By Julius Brown
Sacred Heart University’s Art & Design Department welcomed ESPN Graphic Designer David Ibarra and Art Director Bob Bates for their 25th Art & Design Expo in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, April 6.
The pair of designers informed Sacred Heart students about the professional world of graphic design and how art and media come together in harmony. Being a Sacred Heart alum, Ibarra was eager to share his knowledge.
“This whole experience is very gratifying, I never really had this type of resource attending SHU. It’s nice to come back to my alma mater and communicate what I do,” said Ibarra.
Students listened about what goes into creating graphics for a big name corporation such as ESPN.
Both Ibarra and Bates spoke about their good and challenging experiences in making graphics for programs such as the Little League World Series, the 2016 Rio Olympics, and Mike & Mike in the Morning.
“We are not graphic designers, we are problem solvers,” said Ibarra.
The two guests went into detail about the importance of graphics and set decoration when it comes to show branding and creating a visual identity that people can recognize.
“The speakers really showed us all the different ways that art, media and business can cross paths,” said sophomore Stephanie Doheny. “It really revealed how much work goes into creating a memorable visual for the viewer.”
Ibarra and Bates emphasized how collaborative being a graphic designer is. They pointed at the many different departments that work together such as promotional design, sound and music, and production design.
“We are worried about: how do all of these aspects come together? How are we memorable?” said Bates.
Students also learned that many of these memorable graphics were created through softwares such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, Cinema 4D and After Effects. Ibarra and Bates spoke of ESPN’s complex Vizrt graphics software, which updates statistics and graphics in real time.
“It was encouraging hearing that some of the graphics were made through softwares we use here, but the degree that they were using them is a little more advanced,” said sophomore Danny Elia.
The speakers showed how different realms of art make their way into the professional world of media. Students observed how a hand-drawn storyboard for a Special Olympics promotional video acted as the guideline for the final product.
Interior design was emphasized by both of the speakers as each studio is decorated to give off a certain tone.
Ibarra and Bates also gave students insight on the timeline and quick turnarounds for certain projects assigned to them.
“Usually for small scale graphics, we get around four to five days to finish the whole thing,” said Bates. “It isn’t always a guarantee because clients can sometimes change their mind about something the last second.”
Ibarra and Bates give artistic, “media savvy” students a glimpse into the demands of a professional artistic environment.
“Do not be afraid to network and always think outside the box when you are designing,” said Ibarra.