A “Real World” Experience: Marketing and Graphics Applications Classes Team Up

Linda Potter and Ken Kreykes
Before the school year began, Chicago Christian Business and Technology teachers Mr. Ken Kreykes and Mrs. Linda Potter began brainstorming an idea to give their students a “real world” experience. Developing a marketing plan for a simulated business is part of the Marketing class curriculum, and the idea of having graphic designers help with the logos, business cards, and other designs was something the teachers believed could really help give the project a real-life experience for all.
Both classes prepared for the project by studying branding and the use of colors in regard to best business practice. Teams of three marketing students were created and then paired with one graphic designer. The marketing students were required to meet with their graphic designers three times throughout the project to collaborate on the various designs the students needed for their marketing plans. Throughout the project, students learned how to cooperate in teams and come to a workable solution when there was disagreement.
At the conclusion of the project, students in both classes were asked to give their reactions to having participated in this real-life experience. One Graphics Applications student said, “It was a new experience to create someone else’s design and it got me out of my comfort zone.” Another graphics apps student commented, “I enjoyed being able to bring to life my team’s design just from their little sketch”. Other students said they felt creative and might even think of going into graphic design as a career. While students from the marketing classes enjoyed having the graphics apps students “work for them”, they learned the importance of choosing appropriate color combinations and the impressions potentially given to customers based on their marketing designs.   They also learned the importance of having a good working relationship with their graphic designers and the need for the designers to understand their businesses and the goals of their marketing plans. One marketing student stated, “I was amazed at the high quality of our logo and mascot”! Another shared that, “I really liked the real-life experience. Especially because the designers acted like professionals and they tried to create professional-looking things for us.”
From everyone’s vantage point, the project was a success and the Business/Technology teachers hope to continue this collaboration project in the future!