Alexis at EXPRESS

Alexis Garver, a Graphic and Media Arts Academy student, explored the fast-paced world of retail marketing after job shadowing the Marketing Creative Director for EXPRESS, Laura Hardesty, in January.

Garver spent two days with Hardesty, and sat in on creative meetings for the upcoming EXPRESS Spring Collection launch, met one-on-one with graphic designers, and watched as a marketing plan was executed.

“It was cool to see the behind the scenes of how everything is put together from emails, signs, the decorations inside the store, and the advertising mailers,” said Garver. “It takes a lot to get everything perfect. It was nice to be a part of that and get a difference perspective on how marketing is done for a brand.”

Garver also spent time with a team of designers during her experience. “In one of the meetings, they were talking about a birthday ad mailing. They discussed how many times to use the word ‘birthday’ in the mailing. Too many and it’s repetitive but not enough and the piece feels incomplete.” Garver said it was an example of how detail-oriented and specific the designers are when thinking through a marketing piece. “The following week when I was there, they had a finished product to show me. It was cool to see it go from concept to an actual piece.”

Ohio Hi-Point’s Graphic and Media Arts Academy focuses on developing students’ skills in graphic design, digital photography, illustration, video production, audio production, and motion graphics – while learning how to design in multiple media including print, Web, interactive and social media.

The experience Garver has gained through the Graphic and Media Arts program was impressive to those she met at EXPRESS. “The designers were using software that I’m currently using in lab. They were surprised and excited when I could understand the programs and the marking language. They told me I was ahead of the game compared to other students.”

After spending two days at EXPRESS, Garver said the experience was eye-opening. “I had a great time; the people were super nice. I appreciate everything behind the brand marketing even more after my experience. It’s an amazing opportunity for someone my age to network with the creative director at EXPRESS and her team.”

Garver plans to attend Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) to major in Advertising and Graphic Design and was awarded a $64,000 scholarship from CCAD.