Industry Partner Spotlight: Gemini

Top wholesale graphics manufacturer supports Graphic Design Technology

Caitlin Schneider works as a trade show specialist at Gemini, a global leader in the wholesale manufacturing of dimensional letters, logos and plaques. A family-owned company founded in 1963, Gemini is headquartered in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.

In fall 2019, Caitlin and Jerry Kimmes, layout/sales manager at Gemini, visited the campus of Dakota County Technical College and surprised DeAnn Engvall, graphic design technology faculty at the college, with a $5,000 check from Gemini.

Caitlin Schneider

“Jerry and I met with DeAnn,” Caitlin said. “She was wonderful to work with—and I could feel her passion for the Graphic Design Technology program. She took the time to give us a tour of the graphic design area, and it was fun to see where this donation money could possibly go.”

Caitlin reported that Gemini relies on talented graphic designers for many aspects of the business. “Gemini has been very fortunate to have multiple graduates from the DCTC program be a part of the layout department,” she said. “The layout department is an important part of the customer experience process at Gemini. The layout artists will assist the customer’s when it comes to their artwork on the signage they are ordering with Gemini.”

DeAnn Engvall

Caitlin added that the artists edit their artwork to meet production needs, communicate with the customer on certain deadlines, and communicate with the customer service team on what is needed for the artwork to be produced in the best possible way.

“Gemini takes pride in supporting local communities, with a special emphasis on the education and growth of students throughout all education levels,” she said. “We are thankful for the quality education these individuals received through the DCTC Graphic Design Technology program.”

DeAnn Engvall heads the Visual Arts & Communication department at DCTC. DeAnn began teaching full-time at DCTC in spring semester 2003. She teaches courses in Web Design and Graphic Design.

“Our Graphic Design Technology program has been very fortunate to have Gemini as a partner in education,” DeAnn said. “The company supports our program as an employer of our graduates, through service on our Visual Arts Advisory Board and most recently as a financial donor. Caitlin Schneider and Jerry Kimmes​ came with a generous check in hand on a recent visit to our campus, and we are quite excited to use the donation to add more hands-on experience for our students. Thanks, Gemini, for being there for DCTC.​”

More about Gemini…¹

Gemini manufactures its products in 20 plants throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Gemini’s products are sold exclusively through authorized resellers serving the signage and award and recognition industries. Gemini’s products are backed by a lifetime guarantee.

Gemini>Our Company>Our History

A True Story

From modest beginnings, through honest hard work and adhering to small town values, Gemini is now the world’s largest wholesale manufacturer of dimensional letters, logos and plaques.


Alumna Spotlight: Jess Bohmbach

Jess Bohmbach

Jess Bohmbach, 32, graduated from Red Wing High School, Class of 2005. Jess attended Bemidji State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Liberal Studies. She continued her education at DCTC, earning her Associate of Applied Arts (A.A.S.) in Multimedia & Web Page Design in 2016.

After taking a tour of Gemini when she was a student at DCTC, Jess started at the company in August 2015. She’s a layout artist and her primary duties include editing customer artwork to meet production requirements, communicating with customers to ensure satisfaction, and staying up to date on software and manufacturing capabilities.

Jess worked as a writing peer tutor during her time at DCTC. She wrote an April 2014 feature story for DCTC News called “Military Veteran Returns Home to DCTC.” She was also interviewed that same month for a DCTC News story called “Peer Tutors Boost Student Writing Skills.”

Peer Tutors

Peer Tutors Boost Student Writing Skills, April 2014

More about Jess…

Jess’s boyfriend, Dan, works as a warehouseman at Red Wing Shoes in Red Wing, Minnesota. Jess has one son, Dylan, 7, and one daughter, Josie, 4. In her free time, Jess enjoys writing creative nonfiction on topics such as coping and dealing with death as well as balancing work and raising children. Her writing style is centered on clarity, simplicity and the use of everyday language. Her favorite writers include Kurt Vonnegut and David Sedaris. Jess resides with her family in Red Wing.

Jess Bohmbach Q & A

Why did you choose DCTC?
DCTC offered the program I was looking for. The cost was affordable and everyone I spoke to on the campus was very welcoming and helpful. I was raising a son and I needed to get on a career path. Web design goes hand in hand with writing. I could learn how to build websites and I had the skills to provide written content.

How did your education at DCTC help you enter the workforce?
My education helped me get comfortable with using multiple software programs on a daily basis while giving me practice balancing multiple projects.

Why did you choose your career path?
Throughout my time at DCTC, I kept an open mind about where I wanted to begin my career after graduating. I ended up touring Gemini while I was still taking classes just to check out what they did and what the atmosphere was like; I left that day with a job offer. As a parent, good benefits, flexible management, and job security are important to me—and Gemini has provided me with all of those things.

What is your favorite Adobe Creative Suite program and why?
Illustrator because you can do so much with the program, including adding typography.

Three words that describe you as a graphic designer:

What is your greatest strength as a layout artist?
I have the ability to adapt to a variety of products and projects. I have no problem going back and forth between different tasks.

What is your favorite type of project at Gemini?
I like working on illuminated projects for our LUXE™ line.

What did you like best about Multimedia & Web Page Design at DCTC?
The instructors and their enthusiasm for the work they do. They were all easy to talk to, knowledgeable and helpful.

What advice would you give students thinking about attending a technical college?
Do it! You can go anywhere from there.

What is your favorite part of your job at Gemini?
The overall culture of the company—even during our busiest and most stressful times, the people here make being at work enjoyable.

What one word best describes your experience at DCTC?


