Internationally acclaimed designer Laura Prpich returned to North Island College this fall to share her knowledge with the next generation of graphic designers in NIC’s communication design diploma. Photo supplied

Internationally acclaimed designer back in class at North Island College

Courtenay graphic designer Laura Prpich is sharing her knowledge and talent with the next generation of graphic designers enrolled in North Island College’s interactive media-communication design diploma.

Prpich is an internationally respected designer who returned to the classroom this fall with two new items on her résumé — Juno Awards judge and global lecturer.

Prpich travelled to Kuwait’s Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre at the invitation of -ing Creatives — a respected education NGO in the global creative community — to lecture and run a workshop on sustainability in package design.

“I was shocked and honoured to be invited,” she said. “I never really thought of myself as a sustainable designer until they sought me out. I was mostly just providing my clients with what they asked for – a greener packaging solution.”

The experience spurred Prpich, who is the founder and owner of the Courtenay-based design studio Caribou Creative, to give sustainability a new emphasis in her approach to her clients’ projects and deepened her appreciation of teaching.

“NIC is lucky to have such a diverse group of people coming through their doors, and I suppose the takeaway from my time overseas would be how important it is to gain perspective from your students, learn about where they come from and help them use those life experiences to propel their design careers,” she said.

Prpich was also invited to judge the ‘Best Album Artwork’ category for the 2019 Juno Awards.

“The amount of thought and consideration put into each piece was amazing,” she said. “It was loads of fun, and being introduced to a few new bands I hadn’t heard of before was a treat.”

The Juno and –ing Creatives gigs are far from the first accolades for Prpich. The independent designer was profiled by Dribbble, an invitation-only designer space that features work across the world.

She also received a 2018 design award from Applied Arts Magazine, Canada’s leading arts publication, for her work designing beer labels for Canoe Brewpub. Other honours include getting published in Logo Lounge, an international publication where jurors choose the best designs from around the world, and Dieline, an online creative platform that features unique, sustainable packing concepts.

“As an instructor who’s also been recognized by peers from across the world, the insight she brings into the classroom is extraordinary,” said Megan Wilson, department chair for NIC’s interactive media programs.

Prpich’s career also highlights one of the benefits of a career in graphic design, said Wilson.

“You’re not limited by geography,” she said. “The nature of the work means you can choose where you want to base yourself and still do work around the globe.”

NIC offers five interactive media programs with specialties in web design, communication design and app development. To learn more, visit www.nic.bc.ca/interactive-media.

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