Student-run graphic design business to launch this week

Amulya Yalamanchili, Reporter

After rebranding and restructuring, DesignWorks, a student-run graphic design business, is set to launch this week.

The organization, formerly known as Promotional Student Designs, was created to establish a graphic design community at Northwestern.

“I came to NU with a lot of art experience and wanted to get involved with graphic design, but realized there was no real community on campus,” said DesignWorks founder Arisa Toyosaki, a McCormick junior. “I made a lot of friends who felt the same way, so we started this group.”

The startup company consists of 25 students who are commissioned to create designs for a variety of clients, from NU student groups and academic departments, to businesses in Evanston and around the country. Designers are selected based on design talent and portfolio, and projects are assigned to members based on individual capabilities and strengths.

In the spring of 2014, PSD merged with AdWorks, an advertising company owned by Northwestern Student Holdings. AdWorks had previously functioned as a traditional media company, working as an advertisement broker between student publications and other organizations and businesses on and off campus.

“There aren’t many places dedicated for designers to meet and talk about design,” said DesignWorks staff member Joshua Shi, a McCormick freshman. “It’s a great place to get together and do something we love.”

DesignWorks will still maintain the graphic design focus of PSD, but will have the support of NSH’s management team.

“The biggest change has been procedural and operational, but the big picture values and principles have not changed,” said NSH’s vice president of business operations Connor Regan. “DesignWorks is rooted in the value of aesthetic design, and we want to help student groups and departments on campus have prettier and more effective marketing communications.”

Regan, a SESP junior, is a former Daily columnist and a former board member of Students Publishing Co., The Daily’s parent organization.

Until this week, the company was in pilot testing, engaged in commissions to test its business model. DesignWorks is starting a promotional campaign and is holding an official launch party this Friday on the lawn outside the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center.

“I see so much potential in DesignWorks,” Regan said. “It’s extremely exciting because it’s so new and entrepreneurial, and also because it fills a huge need on campus.”

DesignWorks has plans to continue expanding the capabilities of their business. In addition to increasing the number of in-house designers, the organization intends to begin hosting design workshops and add apparel printing and website design to its services.

“DesignWorks is something I’m very passionate about,” Toyosaki said. “We hope to make NU more beautiful.”

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