Graphic Arts Education & Research Foundation Announces Winners of 2014 Student Design Competition




PACK-tastic! Themed Contest Challenged Entrants to Design a Unique, Striking and Functional Package

Reston, VA – The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) has announced the winners of the GAERF 2014 Student Design Competition, sponsored this year by EFI on the occasion of the company’s 25th anniversary. The fifth annual contest, themed PACK-tastic!, challenged students from secondary and post-secondary institutions to design a unique and striking package to contain, transport, and market a product of their choosing. Entrants were required to submit both a digital image of the package and its dieline.

From among the 228 entries, six winners were chosen, three at the secondary school level and three at the post-secondary school level by an independent panel of industry expert judges to include: Frank Kanonik, Intellective Solutions; Kevin Karstedt, Karstedt Partners, LLC; Gordon Kaye, Graphic Design USA; James Mayes, Colorcraft of VA (retired); Lisa Pierce, Packaging Digest; Noel Ward, NAPCO; and, Ralph Nappi, GAERF President.

Winners at the secondary school level were:

  • 1st Place: John O’Laughlin, Crawford County Career and Technical Center, Meadville, PA (Instructor: Dennis O’Laughlin)
  • 2nd Place: Abigail Justice, Mingo Central High School, Delbarton, WV (Instructor: Doug Martin)
  • 3rd Place: Anna Talley, Atlee High School, Mechanicsville, VA (Instructor: Erik Leise)

Winners at the post-secondary school level were:

  • 1st Place: Jordan Hetzer, Columbus College of Arts and Design, Columbus, OH (Instructor: Erik Turocy)
  • 2nd place: Amanda Peterson, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA (Instructor: Colleen Twomey)
  • 3rd place: Jessica Curley, Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, VT (Instructor: Kelly Glentz Brush)

First place winners and their instructors will receive a two-day, all inclusive paid trip to attend GRAPH EXPO 14 in Chicago, IL. In addition, the first place winners will be presented with $2,000 checks during GRAPH EXPO’s Career Awareness Day on Wednesday, October 1, 2014. The second place winners will each be awarded $1,500, and the third place winners will each receive $1,000.

“GAERF is proud to continue its commitment to supporting education initiatives by encouraging creativity and self-expression in students through the art of design and production,” said GAERF President Ralph Nappi. “The GAERF 2014 Student Design Competition, a more challenging assignment than in years past, has served to recognize our best and brightest students, as well as the significant commitment of their instructors.”

“It’s an honor for EFI to join with GAERF to recognize excellence in the next generation of digital print innovators—particularly in the realm of packaging, which is one of the print industry’s growth areas,” said Guy Gecht, CEO of EFI. “During this 25th anniversary year at EFI—where we diligently continue to build on our powerful foundation of transformative productivity—it is particularly fitting that we applaud tomorrow’s leaders who will continue to carry out our legacy of innovation.”

All student entries will be featured in a special display within GRAPH EXPO 14’s Education Main Street, and showcased on the graphicCOMMcentral

About Education Main Street
Printing industry professionals from around the world will convene September 28 – October 1, 2014, at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL to attend GRAPH EXPO 14 and CPP EXPO, where the latest graphic communications technologies in live equipment will be demonstrated, plus education on the most in-demand products and newest profit-making opportunities will be offered. The show’s Education Main Street pavilion is where representatives from colleges, universities and educational organizations will provide information on curriculum offerings, scholarships, and internships.

About GAERF®
The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation was created by the National Association for Printing Leadership, NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing, and Converting Technologies and the Printing Industries of America in 1983. These three national associations jointly own the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC). GAERF was created to channel a portion of the revenues earned by GASC-managed shows into projects supporting a strong future for the industry. For additional information about the Foundation and its programs, visit:, e-mail:, or phone toll-free: 866/381-9839.

About EFI
EFI™ ( is a worldwide provider of products, technology and services leading the transformation of analog to digital imaging. Based in Silicon Valley, with offices around the globe, the company’s powerful integrated product portfolio includes digital front-end servers; superwide, wide-format, label and ceramic inkjet presses and inks; production workflow, web to print, and business automation software; and office, enterprise and mobile cloud solutions. These products allow users to produce, communicate and share information in an easy and effective way, and enable businesses to increase their profits, productivity, and efficiency.