are tackling is the Ball State CERES storytelling website. CERES is an interdisciplinary academic facility connected to our CAP building focused on issues related to energy and resource use. They do projects all over, trying to best serve the campus, local, state, and regional communities through research, service, and education. The CERES Storytelling website has people from all six teams, including Design Specialists Hailey Vrolyk and Paris Drew. Hailey and Paris are finding creative and interesting ways to display historical information dating back to the ’70s. They’re making prototypes of what the site is going to look like using a program called Figma. Both Hailey and Paris praised CERES for being a project they really felt gave them creative freedom. 

Hailey, who designed the new CERES logo and the leaves that will be animated on the pages, said she liked CERES because it doesn’t have to have Ball State branding like most of the other sites we work on.  

“CERES was a great growth track for me. I finally understood prototyping and Figma. Using those programs was my favorite part of the whole project.” 

Although not every Designer is on CERES, they still find ways to help each other with their projects and invoke inspiration. Hailey gives a lot of credit to senior Design Specialist, Cassie Pomierski, for helping her learn more about prototyping in Figma. Hailey’s also on another heavily design-focused project here at the Corps called the International Student Welcome Box with Design Apprentice, Jessika Jackson. 

Blending Architecture and Design

Jessika Jackson is a sophomore set to graduate with the class of 2027. Before Jessika ventured into the world of design, she harbored a passion for engineering and architecture, which is her major at Ball State. She took an engineering class in middle school as well as an architecture and interior design class in high school and learned she “liked doing the creative stuff [using design programs] mixed with math.” At the beginning of the school year, she got to use architecture programs like Rhino and designed floor plans in Photoshop. Jessika found out about the Corps and the Design Team when passing a sign for it one day and thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about the Adobe design programs.  

“Time management [between classes and work] has been hard, but the Corps has been helpful with that. It’s also made me more efficient and has helped me build up skills in Photoshop and Illustrator.” 

Jessika takes a lot of design inspiration from the animators on the Design Team, Rachel Berg, Kylie Owens, and Lizzy DeHoff, who she works on the MUTT board and vertical boards with.

MUTT Board design by Jessika Jackson for Chinese New Year.

The MUTT Board 

The MUTT Board is an ongoing Corps project that currently has six of the Designers hard at work helping with interactive polls, coloring pages, and designs that go on the MUTT TV Board outside of our office. There are three vertical boards that we work on: two inside our office and one outside for other students to see general announcements about Ball State or Holidays. Jessika helped make a Chinese New Year coloring book design that students could walk up to and color. Another example of a design on the MUTT Board is one made by Design Specialist, Kylie Owens, who made a stained-glass design with a Cardinal. 

“The MUTT Board and The Loading Zone are my most communicative projects between teams. We’re all trying to come together to see if something works.” 

Kylie Owens is a senior at Ball State studying animation. One of the biggest projects she’s a part of besides the MUTT Board is The Loading Zone. The Loading Zone is a Ball State PBS show that explains complex STEM topics to kids. It stars two animated robots named Billy and Penelope along with a Corps student that explains topics to them ranging from subtraction to teleprompters. Billy and Penelope are rigged up by the animators who also make various assets and backdrops for the episodes. Kylie storyboards for TLZ as well as occasionally going into Billy and Penelope’s Adobe files and building design elements for episodes.  

“I always knew that I wanted to do something art related, I just didn’t know specifically what, I just wanted to do something creative. I love to do character animation, and with The Loading Zone, I get the chance to do that.” 

Billy and Penelope from The Loading Zone.

Flying Solo 

This may come as a surprise, but many Designers work solo on projects too! Take Design Apprentice, Charlotte Pollock, for example. She’s a junior at Ball State studying visual communications and graphic design. Through design, Charlotte can blend her love of sports, social media curation, and minimalistic illustration. Before the Corps, she worked for Esports at Ball State making social media posts for them as well as stream layouts, game slides, and promotional fliers and t-shirts. 

“Graphic design can feel very corporate, so being [at Esports] helped me experiment and tap into what I want to do. At the Corps, I’m able to do stuff I want to do while still doing foundational work.” 

Although Charlotte works on some projects with other Designers like the Orchid Greenhouse Website designing flowers with Cassie Pomierski, she often is the only Designer on her projects. Specifically, she works on video-focused projects making lower-thirds and other assets, as that’s where most of her background is in. 

Sophomore Designer Laura Latham also echoed the sentiment of being able to do her own thing while still being collaborative. Laura gave a special shoutout to senior Abigail Clone, who works with her on the CAP touchscreen project. With both their hard work and delegation, the design has come so far and has encouraged a lot of growth for Laura. 

“I love seeing everyone’s different styles… I just want to sit and watch people work.” 

Everyone on the Design Team has a vastly different journey, not just at the Corps, but also in design. Some are going into different career paths after college but want to use the resources and knowledge they gain to help them understand their future field more, others have had a passion for design since childhood, and others haven’t done anything design-related until college! There’s no black and white path into design and there are so many avenues to go down. The Design Team not only gives these amazing women a multitude of transferrable skills, but also comradery and friendship that will last a lifetime. 

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