what we are all about..

The first KUCD designation was held in 2005. We were hoping to attract 10 to 15 students and at least 5 non profit clients. We were excited when 49 students and 10 non-profit clients showed up! Since that time, the annual KUCD designathon has grown into a design extravaganza. In 2015 for our 10th anniversary we hosted 124 students, 15 faculty and alumni faculty art directors and 35 non-profit clients. This event alone totaled over 3,000 donated hours which translated to more than $170,000 of donated design work.

What Non-profit clients can expect
Once an organization fills out the online call for entries and has been selected to participate in the event, they will be notified of a meeting place on the Kutztown University campus. The catered opening reception is a great time for clients to mingle with students and faculty.

After a brief presentation, the client will meet with their teams of student volunteers and present their design needs. The students will have the opportunity to ask questions and gather information from this initial meeting. This is essential to the design process and helps our students gain real world experience working directly with clients.

Once the information has been collected, the clients can go home and get a good night’s sleep, the students however, get to work. They draw on their classroom experience and work through the design process — concepting, brainstorming, sketching, creating artwork, and designing through the night.

This is where our student really shine!

The following day, the clients are asked to return to the event where the students will present the final creative work. The most amazing part of the event is the work. It is professional, polished and high quality. The client often gets more then they asked for and are almost always overjoyed with the results.

The client will receive all design work created at the event supplied on a disc or a flash drive. Although we do not provide printing services, we will prepare and collect any print work so that it is ready to hand over to a professional printer.

What the students can expect
Food, Fun, Bonding and Prizes! That just about sums it up! As a bonus for students donating their time and talents, they will be rewarded in many ways.

The Food
Everyone knows that the way to a college student’s heart is through food. Students are fed well and fed often throughout the night. From the catered opening reception to the midnight pizza party to the hot breakfast of bacon and eggs — it is the promise of abundant hot food that attracts the student volunteers.

The Fun
Creativity takes energy and what better way to stay energized than a early morning dance party or surprise egg hunt. The student chapter of AIGA works really hard to get the students up and moving throughout the event.

The Bonding
Ever wonder if professors get giddy after no sleep? At the KUCD Designation, faculty, staff and alumni volunteer join in the fun with the students. Faculty and students begin to see each other as peers. Graphic designers working together to help the community. Lack of sleep is the great equalizer when it comes to collaborative bonding.

The Prizes
This is a great way for our alumni to stay involved. Prizes are donated and raffled off to students at various points throughout the night. Design books, posters, gift cards, even a Disney vacation have been donated and keep the students motivated. If you are interested in donating prizes, please contact Professor Vicki Meloney at


One Last Reward...

There is one last reward we forgot to mention, that is the satisfaction our students get from helping members of their community. By pairing the act of design for the greater good with the memories of comforting food, fun with college friends and time with passionate faculty, we are producing young graphic designers that enter the world with an excitement to use their talents for helping those around them.