July 23, 2007

Kathy Jankauskas ’82 Has Designs on Creativity

She won award for First Night web site

Newtown, Pa., resident Kathy Jankauskas ’82 got involved in volunteering for First Night Newtown through designing a web site, button, and poster for its New Year’s Eve celebration.

“It is part of First Night International,” she says. “You wear the button as your ticket to get into the event.”

Jankauskas won a First Place Prism Award for Excellence in Design from First Night’s International team of designers for the web work. She was asked to do the poster, web, and button designing again last year and was also engaged for a related endeavor called AHA! (Art History and Adventure). The group sponsors art history offerings as well as tours of historic buildings in the Newtown area, where William Penn settled. It created a calendar from 12 months of poster designs, with Jankauskas designing August. On AHA! Friday the streets of Newtown come alive with activity on a special evening.

“I tried to capture the essence of childhood when I designed the poster,” she says. “The inspiration for the design came from the theme ‘Street Noise.’ The first thing I thought of when I read it was of two kids laughing and dancing to music in the street or sidewalk. I developed my poster around that gleeful feeling of spontaneous fun that kids are so good at. I also thought about the noises during the event and on the street. I wanted to portray people having fun, and enjoying the most important noise – laughter.”

As owner of KjanStudio, a graphic and web design company, Jankauskas works with businesses in the Bucks County and Philadelphia region. It is a career she began three years ago after returning to school for some art classes.

“I have always loved art,” she says. “My two major loves in college were art and engineering. They are more related than people think and I’ve come across many people who are good at both.”

A civil engineering graduate, Jankauskas worked as a structural engineer for several years after graduating. She did take some art classes at Lafayette; however, even given her love of art and engineering, her fondest memories are of the school’s atmosphere.

“The swim team was very literally a family that I could be a part of,” she explains. “The friends, the football, and the pub nights all combined on a broader level to reinforce that feeling of family. Professor (Vincent) Viscomi (now Simon Cameron Long Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering) had a profound influence on me scholastically and I was inspired to work hard.”

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