A snack display designed by a student at the Pennsylvania School of Art and Design (PCA&D) has been selected as the winner of a Herr's Foods Inc. competition designed to give students real-world experience when it comes to working with professional clients.

The display, which houses Herr's new Buffalo Wing Kettle Chips, was designed by Erin Alexander of Lineboro, Md., a student in the school's Packaging Design class.

During PCA&D's fall semester, 19 students in Pam Bardy's Packaging and Design Class were selected by Weber Advertising and Marketing Inc., Herr's advertising agency, to participate in a project to design a summer display for Herr's Foods Inc. They were chosen to have their work selected as a possible design for production. In January, Daryl Thomas, vice president of Herr's Marketing, examined the students' designs and selected Alexander's display as the winner.

"Erin's display really keeps to the consistency of our displays," said Suzy Stahl, Herr's promotional events coordinator. "It also keeps with the theme of our product."

Each student was given only die lines, logos, product photos and a sample design for Herr's Buffalo Wing Kettle Chips. Weber Advertising provided those materials once they were established.

"Once we had three or four good design ideas we decided to bring this project to the school," said Leah-Nicole Wenger of Weber Advertising and Marketing Inc. "This project really allows the displays to have a fresh perspective."

"The students have an eye for what catches their attention," said Stahl. "Since many young students purchase Herr's products, this project helps us reach out to them further."

According to Susan Matson of the PCA&D's Marketing department, projects such as this have become a staple of students' junior and senior years. "We feel it is very important to have experience working with real clients," said Matson.

Throughout the design process students learned lessons about working with Herr's core values, established reputation, marketing position and design protocol.

"As juniors and seniors our students do these client-driven projects to gain real-world experience working with real companies," said Matson. "This, along with a student's internship, allows them to leave school with the ability to show that they have done real work."

For Alexander this was her second venture into the world of professional marketing. She has already completed an internship with Ritter Media in Maryland. For Alexander, the ability to work with Herr's helped her further her knowledge of what it takes to compete in the professional marketplace.

"Herr's is a lot more conservative than I expected," said Alexander. "It made me learn a lot more about how these kinds of things work."

Alexander's winning display was shown during the school's spring open house last week. It has not yet been decided whether Herr's will use the display in stores, but Stahl and Wenger believe it to be a good possibility.

"It was one of our main goals to make sure it would look good with a number of products on it," said Stahl. "I think this design accomplishes that."

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