About the Instructor

Office: B105
Office Phone: (815) 224-0327
e-mail: Francie_Skoflanc@ivcc.edu

For much of 25 years, Francie Skoflanc, new graphic arts technology instructor, has experienced work at print shops, at ad agencies, at our local News-Tribune, as a designer for jewelry, as a substitute teacher and taught an interim position for art at LaSalle-Peru Township High School.

Skoflanc earned a Bachelor in Arts degree from Illinois State University.

In a press release for the new Graphic Arts Technology Program, "Our exciting new program will prepare you to communicate ideas and information to business and consumer audiences through the planning and creating of printed materials. Students will be introduced to the techniques, processes, and basic compositional and conceptual skills of the graphic designer."

"It’s helpful that I’ve been out there and know what students need to be successful. They not only need to develop their computer and fine arts skills to become a graphic artist but they need to know how to present themselves, write a resume and put together a portfolio so they can successfully go into the business."

Skoflanc’s press release says, "Students will receive individual attention and classes are supplemented by field trips, visiting lectures as well as links that help students make professional connections for their own internships and job placement. Portfolio preparation and a formal resume are also part of this program."

"Some people will take Graphic Arts Technology for a career in the Graphic Arts/Design fields. Others may take the classes because they need some graphic skills as part of their daily job routine. They may be responsible for designing the company newsletter or presenting text, diagrams and other material in formal reports. They want their piece to look professional!"

Skoflanc also stresses that a degree or certificate in Graphic Arts Technology needs to be enhanced with Fine Arts classes such as Design and Drawing.

"Graphic design today is highly dependent upon digital technology and we provide training in our Mac lab on the major graphics software programs. Although the computer is the primary tool of the designer, a good background in traditional or fine arts is also essential to our program."

"Because you put a hammer in your hand, it doesn’t make you a carpenter. The same applies for graphic arts. Just having a computer doesn’t make you a graphic artist. There is much more that you can accomplish on a computer in less time, but you need a traditional fine arts background, in order to visually prepare your work for print. Graphic design is a very demanding and competitive profession, but for those who truly love it, the demands are well worth meeting."

Skoflanc said that she feels the job market for people trained in the graphic arts are "very good."

"Twenty five years ago, I never saw a lot of positions in this field advertised in the paper. I had to search for jobs."

"For the last five years, there have continuously been calls for graphic artists and designers. Places keep popping up for them."

Skoflanc’s press release lists places that hire graphic designers such as: Printing Companies, Advertising agencies, Publications (Newspapers, Magazines, etc.), Corporations, Stores, Direct-mail Advertising companies, Music publishers and record companies, Public relations firms, clip art services, colleges, architectural and interior design firms and museums and art galleries.

"Freelance work is another area to get into. Advancements in technology and the internet makes a whole new area for them to get into such as designing graphics for web sites."

"The whole multimedia aspect is another opportunity for graphic designers."

"It is very good as long as technology keeps moving forward. The opportunities are endless."

"Good designers are hard to find. The opportunities are in our area."

"If you’re good, then you’re worth your weight in gold."

According to the Illinois Work Force Information Occupation Report, entry level positions for graphic designers start at $9.85 hourly, with the median being $15.78 hourly and going up to as much as $24.58 hourly for positions requiring experienced designers.

The only class offered this semester has been the visual communications class. It will again be offered in the Spring. Other courses to be offered in the Fall semester of 2002 will be classes in Quark, Photoshop, and Illustrator . As the student advances they will also take classes in Web Site Design, Multi-Median, and Printing Technologies.

"One of the classes will be set up as a mock advertising agency. Students will be given design problems to solve. We have already been asked to work on projects with the college for fliers, theatre posters, etc."

"The Graphic Arts Technology courses will be developed for a 1 year certificate and a 2 year associates degree."

"I am really excited to be here. Everyone has been so helpful. It’s an interesting task to go into the Mac lab and make sure all the necessary programs are there and the computers have been upgraded. I am searching for periodicals, CD’s, videos and other equipment to help my students become effective designers!"