The Design Factory at the CSUN University Student Union won eight awards at the annual Association of College Unions International Conference in New Orleans.
The Design Factory is a student-run marketing department for the USU. They are responsible for providing promotional services for campus programs and events such as Matador Nights and Up All Night.
As part of a union, the Design Factory belongs to ACUI along with other student unions across the country, said Graphic Designer James Matzen, a 2005 CSUN art graduate.
These annual meetings are an opportunity for the different college student unions to come together and exchange ideas. The ACUI is a collaboration effort with different schools, Matzen said.
Students also take part in a design contest entitled “Steal This Idea,” where student work is submitted into different categories such as posters, flyers, brochures, logos and calendars.
The members get together as a team and review promotional pieces from the past school year and choose the best ones. The highest honor in the competition is Best In Show.
Tiffany Olay, who graduated last spring, won the honor of Best In Show for her Matafest 2007 flyer, which featured the design of a mixed tape. Olay was a part of the Design Factory for only six months, but she said it was a great opportunity.
“The Design Factory is important because there’s more to school than just going to school,” Olay said.
Mauricio Urquilla, a senior graphic design major, won an award for his Matador Nights flyer, which featured a circus tent that opened three ways, said students gain hands-on experience.
“The Design Factory doesn’t limit your creativity. It’s a great platform to get started and a place to grow,” Urquilla said.
Matzen said the ACUI design contest is about recognizing and showcasing student art, not getting trophies.
The ACUI hosts their conferences in a different city every year. This year CSUN competed with local schools such as USC, Cal State Long Beach, and Cal State Los Angeles.
The Design Factory is not just for graphic design majors, but students are encouraged to have some experience in designing.