Cal Poly wins the grand prize award at TAGA 2019

The Cal Poly Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA) is a club within the Graphic Communication Department. TAGA offers a hands-on learning experience through its six month production sprint to compete in the student publication competition at the annual TAGA Conference. Students on the executive board get to travel to the conference, which takes place at the end on Winter Quarter, to present their journal to a panel of industry professionals. The club is made up of 5 teams: marketing, research, design, digital interaction, and production, which work together to complete the final physical and electronic publication.

The 2019 Publication:

The Cal Poly TAGA 2019 journal entry was this year's recipient of the grand prize award, the Helmut Kipphan Cup, for best student journal publication. The journal represents months of teamwork by dedicated students to provide readers with innovative research, technical design, and modern production technologies.

The theme chosen for this year’s journal was “Technological Synergy.” They wanted to showcase how relevant printed publications still are in our ever changing digital world. Specifically, they wanted to show how printed publications and electronic publications do not necessarily have to be two separate entities, but rather features of each can work together to complement one another. To accomplish this the TAGA team used HP LinkReader technology to digitally embed watermarks in images throughout the journal. The user can scan these images using the HP LinkReader mobile application to access additional content and videos.

Cal Poly TAGA also wanted to emphasize how their chapter encompasses Cal Poly’s “Learn By Doing” motto. In contrast with past years, this year they chose to include primary research, which involved students gathering data and conducting their own experiments.

My name is Lauren Helms and I am the President of the Cal Poly TAGA Student Chapter. As President, I have learned a multitude of valuable skills that have helped prepare me for my future career. TAGA has taught me excellent time management and project management skills. It has also taught me how to be a critical thinker and adapt to any potential complication within the process. I think my team will agree with me when I say that we are firm believers in Murphy's Law, which states that "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong," so keeping a positive mindset was critical to being able to complete the journal on time. We are also very grateful for our faculty advisors, Brian Lawler and Peter Schlosser, who made it possible for us to design and produce our entire journal by ourselves within our department. We spent a tremendous amount of time producing our journal and learning every step along the way. I would recommend that anyone looking for an excellent learning opportunity or a way to get more involved within the department consider joining TAGA as it will only help better prepare you for your future!”

To learn more about Cal Poly TAGA and this year’s publication, please visit

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