Whittier Tech Student Pennisi Wins Second Place in SkillsUSA ‘United as One’ Design Contest

Whittier Tech student Raychel Pennisi, of Haverhill, won second place for her design entry in the National SkillsUSA Tee-Shirt Design Contest. (Courtesy photograph.)

Raychel Pennisi, a sophomore at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, recently, took second place for her design in the National SkillsUSA Tee-Shirt Design Contest.

Pennisi, of Haverhill, is a student in the Design and Visual Communications pathway. This year, students were asked to incorporate the SkillsUSA theme, “United as One,” and at least one Massachusetts state symbol into the designs. Instructor Catherine Cashman commissioned students to take part in the competition.

“Mrs. Cashman gave us the assignment. It was very specific and we had to pay close attention to the client’s needs. We brainstormed as a group to ensure our entries would meet the criteria,” Pennisi said.

She sketched her design idea on paper and then transferred it into Adobe Illustrator as an original vector image. Using Illustrator, she drew custom paths and shapes with the pen and type tool, to construct ships, waves and a bottle.

“Because Massachusetts is the Bay State, I was inspired by the tall ships to create a logo with their colors and design principles,” Pennisi explained. She also drew upon her existing knowledge of the Principles of Design and Layout, including contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity, to bring the design to fruition.

Pennisi will be honored at a state award ceremony in May.

Each year, SkillsUSA challenges students across the country to put their skills to the test and contribute creative shirt designs to commemorate the year’s National Leadership and Skills Conference. The winning design is worn by SkillsUSA Massachusetts members at the National Conference.

“Congratulations to Raychel. Creating a digital design that will eventually be translated into a print format is difficult, but Raychel took the challenge in stride,” Cashman said. “Placing second in this competition is a testament to her fantastic design talents and knowledge. She should be very proud.”

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