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University of Central Missouri
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Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
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UCM Graphic Technologies Students Claim Awards in Competition

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (May 11, 2017) – A team of six University of Central Missouri graphic technologies students recently returned from the 10th annual Phoenix Challenge Competition with three first place awards. This is the ninth year UCM has participated in the competition, which was part of the Flexographic Technical Association Conference April 29 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Graphics Phoenix challenge

UCM graphic technology students participating in the Phoenix Challenge were, left to right, Maddie Best, Jesse Adams, Tesa Pearman, Gracie Hillman, Josh Sigmon and Elyssa Kimberlin, with sponsor Mark Rankin.

Participating in the competition with students from top university graphics program from the United State and Canada were second-year veterans Josh Sigmon of Lincolnton, N.C., and Jesse Adams of Liberty. First year participants were Elyssa Kimberlin of Lee’s Summit, Gracie Hillman of Jefferson City, Madeline Best of Calhoun, and Tesa Pearman of Keytesville. Samantha Ybarra of St. Louis and David Hough of Lee’s Summit also helped with the development process but were unable to attend the conference. Mark Rankinis the faculty adviser for the team.

The Phoenix Challenge Competition requires students to undertake a research, design, and graphics production project to solve an industry-relevant packaging problem over a period of two semesters. This year’s team provided branding, packaging and/or labeling solutions for a regional small business, working withBrandon Fahrmeier, owner of Arcadian Moon Winery, Brewery, and Kitchen in Higginsville, Mo.

The team met with Fahrmeier several times, did extensive market research and used their research and their client’s feedback to guide their re-branding and label design efforts. The team rebranded two lines of wines and developed new branding solutions for soon-to-be released brands of beer.Once designs were approved, the team adapted them for the flexographic print process and printed their labels in the UCM graphic technologies flexographic printing lab.

At the competition, the team made a 30-minute presentation to a panel of industry judges and conference attendees. The teams were judged in the categories of concept, research, design, and print excellence. The UCM team won first place awardsin the research, design, and printing excellence. In the nine years that UCM has competed, graphic technologies student teams have won 12 first place awards, more than any other graphic communications program in the U.S. or Canada.

Assisting the UCM team were industry partners from Pack Leader, Grandview, Mo.; Fujifilm KC; Prime Package and Label; Avery Dennison; Flexcon; UPM Raflatac; and Bennett Packaging.