Learning by Design

Nowhere is the Learn by Doing tradition more beautiful than in the Graphic Communication and Art and Design programs. We asked the faculty in these two departments to recommend some of their most promising recent and imminent graduates. In this special portfolio showcase, those designers introduce themselves and their work.

Alyssa Wigant
Major: Graphic Communication, Studio Art Minor
Grad Year: 2016
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.

My transformation as an artist, graphic designer and creative entrepreneur would not be possible without the many opportunities Cal Poly had to offer. In my four(ish) years as a graphic communication major and studio art minor, I’ve learned about typography, design, print processes, user interface design, branding and marketing – all fields I am excited to work with post-grad. Outside of the classroom, I worked on-campus as a user interface designer for Cal Poly’s numerous event mobile apps. My experiences with the Hackathon, Startup Weekend, and creating an on-campus event from scratch taught me more about teamwork, leadership, and entrepreneurship than I ever learned in class. I’ve also discovered my passion for hand-lettering, which lets me combine my graphic design and studio art skills and has inspired me to launch my own online shop where I sell original work. Aside from working at an innovative and creative company, I hope to someday create and publish a book, see my art and lettering on stationery, travel the world, and make murals. I would not be this ambitious, excited, and driven if not for Cal Poly and all I’ve learned by doing at this university, and I will always be grateful for my college experience.



wallack_photo-1Name: Lauren Wallack
Major: Graphic Communication
Grad Year: 2016
Hometown: Sunnyvale, Calif.

After studying wine marketing in the Cal Poly study abroad program in Adelaide, Australia, I came back knowing I wanted to pursue a career in wine label design. I now work at Field Recordings winery in Paso Robles, Calif., where I have a lot of creative freedom. I was able to redesign the brand with the winemaker, and I continuously work on our exclusive can club designs with fun and unique themes. Through this job, I have gained many other clients in the field. Thanks to the graphic communication department, I have acquired design and printing techniques that make an impact and set my labels apart from the competitors. Book design was my favorite class in my Cal Poly experience, as it combined the digital and handmade aspects of design.



Name: Annie Francissideheadshot-2
Major: Graphic Communication, concentration in Digital Reproduction Technology
Grad Year: 2016
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.

Graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in graphic communication has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Graphic communication has equipped me with a mix of skills ranging from graphic design to packaging to the print industry. With each class project, my experience with the Adobe Creative Suite has deepened and I’ve sharpened my eye for detail. I have intertwined typographic elements with cohesive design to develop magazine layouts, website pages and even book design. As a transfer student, I am so thankful for my two years at Cal Poly, which gave me an exceptional education and unforgettable experience. Although I may not be hitting the books within a Cal Poly classroom, you can find me admiring beautifully designed labels in the wine section, enjoying a cup o’ joe or embracing the next adventure that awaits me!



habibplacenciaName: Habib Placencia Adissi
Major: Art and Design, concentration in Graphic Design
Expected graduation date: Spring 2017
Hometown: All over the place

I grew up as a U.S. Coast Guard military brat, frequently moving to different coastal towns throughout the United States. Along the way, I became increasingly interested in culture and the effects visual communication could have in everyday life. In the fall of 2015, I transferred to Cal Poly from the Bay Area, and have loved every minute spent in San Luis Obispo. My experience at Cal Poly has definitely helped me grow professionally. I’ve been able to not only gain a lot of knowledge and perspective from the experienced faculty and staff here, but have also been offered opportunities to practice and execute my craft in real world scenarios. Right now, I’m working as a graphic design student assistant for the Kennedy Library, and I hope to squeeze in one last internship at a local design studio before graduating. After graduation, I want to work at a design firm in a metropolitan area in order to further my efforts to improve communication, relationships, culture, and general quality in everyday life.



Name: Jared Mantzouranis
Major: Graphic Communication
Expected graduation date: Winter 2017
Hometown: Sonora, Calif.

Born and raised in the small town of Sonora, Calif., I was very accustomed to living an outdoorsy lifestyle in the Sierra Nevadas. Throughout my whole life I was extremely active, playing as many sports as possible, either bettering myself in school sport or enjoying action sports. My passions growing up included snowboarding, wakeboarding, skiing, dirt biking, fishing, hunting and camping. I moved from Sonora to San Luis Obispo to study graphic communication at Cal Poly. The classes that I have taken here have really helped me gain knowledge for my future job. Once I graduate I am headed down to San Diego to work for a design company. In the future, I would love to continue my career as a designer and developer while traveling to remote and unique places around the world as a photographer.


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