On Tuesday, June 20, 2017, the Transition Academy took a field trip to Steve Gardner’s Alpine Sign and Graphics Studio to learn about branding and logo creation. Before we left, Nancy we began class with our usual introductions. During that time, the class was introduced to Shelby- a visiting teacher from the Macon School for the Blind- who is interning with VRS as part of her O&M certification program. Afterwards, we excitedly headed out on our adventure.
When we arrived, Steve Gardner met us in the lobby and explained several aspects of his business to us. He shared how his business is an important part of a company’s branding strategy. Mr. Gardner specializes in making vivid signs, banners, vehicle wraps, and interior graphics according to his customer’s unique specifications. As a sample, Mr. Gardner showed us a Van Goh painting flawlessly reproduced on a miniature canvas frame, as well as a large wall graphic of the outdoors so realistic that several people nearly walked right into it.
Inside his workshop, Mr. Gardner walked us through the process of creating a graphic, by pulling up the Transition Academy logo on his computer and printing it repeatedly on a large vinyl sheet. Next, he ran the sheet through a slicing machine so that each adhesive logo sticker could be peeled off individually. Afterwards, Mr. Gardner used a pen knife to “weed” the excess white material on each logo, so that the stickers would look much neater when we used them later that day.
Upon returning to VRS, Heidi and I chose to interview William Yancey, a recent graduate of Sprayberry High School, who came to the Transition Academy partly to get a free T-shirt. In the fall, William plans to attend Chattahoochee Technical College. After college, William would like a job where he could work with his hands and repair machines; fixing computers at Best Buy is just one of the many options available to him. For the last major activity of the day, Nancy had the TA participants form an assembly line to create multisensory thank you cards for each of our special guests and visitors from the past few weeks. Once those were finished, Julie, VRS’ Technology Instructor, introduced them to OrCam, a smart camera designed to help visually impaired read by using a special software that turns photos of written words into sounds that can be read back to the user. Then at 3:30 PM, the class was finished for the day.