Student-designed tote bags for sale through Madison College Bookstore

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Anica Graney / Clarion

A variety of tote bag options are available for purchase. All proceeds will support the Madison College Center for Printing Arts.

Hannah Dotzler , Copy Editor

Student-designed tote bags are currently being sold through the Madison College Bookstore. The bags were made by students in the Graphic Design program, as a project for the Design Project Management class. The purpose of this activity was to allow students to practice going through all the steps of creating a product.

“We wanted a project where students would concept a product and work through its delivery, so they could experience all the phases of the project management process,” said Madison College Graphic Design Instructor Carol Moretti.

The process of creating the tote bags was quite complex. Students started by brainstorming six different design ideas. They did not have any major guidelines to follow, but they were told to keep their audience—Madison College students and staff—in mind when coming up with designs. Then, they had the choice to sketch their ideas out by hand and scan them, or they could draw them directly in the computer.

After that, the class narrowed each student’s designs down to two, and then posted the finals to the Madison College Graphic Design Facebook page, where the public was able to vote for the winning design from each student. Then, the advisory board narrowed down the winners to six final designs. These designs range from Madison and Wisconsin-themed illustrations to various other designs inspired by things the students were interested in.

Then, Nick Loveland, Madison College’s Print Lab Coordinator, printed the final six designs onto tote bags, which became the ones that are now available for purchase.

“Normally, the students would print their own products, but due to COVID-19, we adjusted the project,” Moretti said.

All the proceeds from the tote bag sales will go to Madison College’s Center for Printing Arts.

“The proceeds made from the sales go back to buying all the necessary supplies and materials for the next semester classes to work on their projects for sale. This includes paper, inks and any bulk substrates to be printed on, such as blank tote bags, t-shirts and tea towels,” said Loveland.

This is not the first time this project has been done at Madison College. According to Moretti, the Graphic Design program has been running similar versions of it for the last eight years. And each year, about 22 to 30 students participate. Moretti also explained that before the pandemic, the items were sold at pop-up sales run by the Center for Printing Arts, rather than online.

The program plans to continue to hold this project for years to come.

“We do plan to continue to run this project every semester, since it gives students the opportunity to create a product start to finish,” Moretti said.

There are also opportunities available for any students interested in participating in a project like this one, regardless of what program they are in.

“The Introduction to Letterpress and Screen-Printing elective classes offered in the Printing Lab—where these projects are created—are open for any Madison College student to take, without prerequisites,” said Loveland.

You can support the Madison College Graphic Design program and Center for Printing Arts by purchasing a tote bag at madisoncollegebookstore.com. You can find them by clicking on “shop” and then “backpacks and bags.” Each bag is only $5.25, and you have the option to pick it up at a select Madison College location or have it shipped straight to your home.