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The Bartlett Center for the Visual Arts at Oklahoma State University.

National graphic design competition selects work of 12 OSU students

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Media Contact: Elizabeth Gosney | CAS Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-7497 |

Oklahoma State University graphic design students can apply for several national competitions, including one named Flux, hosted by the American Institute of Graphic Arts in Baltimore.

This semester, 12 OSU juniors and seniors had their work accepted, and a couple of them are traveling to Baltimore for the ceremony. Nick Mendoza, an assistant professor of graphic design, said it’s paramount for OSU students to be able to compete at a high level against prominent graphic design schools, including private ones. 

“They’re always consistently producing great work,” Mendoza said. “So, my advice is always to do the best work you can with the research that you’ve developed.”

Each student in Mendoza’s classes has different perspectives and experiences, which they bring into their work. One student may not need to do much research on their topic, while another may need to rely heavily on research. However, something that’s the same for everyone is including their own approach to the project.

“They all have their own unique voices, different perspectives and different upbringings,” Mendoza said. 

Several students in Mendoza’s class said they were initially unsure about their design skills, but being accepted into the competition convinced them they had something special to share with the world. 

Graphic design senior Emily Bandell said this experience validated her to continue to improve herself and her work. 

“It is humbling to have my work presented in such a prestigious competition,” Bandell said. “To have it noticed as something worth appreciating and valued is incredible and mind-boggling. I know the time and passion I put into the project, but to have others see it is something truly special.”

Mendoza also said this competition is an excellent opportunity for students to put on their resumes, and sometimes projects in his class can be applied to other competitions. Some students have stopped by his office to tell him their projects placed in a different competition. 

“It’s rewarding that they feel pride and ownership,” Mendoza said. “I feel a little involved in shaping some of their projects to get where they’re at.”

Another graphic design senior, Jamie Kimball, is one of the students headed to Baltimore as a finalist. She said she has gained confidence through this experience and feels empowered to delve deeper and take risks within her work. 

“I would encourage fellow designers to fully embrace the creative process and grant themselves patience and understanding as they navigate their learning journey,” Kimball said. “As a sophomore, I often found it frustrating that my initial concept didn't perfectly align with the end result due to my unfamiliarity with design software. 

“Overcoming this hurdle can feel daunting, but with persistence and practice, your designs gradually begin to reflect your envisioned outcomes more accurately. In short, trust the process and don't give up your passion for design.”

AIGA Baltimore Flux Student Design Competition - OSU Finalists 

  • Emily Bandell, American Currency redesign
  • Merrick Bayouth, Cartoon Network rebrand
  • Margaret Price, Early Bird Coffee rebrand
  • Lydia Bart, Wild Waves rebrand
  • Jamie Kimball, ABC'S OF FEMALE INVENTORS website
  • Liberty Peatling, French Impressionism poster
  • Laurel Wilbanks, British New Wave poster and program
  • Jacqueline Luevano, Free Cinema poster and program
  • Carys Jones, Japanese New Wave poster and program
  • Karlie Boothe, Movie Brats poster and program
  • Nikolas Marzullo, French New Wave poster
  • Karlie Boothe, THE WALKMAN TPS-L2 website

Story By: Mak Vandruff |

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