University News

WIU Alumna Creating Ad Campaigns for Rust-Oleum, Menards

February 26, 2018

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MACOMB, IL—Western Illinois University alumna Nicole Farina designed a campaign advertisement for Rust-Oleum paint that is now being used in many Menards stores.

Farina earned her Bachelor of Science degree in graphic communication during her two years at Western Illinois University, graduating in August 2017.

After graduation, Farina moved back to her hometown of McHenry, IL, and began working as an intern for Rust-Oleum, a paint and coatings manufacturer headquartered in Vernon Hills, IL. She was given the opportunity to continue her career with the company in August.

Farina moved to Rockford, IL in November 2017 and is still working at Rust-Oleum, spending two days per week working from home.

The process for the campaign ad (a floor decal) was not simple. The project began in July 2017. Rust-Oleum and Farina presented Menards with a variety of ads for different products, including Chalked, Zinsser Ceiling Paint, Zinsser Mold Killing Primer, and several others in August.

Menards wanted a specific ad for their coating product, RockSolid. The featured product, RockSolid Universal base, can be combined with any RockSolid additive to achieve a desired finish or color. The additives come in finishes, such as metallic, pearlescent and marble.

The finished surface using this product is what Farina describes as "truly stunning and extremely durable."

"The idea behind how the floor decal looks, and the beauty images included on that floor decal is that you can use RockSolid on a variety of surfaces – including interior," Farina said. "They wanted to convey that the use of the RockSolid coating line is not limited to the garage. They also wanted to convey that the product finish could be completed in one day."

They were able to edit a few of their original ideas for campaign. The ad was displayed in Menards' stores in November. Farina said the ad campaign she designed for Rust-Oleum paint was a fun project from the start.

"When I heard that the floor decal was accepted, and they had little to no edits on the last round we sent them for approval, I was over the moon," Farina said. "It is really surreal to think that my work is displayed in countless Menards stores, and will remain there for the foreseeable future. I never would have expected to be able to design such a piece being so new to the professional side of this field – it is something I will take pride in for a very long time."

Farina hopes to continue to make promotional materials and would like to expand her knowledge of design software. She is also extremely appreciative of the graphic communication program at WIU.

"I had no prior experience with the Adobe Creative Suite before attending Western," Farina said. "The knowledge that Joyce and Roger Runquist, and Catherine Drinka shared with me about this industry prepared me extremely well for the position at Rust-Oleum, and for that I am extremely grateful."

For more information about WIU's graphic communication program, visit

Posted By: Erika D Davis (
Office of University Communications & Marketing