Getting to Know: Kristina Parrill

Kristina Parrill is senior bachelor of fine arts student concentrating in graphic design, and she is the lead designer for Volume 38 of Sans Merci.

Parrill’s skill and passion for graphic design have helped her to succeed despite the demanding requirements of the program. “The design program has proved to be fast paced and rigorous at times, but I have always thrived in an environment that pushes me to those limits,” said Parrill.

After graduating from Shepherd, Parrill said she would like to pursue work in the magazine industry, a field she gained experience in this past summer during an internship with the magazine Transworld Snowboarding.

More recently, Parrill put her graphic design skills to use as designer of the new volume of Sans Merci, Shepherd’s annual literary and art journal. A newcomer to the Sans Merci team, Parrill said her design experience made her an asset to the journal.

“I knew I had a knack for layout, clean typography, and meeting quick deadlines, so I knew I was a great candidate for designing Sans Merci,” said Parrill.

Kristin Kaineg, associate professor of art and coordinator of the BFA graphic design program, agreed that Parrill was well suited for the responsibilities that came along with being the designer.

“Kristina’s passion for design and typography shine through in Volume 38 of Sans Merci. She thoughtfully considered the typeface, use of whitespace, sequencing and format. The underlying structure highlights every writer, poet and artist selected for this year’s journal. She is a true design professional with strong listening, communication and problem-solving skills,” said Kaineg.

As designer of Sans Merci, Parrill had many responsibilities in the development and layout of the journal. Her first duty was to design the poster that called for art and literary submissions which were then reviewed by teams of student editors.

After the final entries were selected, Parrill’s job was to put together the volume, which involved choosing the typefaces, deciding how to lay out the table of contents, where the page numbers would sit and where the artwork would be placed within the journal. “Lots of attention to detail goes into this sort of design. Nothing can be overlooked and all of the details are my responsibility,” said Parrill.

The cover was the final aspect of the design process to be completed. While the editing teams selected the cover image, Parrill was responsible for the layout and deciding which typography and colors to use.

These decisions had a large impact on the overall appearance and tone of the cover. “The final cover is clean typographically with a touch of moodiness from its dark color palette,” said Parrill.

After finishing the design and layout of Volume 38, Parrill was responsible for the final proofreading to correct any errors before printing.

All of Parrill’s responsibilities as designer of Volume 38 are essential to the overall quality of the journal. “The graphic designer is the glue that holds it all together. Kristina was professional, met all deadlines, and the magazine is going to be gorgeous,” said Carrie Messenger, assistant professor of English and faculty adviser of Sans Merci.

Parrill described her work with Sans Merci as a learning experience: “I learned so much about the process of working with a team of editors and professional printer. It’s a real world sort of experience that cannot be replicated in the classroom, and I am very grateful to have had this opportunity.”

The release party for Volume 38 of Sans Merci will take place April 3 at the Shepherdstown train station, from 6–9 p.m.

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