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This poster was designed by two Graphic Design students Darius L Knight (Chicago Heights, IL) and Dasia Hinkle (Chicago, IL)
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Design Day: A Professional Critique of Student Portfolios

October 1, 2015

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MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University Department of Art is hosting a Design Day for students of all majors who would like to have their portfolios critiqued by professionals in the art, graphic design and graphic communication industry.

The Design Day event will take place from 10a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 in the WIU Art Gallery. Guest designers will discuss the graphic design industry and offer advice for current students pursuing careers that work in connection with graphic design/ graphic communication. Guest designers and artists will also be available to critique students' portfolios. This event is open to all students from all majors. Students are encouraged, but not required, to bring portfolios.

Guest designers include Jeff Hughes, Tyler Sharpe, Tony Demakis, Kelly Demakis and Justin Walters.

Hughes, who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from WIU in 1995, owns his own small creative consulting business based in Warsaw, IL that focuses on hunting and shooting-related businesses. He has worked with companies such as Cabela's, Gander Mountain, TenPoint Crossbows, Federal/ATK and other top industry brands.

Sharpe, a Macomb native who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from WIU in 2012, is a digital designer and photographer at Nashville-based agency Caddis Interactive. His work crosses platforms in portrait and lifestyle photography, branding, print design and web design. He also does wedding photography.

Tony and Kelly Demakis, who both earned bachelor‘s degrees in art from WIU in 1999, started their own graphic design company, the Ten26 Design Group. Over the years, they have worked with various shopping centers in Chicagoland suburbs to corporate meeting planners, college savings companies and the national technology company, Hitachi. They have also started a charity organization called Hope to Give and continue to work with a number of charities.

Justin Walters has seven years of experience as a 3D artist in the video game industry and currently works at Certain Affinity in Austin, TX. Walters has worked on video games such as Halo 2: Anniversary, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Stars Wars: The Old Republic.

Students in graphic design classes have been working on designing posters to advertise Design Day, as well as have something to add to their portfolios for the critiques.

"As a Graphic Design student, I design posters on a regular basis but I am looking forward to talking with the guest designers and showing them some of my recent designs," said senior graphic design major Tanner Nygard (Galesburg, IL).

"Design Day is a great event because we are brining together multiple departments that will most likely work together in the real world," WIU Art Department Chair and Professor Charles Wright said. "In graphic design, we focus on the aesthetic side of design, incorporating design techniques and use elements of art, but graphic communication and public relations (to name a few) focus on other aspects of design. It is good for students across those disciplines to begin working together now, since they will after college."

For more information on Design Day, contact Professor of Art Bruce Walters at

Posted By: Caitlin Meyers (
Office of University Communications & Marketing