3 School of Design students gain valuable real-world experience working on George Brown College’s Impact Report

L-R, Tanya Khatcherian, Natalie Franke and Emma Keat

Three School of Design students gained real-world work experience crafting the look and feel of an important George Brown College report shared with our many community and industry partners. 

Graphic Design students Natalie Franke and Emma Keat, and Interaction Design student Tanya Khatcherian began working together in May 2021, to design the George Brown College 2020-21 Impact Report as part of a paid work study opportunity through the School of Design’s IN Store.  

“What I really loved about work study was that you didn't really feel like you already had to know everything going into it,” Natalie said. 

"We provided design solutions and worked with real clients. There was also a lot of recognition that this is a learning opportunity as well. We have built-in mentors with Jennifer Masters and Lori Endes who run the work study program with the IN Store. That was a wonderful experience because in the industry, obviously not everybody has time to be like, OK, this is your mentor and they're going to teach you the ropes." 

Natalie, Emma, and Tanya worked with the college’s communications and digital experience teams to ensure their design met George Brown’s brand guidelines and style and that it worked with the website’s content management system. 

“The student designers did an excellent job on the Impact Report. They really impressed us with their professionalism, their creativity and their problem-solving capabilities,” said Melinda Mattos, Senior Corporate Communications Specialist. 

Tanya’s work centred on user experience and ensuring visitors can find information easily. 

"My focus was on the navigation in the desktop and the mobile format and how to make it simple for users to find exactly what they're looking for in a short amount of time. So, we had to make design decisions based on that.” 

Emma said she feels ready to hit the ground running when she graduates, thanks to this experience. 

"Personally, I feel very prepared for finishing third year and going into the workforce,” she said. “Having worked on this project this summer and getting a lay of the land and seeing how things work, I feel prepared for what's coming next after I graduate, that's for sure.” 

Future plans 

When asked what they hope to be working on after graduation, all three students said developing new brands and working with exciting existing brands. 

“Ideally I'd love to work for a studio within Toronto,” Emma said. “Working with like-minded individuals who are creative and just want to put good things into the world.” 

“I'd like to be working in branding, developing new brands, or working for one of my favourite media companies,” Tanya said, “or social media people that I really enjoy as well. I'd like to be doing branding for them.” 

“I'm also interested in illustration, so I'd love to be able to combine those two things and insert a lot of playfulness into design," Natalie said. "That is something that really resonates with me, and I think it's very attention grabbing.”