AIGA-CPP hosts 24-hour Design-A-Thon with It Gets Better

By Allison Larrimore, Feb. 13, 2024

The Cal Poly Pomona chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts hosted its fifth annual 24-hour Design-A-Thon from Jan. 19 to Jan. 20, partnering with It Gets Better, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a community and educational resources for LGBTQ+ youth.

The “Design for Good Marathon” spanned a full 24 hours, during which AIGA-CPP members and recruited artists outside of the club created various assets for the organization like merchandise designs, social media graphics and even a mockup booth design for in-person events. The designers based their work on the organization’s existing branding, such as the pink, purple, blue, and yellow hues from its official logo, as well as including original ideas as seen in many of the merchandise designs.

The booth mockup design uses visual elements from other designs to be cohesive with the nonprofit’s message and branding. Design by Tyrell Malonzo, Lauren Ussery, Gary Palacios, Elizabeth Cabrera, Lauren Wong, Matthew Reyes, and Nicholas Tong. | Courtesy of Tyrell Malonzo

Art department Chair Anthony Acock first brought the Design-A-Thon to CPP in 2018 after seeing similar events from other AIGA and student chapters across the country.

“I just want to see it keep going and keep growing,” said Acock, who serves as the club adviser. “It’s one of the better events that we do each year. It definitely gets the most response from the industry and from the LA chapter of AIGA.”

 It Gets Better was selected as this year’s partner by both AIGA-CPP board members and student members, a decision about which Taz Alamillo, event coordinator and visual communication design student, expressed enthusiasm.

“This year, we did (designs) for It Gets Better, which I was so excited to do because it’s a queer organization, so it’s a really wonderful opportunity to be part of that,” said Alamillo.

This Instagram infographic template utilizes the square post format to balance information with graphics, holding viewers’ attention. Design by Jennifer Avila, Jade Campos, Berenice Ramos, Jannett Tobon, and Callie Lam. | Photo courtesy of Tyrell Malonzo

AIGA-CPP is just one chapter in a nationwide, professional organization for media and graphic designers. The CPP branch is affiliated with both AIGA Los Angeles and AIGA National, allowing students majoring in visual communication design to get hands-on experience, education and resources to assist them in establishing a successful career for themselves.

“Our main goal is connections, networking to build community between the design majors at Cal Poly Pomona and to also network with past alumni or other people in the design world,” said Alamillo.

This merchandise design by Taz Alamillo and Paulina Vitarella uses bright colors and modern slang to resonate with queer youth. | Courtesy of Tyrell Malonzo

Jennifer Avila, AIGA-CPP president and visual communication design student, also values communication between students and each other, in addition to professionals who have experience in the industry. She takes pride in her position and the ability to give amateur designers the opportunity to collaborate and network with others.

Avila, who has participated in the past three Design-A-Thons, was pleased with how the participating artists benefited from the feedback and critique they received for their work.

“We were able to meet with people who actually worked in the field, and then hearing their feedback even changed our perspective on how we design,” said Avila. “I think that’s something we’re super proud of.”

After five years of hosting the “Design for Good Marathon,” Acock is consistently impressed by the club’s success not just in the event, but in uplifting the next generation of graphic designers.

“The student chapter is a super active group of high-performing students who go on to be really, really successful in the industry, and then end up coming back in a sort of a self-fulfilling cycle,” said Acock. “Each time the bar gets risen, and I want to continue that trend.”

Feature image courtesy of Tyrell Malonzo 

Verified by MonsterInsights