Cal Poly Student Team Wins Prestigious Helmut Kipphan Cup at Graphic Arts Conference


Cal Poly TrophyCal Poly won the Kipphan Cup, for the second time in three years, at the annual conference of the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA), held March 17-20 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Cal Poly’s TAGA team, comprised of 25 graphic communication students, was awarded the top prize for its technical journal, a high-quality student-produced publication that showcases a range of complex printing processes. Scoring is based on technical writing, design, production quality and the quality of an online supplement.

Eight students attended the conference and accepted the award:

  • Lauren Helms, Cal Poly TAGA President, of Scotts Valley, California;
  • Erica Taylor, of Collegeville, Pennsylvania;
  • Jessica Rose, of Del Mar, California;
  • Nicole Cullop, of Centennial, Colorado;
  • Ana Gonzalez, of Lompoc, California;
  • Aileen Vasquez, of Seaside, California;
  • Kayleigh Macdonald, of San Jose, California;
  • Hannah Nguyen, of Elk Grove, California.


 “It was an impressive amount of work,” said TAGA advisor and graphic communication Professor Brian Lawler. “The students had the opportunity to Learn by Doing as they produced an award-winning journal.”

Students in the Cal Poly chapter began work on their journal last September. They assembled technical papers and, in two cases, invited student scholars to produce a technical paper specifically written for the journal. While the technical papers were written and edited, the team worked on the design and planning of their printed journal. Production began in January. Hundreds of hours of work are spent each year in production.

This year’s journal featured several complex printing processes that helped to distinguish the finished work. Nguyen, the journal’s design director, said students took advantage of the many printing technologies available to produce a beautiful book, including electrophotographic printing, digital embossing, digital foil enhancement, letterpress debossing, letterpress scoring, perfect binding, and trimming on the department’s Polar computerized paper cutter. The students also used a 1960s era Heidelberg “Windmill” press to perform debossing on some pages.

The Kipphan Cup will be on display in the Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department office for the next year. Work has already begun on the TAGA student journal for 2020. A new team is being assembled, designs are being prepared, and the presses will be running soon.



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