Friday, October 29, 2010

Dordt Alumni in Design: Janna Rohde (Hofmeyer)

From posters (above) to selected examples of various print work by Janna Rohde. These pieces indicate, nicely, the diversity of her portfolio.

I graduated from Dordt in 1996 (hard to believe it has been that long!) as an Art major with an emphasis in Graphic Design. In college, I began as an intern at Demco Printing in Boyden, Iowa, and I am still here 14 years later. In those 14 years the graphics field has changed considerably. It is hard to imagine Adobe Photoshop started without layers, we didn’t have the internet, and we worked on computers that were so incredibly slow.

The best part about my job is the variety of work I get to do. We have five of us that work in Pre-press, each contributing a different specialty. Mine is doing most of the design-work. Our print shop is very diverse and therefore brings in many different kinds of jobs. I get to work on anything from 800 page catalogs to wedding announcements. The fast-paced work environment makes everyday a challenge and interesting.

Some of the jobs I receive are basically ready-to-go. For these jobs the important part is making sure it is set up correctly for the press and for bindery. Everyone works together to make the jobs run smoothly. I am fortunate to work in a print shop that keeps up on the latest technology. We are continually being trained on upgrades in equipment. It is fun to look back and see how the technology has changed in many ways such as from film to direct-to-plate.

Other jobs need designing from start to finish. I have designed several posters for high school teams, many brochures for businesses, business cards, posters, postcards, catalogs, many covers, product labels, calendars, invitations — a large variety.

Some days I travel with our salesman to customers if they need consulting on jobs or are ready to start a larger project. Last year I spoke at a conference, in Sioux Falls, for the design and marketing departments of several area colleges about “sending jobs to pre-press”.

Graphic design is a very rewarding career. Customers really appreciate your work and it is personally satisfying when they are happy with their end product. Each day there is striving to do better than the last piece you designed.

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