Notable Alumni

Notable alumni of Parkland College.  We consider anyone who completed a degree, started an educational journey, or earned job skills through Parkland, a proud alumnus!

W. Jake Tatar

Graphic design

Associate in Applied Science

Graphic Design


Hometown: Rantoul, IL
Year graduated: 2006
Currently working at: Parkland College Marketing & Public Relations (Champaign IL)

How does it feel to be a professional designer: "Professional" might be a stretch; "currently working as" would probably be more appropriate. There are tons of talented "pro" designers out there that provide me with inspiration.

How do you like your job: I love my job. I wish I had pursued design at a much younger age.

How did you get this job: So I found out about this job through an online email job list I subscribe to…but I am currently working alongside fellow ’06 Parkland graphic design graduate and classmate Rebecca Grosser, whom I am certain recommended me to the search committee. I found out about my previous job at C.H.I. Overhead Doors through another ’06 Parkland graphic design graduate and classmate John Knapp. It has really paid off to keep in touch with my former classmates/designers.

What was the most exciting project you've worked on since graduation: I have worked on tons of cool projects since I graduated…they range anywhere from designing flyers for my annual hometown summer celebration to working on full marketing campaigns to launch new products for a huge manufacturing company. They both offer their own unique sets of challenges and I thrive rising up to them.

What were some of the most important things you learned while at Parkland: I learned that I should have paid WAY more attention when I was learning about the "mechanics" of print design: color separations, bleeds, etc. I have fixed a TON of great work by great designers because their art files aren't set up correctly for print. So take good notes...! It won't make much sense now but it will later, I guarantee you.

What is your favorite typeface and why: This varies WIDELY. I'll fall in love with a typeface for several weeks but then a new one will come along and steal my heart (I’m kinda tired of Helvetica though!). Typefaces evoke emotions in me; it is critical to choose one that reinforces the message your design is trying to convey.

Portfolio link: