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Graphic Design student sees designs come to life during York Wallcoverings internship

A graphic design student posing in front of a colorful, abstract piece of artwork

Genevieve Ryder ’21 sees graphic design as the professional application of her art. Whether it’s designing a face mask or something more extravagant, she’s gaining experience that will follow her into a fruitful career.

Genevieve Ryder ’21 has always been surrounded by art. Her mother had degrees in art history and interior design. Her dad enjoyed drawing. Even her younger siblings tinkered in their own mediums. For Ryder, when she received a hand lettered, personalized postcard from the Graphic Design program at York College of Pennsylvania, thanking her for her application, she knew she’d found the right fit.

While she enjoys illustrations and has always painted, she finds her eye drawn to publication design and layout, graphic T-shirts, movie posters, and magazines. “There are so many applications of art all around us,” she says. “When you realize it takes someone with a special skill to create those things, it opens up a range of possibilities.”

Beyond graphic design

Ryder has enjoyed working with companies to help them update their websites, design pamphlets, and implement new branding. In her internship at York Wallcoverings, she’s seen how creativity and design are not only needed in beautiful wallpaper that will some day be in someone’s home, but even in how it’s advertised or represented to people.

“People think graphic design would come down to creating the wallpaper, and then you’re done,” she says. “But, graphic design is used in a lot of business aspects.”

The graphic team at York Wallcoverings works mostly with the sales department. With that team, she’s helped create website advertisements and recently completed a catalog design. Ryder also designed a face mask for the York Wallcoverings team, complete with company branding.

Because of COVID-19, she’s only had a chance to meet her colleagues at York Wallcoverings once. Everything else is done virtually.

“It’s actually allowed me to work whenever it’s most convenient,” Ryder says. “I don’t have to worry about a driving schedule or rushing from class. And York Wallcoverings is great about giving me quick feedback on projects.”

‘A strong network’

Ryder credits her York College professors for helping her make valuable connections that led to professional opportunities. They have often recommended her for internships, helping her to get interviews and stretch her creative abilities.

“I’m really grateful for all that York College has provided me,” she says. “I’ve learned a lot about having a strong network and how that helps someone succeed.”

As she gears up for graduation, Ryder knows her portfolio and references will help her land a job that helps her continue using art in a professional product. “It’s a dream to be creative and use that to make a living,” she says. “I’m excited to see what else I can create.”