Graphics Garage gears up for its return

After a three-year sabbatical, the Graphics Garage is back. This time it’s in Orange County, California at The Orange County Register, Saturday, August 3.

To bring some of you up to date on what this workshop is all about, the Graphics Garage Workshop is not your typical SND Quick Course that caters to the usual SND crowd with a one or two-day workshop. This workshop is designed with the local community in mind. It’s not about showing others what we do at the newspaper. It’s about the skills we use to do what we do in visual communication and teaching the participants how to apply those skills in their fields.

The topics are diverse … graphic software, illustration, ad design, print design, web design, visual story telling. We’ve covered television graphics, marketing and even still-life drawing in past workshops.

What’s really great about this workshop model is that it serves as an outreach to the community for the newspaper that chooses to host. We use our own employees to conduct the sessions. They pick the topic and chose to do a lecture or a hands-on workshop, or both. Once our workshop staff in place, we write up a curriculum with bios and topics and promote the workshop on the social networks and with house ads in the paper. For admission, we charge less than what you may pay for a tank of gas for a whole day of workshops. Now who could pass that up?

Our first workshops at The Denver Post in 2009 were very successful. We had over 100 participants. It was great to meet our community, and subscribers face-to-face in our own building, where we hosted the workshop. I would encourage more newspapers to host one of these workshops through SND.

Garage manNow, about that logo. Why the dude?

The concept I had in mind in the beginning was to promote a hard-core workshop environment. The brand I had in mind was to “get your hands dirty and learn some cool stuff” with accomplished experts. So I searched the internet for greasy, blue-collar, working-class imagery. The minute I saw this image, I knew this was it. Then the name “Graphics Garage” naturally came to mind.

More on the Graphics Garage, including a schedule and registration details.

(Jeff Goertzen is a senior artist at the Orange County Register and Director of Education and Training for the Society for News Design.)