New club on campus helps start-up businesses

Content Lab advisor Bill Deforest works with students assigning tasks for and upcoming project. Photo by John Everett.

A new club at Castleton is providing students with real world experience and free public relations work for local non-profits and businesses.

The Content Lab is a student-run organization that helps members of the community with start-up ideas to create the basis of a brand identity.

It is an amalgamation of student graphic designers and media creators across many mediums and digital platforms. Through the process of collaboration, these students help clients construct the visual trademarks for their concept or idea.

Graphic design professor Bill Deforest is the acting advisor for this lab.

“The inspiration for the Castleton Content Lab was, maker and incubator spaces that are popping up to support start-up, local, and regional economies,” he said energetically.

Last year, Deforest and other professors aided students in creating a brand image for The Mint makerspace in Rutland. The Content Lab seeks to find similar clients within the community.

Deforest said the mission of the content lab is “to work with these people to tell their story … and then put that story into a framework of graphic publication, film/video, marketing, and promotional designs and developments.”

Martin VanBuren III, a senior and the creative director of the club, said he is enthusiastic about the potential opportunities that await.

He said he is excited to be part of a student body that is motivated to become professionals in their fields.

“We want to produce work that we can be proud of, that we can put into our portfolios, that they can actually use for advertising and for their business … whether that’s logo creation or a video for them to air for their Facebook or YouTube channel,” he said.

The Content Lab’s mission is to allow students the opportunity to work with other creators that have different skill sets.

Cam Rossi, a senior studying graphic design, said he values this experience because it grants him the ability to apply what he’s learned in the classroom to a real-world situation.

“The content lab gives anyone who’s involved the opportunity to work outside of their comfort zone,” Rossi stated.

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