By Danielle Page, Marketing & Communications

Like many graphic design and graphic communications majors at MSUM, Daisy Tripp ’20 built a portfolio of work designed for real-world clients prior to donning her graduation cap and gown.

In the spring of 2018, MSUM Paseka School of Business namesake and alumnus Rodney Paseka ’71 reached out to the MSUM Foundation, seeking collaboration on a new venture. The wine connoisseur was bottling a new variety, aptly named Dragon Red, for a special purpose and sought a fellow Dragon to design the label.

“We were excited to work with MSUM’s talented graphic design students on this project,” said Gary Haugo, vice president for university advancement. “Forging connections between alumni and students is one of the many ways the MSUM Foundation plays a role in helping Dragons succeed, both in and outside of the classroom.”

Associate professor of graphic design Tom Anstadt asked students in his advanced typography class to rise to the occasion. A handful, including Tripp, jumped at the opportunity. Tripp assumed her design likely wouldn’t be considered for the label, but she gave it a shot. Actually, she gave it several shots.

“Other students designed one wine label, but Daisy did like six or seven designs,” Anstadt said. “You really want to see students who put a lot of effort into their projects succeed. Eventually their designs stand out in some way, and hers did.”

While others took a more traditional, formal approach to designing the Dragon-themed label, Tripp’s work was reflective of her personality — fun, straightforward, and colorful.

“Daisy’s designs were very illustrative and a little bit more playful than other students’,” Anstadt said. “They broke the tradition and stood out really well.”

Paseka says Tripp’s nontraditional Dragon design was exactly what he was looking for. “We had a handful of very nice designs and this one just stood out — an in-your-face kind of a Dragon. It’s a lovely piece,” he said.

When Tripp learned Paseka chose one of her designs to adorn his wine, she was really surprised. “I don’t usually have a lot of self-confidence in my work. This really made me think I can do this profession; that people like what I design.”

“I don’t usually have a lot of self-confidence in my work. This really made me think I can do this profession; that people like what I design.”

“Rodney was beaming with pride at how well the label turned out. He brought a bottle to show us after a Foundation meeting,” said MSUM Chief Marketing Officer Kirsten Jensen, “his excitement was contagious.”

Tripp’s portfolio of designs caters to audiences of all ages. From a K-8 yearbook for St. Joseph’s School to book covers for MSUM’s New Rivers Press, Tripp’s experience at MSUM gave her the opportunity to try new techniques, form relationships with mentors, and build confidence in herself.

“Tom encouraged me to push the boundaries and do better; to always improve and keep going,” Tripp said. “He definitely taught me to go the distance.”

Though the bottling process is complete, the wine hasn’t been enjoyed — yet.

“It’s waiting for a day when we have a new Alumni Center,” Paseka said. “That’s what the intention is. I’m aging it until that happens. It’ll come when it’s intended to be.”

As Dragons rise to meet the expectations set forth for them, they demonstrate not only the unparalleled value of their education, but also the grit and heart it takes to deliver a job well done.