The Erwin Center for Brand Communications Research Spotlight l Dr. Erica Walker, Graphic Communications

April 4, 2019

The Erwin Center for Brand Communications is proud to support various research initiatives across Clemson’s campus that impact the brand communications industry.

The current research of Dr. Erica Walker, Assistant Professor of Graphic Communications at Clemson University, focuses on the consistency of brand colors on jumbtrons at live sporting events and a multi-year project on classroom research where she works as an instructional designer in partnership with industry-expert, adjunct lecturers.

The research, Are you for the Red Team or the Orange Team?: Protecting brand color consistency on jumbotron displays at live sporting events, studies the effects of branded color change on various screens and its impact on brand identity. Brands spend time and money developing standards to protect the integrity of brand assets, and this investment creates long-term value and demand for authentic products. However, various factors such as the screen’s built-in technology and the ambient light at the facility, which can range broadly based on the time of day and weather (for outdoor fields) to mixed-artificial lighting (for indoor facilities), can impact color management on video displays. By examining how video is captured and displayed during sporting events, she hopes to implement a systematic approach that can ensure color consistency for brand managers, content creators and screen manufacturers, as well as improve the overall fan experience. Currently, she is working with Faculty member, Dr. Hudson Smith, and a team of Creative Inquiry students to build out an Artificial Intelligence-based solution that recognizes brand color discrepancies pixel-by-pixel and targets color correction specifically to out-of-range parts of the image in real time.

As a result of a competitive and complex job market, students need to master both domain content and job-readiness skills such as perseverance, problem-solving, leadership and communication. Academics are trained to teach and evaluate student learning while industry experts can bring in current trends and tools needed for success in the industry. Both types of instructors bring value to preparing future industry leaders, but they rarely have the chance to partner together to provide this type of combined instruction for learners. In her research with industry-expert, adjunct lecturers, Bridging academia and industry through meaningful classroom experiences: Developing a framework for success in the classroom, four courses developed through the combined effort of an academic and an adjunct instructor are examined to reveal what aspects of this partnership are effective. The resulting model will help provide the structure and tools necessary to prepare current and future industry expert adjuncts and their academic partners for greater success in the classroom.

Check back on our BRAND_ED blog for all things brand education, including research furthering innovation in this industry. #ErwinCenterCU

More about Dr. Erica Walker: Dr. Erica Walker has a diverse background in visual communications which includes feature film production, web design & development, print buying, marketing and graphic design. As a faculty member in the Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson University, Dr. Walker teaches courses in Photography, Video, Web Development and Entrepreneurship. Prior to becoming a faculty member at Clemson University, Dr. Walker co-founded a film production company, Galatia Films. Two of her larger projects with Galatia Films, as a producer and cinematographer, include a feature length documentary film and an educational television series for children. Outside the classroom, Dr. Walker speaks at conferences across the country on topics including Adobe applications, curriculum development, mixed methods classroom research, the entrepreneurial mindset, game-based learning, color management, branding and social marketing.

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