Industry perspective…

Kallie Cummings, HR Manager, Gemini

Kallie Cummings

DCTC News: Why does Gemini support the Graphic Design Technology program at DCTC?
Kallie: Gemini takes pride in supporting local communities, with a special emphasis on the education and growth of kids throughout all education levels. The Gemini Core Value of Curiosity highlights our focus on the development of people by encouraging them to be lifelong learners.

We have several DCTC graduates as part of our Gemini team, and we are thankful for the quality education these individuals received as they provide a great contribution to our overall success.

DCTC News: Why is a technical college education important for your workforce?
Kallie: The majority of the positions at Gemini require or benefit from technical training. We employ many people that received a variety of skills and degrees from technical colleges such as graphic design, business, information technology, engineering and machining.

This education typically allows the individual to onboard into the job quicker, and with more confidence, to positively contribute to the team. Earning a technical education also allows someone to get into the workforce sooner and take advantage of the Gemini tuition reimbursement program if they choose to continue on with their education.

Jerry Kimmes, Layout/Sales Manager, Gemini

Jerry Kimmes

DCTC News: Where do you see graphic design technology (and Gemini) in 25 years?
Jerry: Having been in the sign industry since the late 70s, I can say with certainty the changes have been vast. Long gone are the days of drawing things by hand and getting out the paint and brush. The advances made over the last 20 years have been the most significant.

With a design program on every computer in a shop today, we have tapped into the group of people who have vivid imaginations, but not the God-given talent to translate that to paper. The programs continue to get more intuitive, with actions and short cuts to help everyone achieve the desired look that they are envisioning.

I believe that this will be the direction things will continue to grow, with the average company having their own Web and graphic designer on staff. For the sign industry we will see  programs readily available online from companies like us to input your art and building, with the customer doing a visual mockup with instantly.

On the actual design end I think the software will be voice-activated, allowing designers to give commands such as color my sign from left to right using a yellow to red gradient, or stretch the oval out 10 percent with a thicker stoke on the vertical. Only your imagination will stop you from doing anything. Learning the software will be more like talking to SIRI.

Graphic Designers

Create and design graphics to promote a product or service.

This career pays above the statewide median of $20.07/hour


Median: $23.63/hour
High: $30.73/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $26.14/hour
High: $33.51/hour


This career is seeing moderate growth compared to other careers. There will be a need for about 6,602 new Graphic Designers to meet market demand between 2016–2026. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

Minnesota State CAREERwise Education

Alumnus Spotlight: Jesse Revland

Jesse Revland

Originally from Wanamingo, Minnesota, Jesse Revland, 25, graduated from Kenyon-Wanamingo High School, Class of 2013. He played football, basketball and golf in high school. Jesse went on to earn an A.A.S. in Graphic Design Technology at DCTC in 2016. He interviewed at Gemini following the DCTC Spring 2016 Portfolio Show and started working at the company’s Cannon Falls location in May of that year .

Jesse’s job title at Gemini is plaque layout artist. His duties in that role are extensive and include:

  • Working on artwork to make it producible
  • Fixing bad art
  • Redrawing logos
  • Kerning
  • Cutting out backgrounds on photos
  • Fixing photos up to make them producible
  • Handling rush orders
  • Talking with customers to fix any problems they have with art or assist them with any other issues

More about Jesse…

Jesse has three older brothers. When he’s not working, Jesse enjoys league bowling and sand volleyball. He likes to hunt and fish—he regularly goes on family trips to Red Lake, Ontario, Canada, to fish for walleye. He also likes landscape photography; as a student at DCTC, he tested his shooting skills on a North Shore Photography Winter Workshop. Jesse resides in Wanamingo.

Jesse Revland Q & A

Why did you choose DCTC?
I chose DCTC because the campus was within driving distance, the classroom sizes were smaller and tuition was affordable.

How did your education at DCTC help you enter the workforce?
The program gave me the skills, tools and knowledge I needed in the software and applications required for a career in graphic design.

Why did you choose graphic design as your career path?
I thought working as a graphic designer looked like it would be fun! I also like computers and working with Adobe products.

What is your favorite Adobe Creative Suite program and why?
Illustrator because the program is powerful yet simple to use. I use Photoshop and Lightroom every day at Geminia.

Three words that describe you as a professional in your field:

What is your greatest strength as a layout artist?
Listening to customers and knowing exactly what they want and then getting their projects done as fast as possible.

What is your favorite type of project at Gemini?
I like working on photos, including creating collages, fixing up old photos and cutting out backgrounds.

What did you like best about the Graphic Design Technology program at DCTC?
The teachers were very knowledgeable in their programs. The people at DCTC are really nice as well. I also liked the small classroom sizes. That made me feel like I could always get help when I needed it.

What advice would you give students thinking about attending a technical college?
Technical colleges are a better choice when it comes to financial side. You also get a lot more hands-on training. The class sizes are also smaller so the teacher will actually know who you are and are willing to help you more.

What is your favorite part of your job at Gemini?
My coworkers

What one word best describes your experience at DCTC?


More about Graphic Design Technology at DCTC…

You have a creative vision. Learn how to bring it to life as a student in the DCTC Graphic Design Technology program.

As a student in this program, you will:

  • Master the latest design tools, including Adobe Creative Cloud applications such as InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and more
  • Learn to communicate effectively in print, Web and interactive media
  • Develop skills and knowledge in design concepts, typography, layout, illustration, animation and Web content

Our instructors are professionals with years of industry-related experience. They will teach you how to design and deliver visual solutions to communication challenges.

Learn more about Graphic Design Technology and Web Design at DCTC by contacting:

DeAnn Engvall
Graphic Design Technology and Web Design Faculty