RSU Graphic Design Students Take Field Trip to Design, Creative Agency

Graphic Arts students touring art agency

Several Rogers State University graphic design students recently spent the day at Tulsa-based design and creative agency Signal Factory, learning about the industry and careers in graphic design.

Signal Factory is a brand and creative studio that works alongside national and global brands, agencies, and in-house creative teams, employing a team of strategists, designers, animators, writers, directors, producers and technologists.

RSU Assistant Professor Clay McIntosh helped facilitate the field trip and served as chaperone for the visit.

“Signal Factory is an agency that handles a full range of promotional items for national clients, everything from traditional print to broadcast commercials to videos. They’re the kind of production outlet that you’d usually have to go to Dallas, New York or Los Angeles to find a comparable studio,” said McIntosh, whose own background is in the advertising industry. “Signal Factory Partners Chris White and Kyle Stauffer were with the group the entire time – while the students toured the facility and met the staff, saw the equipment and technology they use for their job, etc., eventually sitting down and spending one-on-one time with the students, getting to know them, answering their questions, and talking about how to problem solve on projects.”

Signal Factory’s services include broadcast design and animation, video production and editing, web and print services, 3D animation, compositing/visual effects, branding, advertising, strategy, graphic design and more.

McIntosh said the field trip was a fun and informative way for the students to learn more about potential careers in their field of study from those directly working in graphic design.

“It was a tremendous opportunity for the students to meet with these major league professionals. They got to meet people working at the top of their game for national clients,” he said. “They got to see some amazing technology, but also, they got to see what’s done with that technology in the studio, how it, along with things made by hand, is used to bring creative ideas in the studio.”

The students were equally impressed by the experience.

“The trip and fact that a studio of that quality exists in Oklahoma are remarkable,” said RSU junior Laine Forrest of Welling. “The owners and staff were beyond polite, willing to answer any questions and they left no stone unturned when showing us their studio.

“What I got most (out of the trip) was to see that even the professionals don’t know everything and that’s okay,” she continued. “What’s important is knowing the fundamentals and being willing to keep trying. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I hope other students get to experience it as well.”

Although McIntosh has taken graphic design students on field trips in the past, he said the visit to Signal Factory was one of the most illuminating trips ever.

“Something that everyone at Signal Factory – all the staff – stressed to the students was the importance of understanding the basic principles of graphic design,” he said. “That’s nothing they hadn’t heard before – we always emphasize that – but it was good for that message to be reinforced, because even though the technology involved in graphic design will change, the basics will always be the same – basic design, typography.

“If a person has any creative inclination, a desire to be creative, they can find a major within our department to help them develop those skills and start working towards their maximum potential,” he said.

For more information about Rogers State University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in visual arts program, which includes options for emphasis in graphic design, multimedia, photographic arts, or studio art, visit

Graphic Arts students touring art agency