Wichita State News

Younkin takes her graphic design talent to Hallmark Cards

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Lauren Younkin
Lauren Younkin
The next time you choose a Hallmark card for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas or Valentine’s, it’s just possible that it was designed by Wichita State University graduate Lauren Younkin.

In her early education at Colby High School, located in northwest Kansas, Younkin designed a handful of printed pieces for various projects. Her family, recognizing her talent, encouraged her to pursue graphic design as her career path.

The preliminary returns on her career show they were right.

After studying at Wichita State, which included an internship at Gardner Design in Wichita, Younkin is now a talented young graphic designer with Hallmark Cards in Kansas City.

Younkin developed her creativity through several art classes at WSU before graduating in May 2010 with a degree in graphic design.

WSU associate professor Jim Hellman stands out as being especially helpful in preparing her for a career.

“I felt like I got a lot out of his courses,” said Younkin. “The great thing about graphic design is that it’s what you make of it.”

Hellman, who teaches in WSU’s School of Art and Design, encouraged Younkin to take an internship with Gardner Design. She attributes much of her early professional success to that experience.

“Had I not gone to Wichita State, I would not have received the internship program at Gardner Design,” said Younkin. “Gardner Design really pushed me and furthered my education, and I got more out of my courses there.”

Bill Gardner, president of Gardner Design, said Younkin brought a broad set of skills to the position.

“She was very organized and her communication skills were quite resourceful,” said Gardner. “She was a very adaptable individual.”

At Hallmark, Younkin helps design greeting cards from start to finish.

“Here at Hallmark, it’s a unique experience,” said Younkin. “It’s such a great place to work. I have so many great resources and great people to interact and learn from each day.

“The collaboration and just the resources alone here are incredible. They have an amazing library packed full of inspiring design books, and I’m encouraged to research all I want. I have the opportunity to really soak it all up, which is great,” said Younkin.

While not all artists may choose to attend college, Younkin said, “I think to round yourself out and be more successful in the job market, it’s really important that you have a college education.”

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Created on Tuesday, June 05, 2012; Last modified on Friday, June 29, 2012