Design Jam: GDC VI & Bridges for Women Society

Experienced graphic designers mentored Pacific Design Academy students, as they worked cooperatively to design business cards for women who have been impacted by trauma.

The Bridges for Women Society helps women who have been impacted by trauma to return to work or to school, or to start their own businesses.

In Victoria, March 2017, a generous group of experienced graphic designers mentored graphic design students from Pacific Design Academy, as they worked cooperatively with Bridges for Women Entrepreneurship program graduates on the design of business cards.

The 4-hour design jam brought together seven teams (each team comprising an experienced graphic designer, a graphic design student, and a Bridges graduate). The design jam resulted in simple, finished business cards for each Bridges graduate, to help them start their own business. 

In most cases, this is the first marketing initiative for these women and it signifies the reality of their business aspirations. This small gesture provides a huge level of confidence for participants of the program as they step into the local business community.

Longtime GDC sponsor Digital Direct Printing professionally printed the cards and provided the students a behind-the-scenes tour of their print facility the following week. 

Carol Hyland CGD spearheaded the event as a way to support the courageous women of the Bridges Entrepreneurship program. Carol was joined by six additional design professionals who each volunteered their time: Patrice Snopkowski CGD, Simon Troop CGD, Tiana Kalaj, Paul Maher, Brooke Semple, and Jennifer Forbes.

The seven Pacific Design Academy students learned first-hand from their design mentors about the importance of a well-defined creative brief, how to work collaboratively with a client, how to stay focused on the task at hand given a very tight deadline. The result provided each student with an original printed product that they can proudly include in their portfolio. 

The event was a huge success and the room was filled with many new friendships, as well as an overwhelming sense of gratitude.