Walton Graphics Student Receives National Recognition

“Old School” Graphics Leads Call to Action.

Mia Passarella wanted to prompt her community to move. The outcome supported so much more.

Walton High School sophomore Mia Passarella was recognized by the Association for Print Technologies (APTech) this fall with a first-place award in the Konica/Minolta’s National 12th Annual Student Design Competition. The theme for this year’s competition went “old school” as students were challenged to design a tangible direct mail piece, such as a postcard, brochure, envelope, or catalog, that highlighted a call-to-action. Although electronic communication presents a convenient platform to interact with others, 60% of Americans indicate they like receiving direct mail with nearly $1.4 billion spent annually on items advertised using this platform.

The competition fit well with APTech’s mission to enhance the evolution of printed products in an increasingly digital world. The organization provides a forum for students and professionals to creatively collaborate on the development of print products using education and market research. Mia’s graphics teacher, Dan Campagna, praised Mia’s creative eye for design in the award announcement and was extremely impressed with her success despite limited experience in the graphics design pathway. The 1stplace finish for the Race for Resilience entry followed a 2nd place finish last spring in a national campaign design for Play Pits, a deodorant company located in Marietta, that rebranded the company’s product for teenagers.

The APTech competition emphasizes more than just a design element, as entries must focus on a call-to-action as well. The focus of Mia’s design was particularly important as it highlighted the work of Enduring Hearts, a registered 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to funding innovative research aimed at improving the lives of pediatric heart transplant patients. In an interview with her graphics teacher, Mia said, “I chose Race of Resilience as my ‘call-to-action’ because it was a call to action for me. Being a competitive athlete, I couldn’t practice for many months because of COVID-19. The Coronavirus pandemic made the importance of our health extremely relevant, including our mental health, and I wanted to design something that would make people excited to become active.” As the average heart transplant lasts only seventeen years, Enduring Hearts uses the Race for Resilience to raise funds for research and awareness for pediatric transplant patients. As the initial transplant for a child with congenital heart defects is just the first step, Enduring Hearts funds overlook research needed to eliminate rejections, prevent life-threatening complications, and reduce the risk that a child will need a second transplant. Mia’s design made a significant difference as it carried the Enduring Hearts’ message beyond the digital world.

For more information on APTech, Click here.

For more information on Enduring Hearts, Click here.

Arthur O’Neill, Supervisor
Career • Technology • Agriculture Education

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