Allison Wordes–Staff Writer
She defines herself as the “modern graphic designer.”
“She has a free spirit,” art professor David Versluis said as he introduced Jordyn Visscher at her senior art show.
The small gallery held more than its usual capacity last Tuesday evening. A variety of people made up the crowd, from young kids to Core 160 students to Visscher’s track friends.
Students on their way to night classes all turned their heads when they passed the gallery. Some individuals, including President Hoekstra, stopped in to get a closer look and wander around before continuing with their evening. The plush armchairs arranged inside encouraged viewers to sit and enjoy the arrangement.
“Design is in everything and everywhere,” Visscher said in her gallery speech.
She works hard to create diversity in her projects. Besides graphic design, she has done oil painting, watercolor and photography.
Originally from Ontario, Canada, Visscher knew she wanted to pursue fine arts at a Christian college. Though athletics initially drew her to Dordt, when Visscher arrived on campus she wanted to learn something new and thus began taking design courses.
“I ate it all up my first year,” Visscher said.
After taking Graphic Design I, she went on to take Graphic Design II and III. A semester in Chicago also challenged her and allowed her to be collaborative in working with clients.
“I’m not the 100 percent, most organized person out there,” Visscher said about starting a business.
Visscher is also earning a marketing minor, and she will graduate this May.
She thinks creative people can still have the skills to go independent. But getting the experience necessary takes time.
As a graphic design student, she presented portfolios to employers, who told her that her work looked too much like classwork. The classes, she said, really are for learning the skills, but she found it’s about taking the extra step and putting her own style on it.
“All your best work is done outside of class,” Visscher said.
It became more than just getting a good grade, but about getting approval. She loves how small the class sizes are at Dordt.
“You’re not just a number; you’re noticed,” Visscher said.
The small class sizes allow better communication with others in her class.
The first logo Visscher created went up on Facebook in January 2017. Her interaction with logos began when she started making cards instead of buying them. She mentioned how handmade cards are appreciated so much more.
“I find joy when people notice the small details,” Visscher said.
She also produced the Goheen Gallop design for the past few years by request of her track coach. The first of her designs was a hand-lettered drawing that she scanned into an editing program.
Visscher said it is “super-rewarding to have people wear your design.”
Graphic designers don’t always get their signature shown on their work, and Visscher mentioned how customers don’t always want the artist’s logo on the work. She stressed how graphic designers are behind-the-scenes people.
The photography in the gallery featured junior Britta Provart as Visscher’s subject with natural, genuine poses. Provart and Visscher ran cross country together and they share a love for photography. Visscher wanted her to be in front of the camera for once. Provart said it makes her feel uncomfortable.
“She does a lot more than people realize,” Provart said.
Usually, if someone can’t find Visscher, she is in the art studio working on a project. Sometimes she works four to five hours at a time.
The quality of her work has progressed over the years, Provart said. Especially with the way she has trained her eye for cropping and creating intentional spaces. Provart can tell she’s grown more confident in her work.
Provart would love to see Visscher start her own business, with her handmade cards and taking requests. She expects Visscher will start her career closer to a big city, where the smell isn’t so strong.
“You don’t really understand it until you have to do it yourself,” Visscher said about design. “If it looks easy, it’s done well.”