All of the students on the TAGA team assemble for a group photo.

Cal Poly won the prestigious Helmut 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.

Cal Poly students are awarded the Kipphan Cup at the 2019 TAGA conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“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.

Cal Poly TAGA President Lauren Helms and Kayleigh Macdonald show their excitement on winning the annual student prize at this year’s TAGA Conference.

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.