Designathon Returns to Kutztown University April 1

Students working on computers.

Photo from Designathon 2017.

KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Designathon is a can't-miss event for Kutztown University communication design students. Designathon is a great creative outlet and resume builder that gives students a platform to showcase their hard work, while also benefiting various nonprofit organizations. From logos, brand identity, posters, websites, advertisements, murals to motion graphics, KU communication design students are given the perfect hands-on experience and are able to put their skills to the test.

Designathon returns after a two-year hiatus Friday, April 1, Sharadin Arts Building. The all-day session runs 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. University professors Vicki Meloney and Summer Doll-Myers, as well as administrative assistant Kathy Traylor all play key roles in carefully constructing this operation so everything can run smoothly.

The morning starts off with the students being divided into teams. At 9 a.m., teams meet with their client to assess the needs of their company and get information to help them in their designing process. From there, the 12-hour day of hard work begins.

Designathon is an impactful experience that Kutztown University communication design alumni will often stop by to mentor students and contribute their experience from the perspective of someone actively working in the field. Not only is this a great networking and learning experience for everyone involved, but it creates a strong sense of comradery.

After hours of strategic work, designing and of course, many homemade meals, students meet with their clients to display the finished product. Meloney, Doll-Meyers and Traylor all attest to the significant impactful made to these organizations.

The biggest takeaway from the project is the emphasis on the importance of pro-bono work.

"It's about giving back to the community," Meloney said. "I believe everyone should do their part with the talents they are given. Whether a designer or not, everyone has the ability to help out in their community."

This is also a great opportunity for alumni who have taken part in this project to come back and contribute their time and experience. Designathon has been so impactful for students that they choose to come back, even post-graduation, to mentor students that are still trying to learn and gain experience.

Organizations that are commonly involved in Designathon include the Reading Public Library, Reading Choral Society, Amos Lemon Burkhart Foundation, Kindness Project, Council on Chemical Abuse, Adaptations, Jewish Family Services of Lehigh Valley, Pine Grove Historical Society and many more.

Designathon has not been held since before the COVID-19 pandemic, so faculty, staff, students and clients look forward to revisiting this event. This will be especially beneficial for communication design students, who have been unable to build up their resume due to the pandemic. With more than 15 nonprofit organizations to contribute to, Designathon is sure to be a great turnout in 2022.