The Fud Truck, sits outisde of Maginess Hall on Monday, May 5, 2016. The Fud Truck's exterior was designed by students in Fusion. (Hayley Pochtar/B&W Staff)

Fusion brings designs to life at Lehigh


On any given day, in any given spot on Lehigh’s campus, students are surrounded by graphic design and works of visualization that highlight causes and events within the community.

Some students might realize such pieces of creative promotion  — logos, posters and brochures — are an integral part of our campus culture, yet most are not aware that many of these things are made by students.

Fusion, Lehigh’s student-run graphic design agency, has become a go-to resource for clients within the university and beyond who are in need of design work. Many of the theater posters, department logos and program brochures found across campus are created by students involved in the for-credit class that functions like a real agency.

“We really try to model ourselves after a traditional advertising agency or creative agency,” Olivia Hodina, ‘15, said. “So with that, I personally work as a studio manager and I oversee all of the project management.”

Hodina finds herself ensuring designers are keeping up with projects, assigning their tasks, tracking progress and doing her best to assign projects to people who would enjoy doing them.

As of this year, Fusion has taken on a new organizational structure that allows students to do more of what they are interested in.

“In the past, everyone was a designer, but this year, since we’ve had so much work, we’ve been recruiting people from other majors and allowing people to just be project managers or designers,” Hodina said.

She said the increase in project requests is likely due to a promotional email that was sent out to prominent figures within the university.

Hodina, who is a marketing major, prefers working on the management side of the agency, whereas designers who would rather not communicate with clients do not have to, and can simply work on projects.

“I personally don’t have a business minor, so it’s good to have the experience as a project manager, but it’s hard to go between the two (roles),” Monica Shell, ‘16, said. “But now it’s been nice because I don’t have to work directly with clients.”

Shell played a large role in the redesign of the Fud Truck logo for Lehigh’s sesquicentennial celebration. She is also particularly proud of the work Fusion completed for the Arctic Institute, which is based out of Oxford.

Samantha Brooks, ‘16, noted the design she is most proud of is not necessarily her favorite piece she has created. She designed the poster for the department of theatre’s “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.”

“My poster was picked because (the client) liked the layout of it,” Brooks said. “I worked with the client all throughout winter break and sent in about 30 different drafts to get what he wanted.”

Brooks’ goal was to translate into a graphic what the client wanted everyone to feel when they saw the poster.

“It was a long process but, at the end, the client was so happy,” she said. “It’s not my favorite graphic design piece I’ve ever done, but the process of eventually getting it done and getting it to be exactly what (the client) wanted is what matters.”

Brooks is also grateful for the professional experience she has gained through participation in Fusion. Clients can be difficult from time to time, but she said you learn people skills and gain a great talking point for interviews.

Hodina feels as though her participation in Fusion has added another component to her Lehigh experience.

“It’s very interesting to work with creative people,” Hodina said. “I feel like sometimes Lehigh is such an engineering- and business-minded school, so it’s refreshing to be around very artistic people who have different ideas and solutions for clients.”

As Fusion continues to grow in size and project requests, the agency aspires to become a more prominent group on campus.

“I think Fusion’s main goal is to become more recognized on campus, because now when you say, ‘I’m in Fusion,’ it doesn’t mean much because you have to explain to everyone,” Brookes said. “For it to become more well-known, we’re working on branding and we hope that when people have a graphic design need, they will come to us.”

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