‘V’: A decade of artistic innovation

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FOR THE past 92 years, artists of the Varsitarian have continuously produced innovative, timeless and relevant graphic designs that caters to the Thomasian student body as well as the community at large. 

Going by its improvements and innovations in graphic arts in the second decade of the third millennium, it could be said that the Varsitarian had been adjusting well and coping with the design challenges that come with the difficult transition from a purely print medium to a multi-platform news agency. 

In 2014 and 2017, the Varsitarian won an “Award of Merit” at The Philippine Quill Awards, the country’s most prestigious awards program in the field of business communication, for its infographics in the Varsitarian Sports section, setting the stage on how audiences can be interactive with infographics by sharing, reacting or commenting on such online content during sports events on their social media. 

The Varsitarian also won in the quill awards in 2015 for its infographics covering the Papal visit of Pope Francis that same year. It received the same recognition for its interactive website with its coverage of the Atio Castillo hazing case in 2018. 

The awards reaffirmed the talent and dedication of V artists who worked tirelessly in order to maximize their potential in developing graphic designs that are both visually appealing and at the same time relevant to its audience. 

What could be gleaned from the infographics and other design innovations is that they have been built over the years by previous batches of artists and illustrators of the Varsitarian. 

They have served us, incumbent artists and designers of the newspaper, in developing and innovating further the paper’s look and other design demands. 

The diverse background of the artists in terms of their collegiate program also served as an asset for the art section. 

It is good that Varsitarian artists come from different programs, not just fine arts. Those coming from the College of Architecture can use their skill in 3D rendering to improve the paper’s infographics. Meanwhile, some of the comic strips are done by A.B. Literature students who employ their narrative skills to devise compelling humorous incidents. 

The art director of Varsitarian staff of SY 2018-2019 was an Electronics Engineering student, but he demonstrated extensive knowledge of design; he could do painting, vector art and editorial cartooning. He taught me how to be adaptable and versatile as a newspaper artist. 

In graphic design flexibility is crucial. Though it is true that an artist should have mastery over his or her personal style, being able to understand the needs of the audience and adjusting to their taste are essential in design and graphics. 

The ‘V’ Art section is an environment where artists who long to find their artistic identity can grow. 

In such a workplace, student-artists and campus editors can have a productive exchange on design styles and preferences and how these could be used to enhance appreciation of editorial content. 

As art director of this publication, I try to lead my section into the new decade with high hopes of meeting the standards set before us and advancing and excelling in meeting the challenges of campus newspaper design. 

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