Lam is an engineering and art dual major. (Chelsea Katz)
Lam is an engineering and art dual major. (Chelsea Katz)

If you’ve ever walked around Stony Brook University’s (SBU) campus, chances are you’ve seen plenty of posters and fliers hanging up advertising for big on-campus organizations like the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), the Weekend Life Council and RockYoFace. The posters made by those groups have a very professional look to them that might lead one to think were made by graphic designers, when in fact they’re done by SBU non-art-majoring students.

Kevin Diangkinay, a senior majoring in psychology, started making fliers for Commuter Student Services (CSS) last year and as of this year has moved on to work for USG by assisting, Sophia Marsh, the VP of communication, in advertising campus events, such as Bill Nye and Town Hall meetings. Designing things started for Diangkinay when he was in elementary school.

“I’d always get compliments for the artsy [book report] covers,” said Diangkinay. “At that point I had a feeling graphic design was my calling. I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.”

At the age of 11, Diangkinay self-taught himself how to use a basic version of Photoshop. Today, he relies on Photoshop for most of his design work, but is also starting to use Adobe Illustrator.


Diangkinay first got involved last year when his roommate dared him to apply for a marketing intern position at CSS. It turned into his first formal graphic design occupation on campus. He continues to work with the USG this year, and his “Money/In Luda We Trust” theme for the Ludacris concert was chosen for the poster.

Diangkinay said he would have majored in graphic design had it not been for self-doubt.

“I was always scared that my work wasn’t good enough,” Diangkinay said. “I thought that graphic design was more of a hobby and it wasn’t until late into my junior year I figured out that this is my true passion.”

Since it was too late for him to switch majors, he plans on getting a formal education in graphic design after graduation.


Adam Liang, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry and minoring in Japanese, got involved in poster making through the Weekend Life Council. Usually, every week, each member takes whatever responsibility they think they can handle for an event, and Liang usually always volunteers to make the fliers. He’s done nearly every poster for the group since the beginning of last semester.

Liang has been using Photoshop since junior high school. He had a lot of friends who studied arts and when he saw them using Photoshop, he decided to teach himself. Since then, his skills have grown substantially.

“How do artists explain what they draw,” Liang said. “When you have a design, it just comes to you.”

If not for personal reasons, Liang would have majored in engineering with digital art as a secondary skill. But for now, it’s a hobby he loves.

“It takes a while to make a flier, but I have fun when I do it,” Liang said. “Moving the fonts, getting the stock photo, it’s not a chore. You have to be creative to make these.”


Benn Yiufat Lam, a junior engineering science and studio art double major with a minor in digital art and information system was no stranger to designing and art.

After studying traditional studio art for four years in high school, he slowly explored and experimented with programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator.

“I have always been drawn to art,” said Lam.

He first started getting involved with designing work for the campus after meeting the then director of RockYoFace, Patrice Zapiti. He was asked to do a poster for the first RockYoFace show of the semester and, with the help of some online tutorials, he was able to produce his first campus-advertised work.

“I am currently employed as one of the USG graphic designers,” Lam said. “I therefore make posters for the USG events and RockYoFace.”

However, Lam has also done some graphic design work for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the SBU Stand Up Charter and the SBU Vocalists.


“I am extremely proud of the work that I put out,” said Lam. “To know that people like my work really gives me a firm pat on the shoulders. At the same time, I know that there is always someone that’s better and more talented out there. This is a way to keep me motivated and grounded. So I definitely will continue to design posters and pursue graphic design.”


Nicole is a senior majoring in journalism at Stony Brook University. She joined The Statesman fall semester of her freshman year and expects to continue writing for them until she graduates later this year. She couldn’t be happier being the A&E editor and looks forward to expanding her writers' involvement with the paper. Her favorite experience in the arts section was covering the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. While Nicole does enjoy the arts, she has a passion for international affairs. Currently, she can speak three different languages and doesn’t plan on stopping there. One day, she hopes to work for Al Jazeera or the BBC.


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