Back in Bread: class produces shirts for Great Harvest


Juniors Alexis Manzo, Ethan Morhardt and Kevin Dunn operate a M&R 4-color, 4-station manual press machine.

   Guilford sits almost vacant on a bright Saturday morning. Yet one room bustles with activity, filling empty halls with an echo of liveliness.

   Lively conversation, machines creaking as they are constantly put to use, and new shirts being set to the side to make room for the next: this is the graphic design classroom, and the students aid Mr. Mike Cermak in what may be one of the largest projects the class has ever been given.

   The graphic design students were given a challenge to complete shirts for the Great Harvest Bread company employees after students approached Andy Kaiser, owner of Great Harvest Bread and former GHS graduate.

   “I knew the owner was a GHS grad so I approached [him],” said Mr. Cermak, graphic design teacher. “I think it helped that I was a long time customer so I was not a random guy off the street.”

Andy Kaiser, owner of Great Harvest Bread Company, and Mr. Mike Cermak display one of the new shirts.

  Second and third year students from Cermak’s graphic design classes were recruited to help work on the shirts. They were requested to come in during their third hours to aid in making these shirts a reality.

   “It was a constant flow of teamwork,” said Tyler Rusk, junior. “It was honestly very fun; it was hard work, but I would do it again.”

   The design for the t-shirts was decided when the company said they wanted their shirts to be modeled after AC/DC’s popular album logo, Back in Black.

   “They wanted their business initials to look like an AC/DC concert t-shirt, so I used Adobe Illustrator to create the artwork,” said Mr. Cermak.

   Despite the hard work, students found this to be an enjoyable lesson that they would not be adverse to trying again. Teamwork and collaboration made the time spent on the shirts fun.

   “It was very fun for me!” said Rusk. “It’s just something to get out of the house and do and it was a lot of fun when I was doing it, so I would do it again.”

   This was also a rewarding experience for Mr. Cermak, who was proud to provide for the company and teach his students about the printing process.

   “The value was making what we do in class come alive,” said Mr. Cermak. “Seeing a design printed and then worn out in the community makes one have a sense of pride in work.”

   Although printing shirts with the class was a valuable assignment for the students and businesses are allowed to contact the school, Mr. Cermak also has deliberations about who to print shirts for.

   “There are two key points here,” said Mr. Cermak. “One, we are not in the business of trying to take work away from local companies. Two, I’d like there to be some Guilford connection.”

   Overall, printing shirts for the company has inspired consideration about future careers and continues to be a beneficial experience to the graphic design students.

   “It sounds fun,” said Rusk. “I’ve always wanted to go into a career like that… and if I’m able to and it’s sustainable, I would definitely do it.”