The Student News Site of Canyon Hills High School

Canyon Hills Chronicle

The Student News Site of Canyon Hills High School

Canyon Hills Chronicle

The Student News Site of Canyon Hills High School

Canyon Hills Chronicle

Graphic Design Work Underappreciated, Teacher Makes Posters to Raise Interest

 Over the years, CHHS Graphic Design teacher Michael Pedersen has been teaching his students, and has also been designing many things for the school.

Using vivid style, these posters frame some of the projects students would be able to do in the Photo & Design Pathway. Many people may stop and take a look at these posters, like the Senior Jasmine Tran, pictured above. (Sam Harris)

  These designs Pedersen has made can be seen all around campus, from the basketball court ‘CANYON HILLS RATTLERS’ lettering on the floor, to the college class stickers on the back of student IDs. Even the covers for the student planners that everyone receives at the start of every year, though not many people are aware that Pedersen made them.

  In an interview, Pedersen stated, “The work that comes out of this classroom, whether it’s done by me, whether it’s done by students […] We do a lot of stuff, and a lot of people don’t know that we are the ones responsible for a tremendous amount of things on this campus,”.

  And it’s true, work that is done in Graphic Design and then used around the school grounds isn’t directly credited or announced. Take for example, the janitor’s golf carts, which before were blank, and now they have red and black stickers to represent school colors. Not to mention they have a logo to match, adding a fun element to something that before was plain.

  New and returning students have been choosing their classes for next year. The timing coincides with the posters Pedersen has made and placed around campus, in the hopes that more students will be interested in the course. 

  “..So by putting the posters together, my goal was to showcase, ‘hey, look at all the stuff that actually comes out of this class’. For two reasons, one I think the students in the class deserve some credit, two I think it’s a great way to also go ‘Oh! I didn’t know they did that! I wanna make this, or can [Graphic Design] do this?’,” Pedersen explained.

  There are designs that both students alongside Pedersen have made within the Graphic Design Club for things outside of the school. Including logo redesigns for companies, school sports banners, and the hallway stickers that cover the old, out and date designs.

  As a student makes their way further into Graphic design, by the time they reach Graphic Design 5-6, they will be doing more design work for the school rather than working on paced out, assignment work for the class. Which means that they get to be more involved in helping around campus.

  “5-6 is almost like an internship on campus, so the students that are in the class really get an opportunity to do work for other clubs, […] areas of the school, also local community like my students worked on a logo design for Tierrasanta retirement community, that they actually use now on all their social media accounts,” Pedersen described.

  So rather than following a semi-planned course throughout the year, these students get to experience what working as a Graphic Designer would be like, to an extent. Some 3-4 students have claimed to regret not joining Graphic Design sooner.

  “And when there’s no jobs that we need to do, then they’re building stuff for themselves, they’re expanding on their skills, they’re learning more […] it’s like, ‘do stuff, learn, how can I help out and support?’ […] But by the third year, they’re still learning, but they’ve got enough skill sets built up that I can be like ‘here’s a client, let’s go get some stuff done’,” Pedersen elaborated.

  There is more freedom the further students go in Graphic Design, making it a really enjoyable class. Plus all of the Adobe programs available are free to use with a student account, from the well known Adobe Photoshop to Adobe Acrobat.

  Not to mention the double monitors for every student, which is certainly helpful for all the beginning students to have programs open alongside tutorials. Check out this video from the official CHHS photo and design account (run by Mr Pedersen!) from Instagram for a look at the classroom.

  This account holds a lot of work done in Graphic Design and Photography as well, so if you’re interested in the course check out some of the project posts!

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About the Contributor
Sam Harris, Staff Writer
Freshman janky trombone player turned Junior digital artist and writer, Sam Harris is a man of many talents. Obsessed with many things such as Pokemon, Minecraft, and Clowns! Though not shown, he enjoys many genres of music ranging from the hardest of rock to the silliest songs in ERB. As much as his music tastes are different, so are his drawings, never drawing one and the same thing (unless stuck redrawing a single line.)  He is this year's one and only cartoonist as well as one of the two people covering Visual and Performing Arts here at Canyon Hills.
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