OSU to unveil winning tartan design


CORVALLIS, Ore. - The design efforts of Oregon State University student Krisja Lorenson will be revealed on Friday, Oct. 28, as the campus makes public Lorenson's award-winning tartan design.

Last spring OSU's Department of Design and Human Environment opened the Tartan Textile Design Competition to give students some real-life experience in applying their design skills, said Leslie Davis Burns, chair of the department in OSU's College of Health and Human Sciences.

"We had a great time with the competition," Burns said "Our whole focus has been on the student learning aspect of the competition."

After narrowing down the entries to three finalists, voting was opened to the public. More than 1,600 ballots were cast. At the top was Lorenson, a senior from Portland and a 2001 graduate of John Marshall High School.

Lorenson, an apparel design major with minors in English and merchandising management, is no stranger to design contests. While a senior in high school, she designed a winning pin for the Portland Rose Festival. She also designed a pane of stained glass put on display at Marshall High School, won a billboard design contest, and her art work graced the cover of a Portland public schools pamphlet.

Her winning tartan design is being licensed and used for products including clothing, blankets, accessories and other OSU memorabilia.

Lorenson's path to success with the OSU tartan began with a lot of scribbles. "I usually just start in a notebook," she said. "I just get some scribbles down and work from there."

After years as a competitive Scottish highland dancer, Lorenson has had a lot of experience working with plaids and tartans.

"Picking out a tartan for your competition kilt is a big decision," she said. "Some dancers select a plaid based on their family lineage. Some find a tartan that reflects their personality and some pick solely based on what they think will get the judges' attention. Others, like myself, choose with a combination of these factors in mind.

"So when designing an Oregon State tartan, I kept all of these aspects in mind, and set out to design a tartan that demanded attention and represented our university well."

Keeping with the OSU spirit, the design is orange and black with a touch of white. A sample is on the College of Health and Human Sciences Web site: http://www.hhs.oregonstate.edu/dhe/tartan.

Orange is a dominant color that demands to be noticed and is full of energy and excitement, Lorenson said, while the black adds dignity. The touch of white, she points out, adds a calming effect.

After the tartan unveiling at the college alumni reception on Friday, Lorenson will attend an alumni lunch on Saturday before being escorted to special box seats for OSU's football game against the University of Arizona Wildcats.

For the future, Lorenson is planning a semester in Italy, studying design. Her career plans are focused on writing for a design magazine.