GamecockGrafx printing class teaches life, business skills and inspires students to keep creating


"If they can dream it, then we can do it" was the original slogan of the GamecockGrafx.

Originating in 2019, one may think the full-blown student-run graphics production company based out of Sumter High School would have been in business for decades. They can print just about anything, starting small with stickers and banners to now doing embroidered clothes and experimenting with 3D posters, among other things.

"Everybody in here wants to be here. We have so many programs at Sumter High the kids can't do everything. I feel privileged that they want to be in this class with me," GamecockGrafx adviser Brian Jackson said.

The program is split into two classes. The fall semester focuses mainly on computer-based graphic designing and image editing while the spring is hands-on, learning to work their state-of-the-art machines and physically creating products for the school and community.

They're completely self-sufficient with all the money earned from sales going back into supplies for the program. They rely very little on funding from the greater school and district, according to Jackson.

And while much of their work is merchandise for Sumter Athletics and the school at large, GamecockGrafx is continuing to grow their network in the community working heavily with other schools and local businesses to create products for them as well.

"When I go to different high schools I'm like, 'Oh my God, I made that!' and then I'll go right up to it and am like, 'Look at my work, guys!'" senior Journey Wright said. "People out in the community enjoy students coming up and saying, 'I did that.' They appreciate that students took the time to make their projects."

While they're not in the business of purposefully taking customers from other local print shops, GamecockGrafx is in the business of teaching valuable life skills to students and what it takes to run a company: from working with your hands from pre- to post-production to the financial side of the operation. The class even sometimes merges with the school's accounting class to go over the business' numbers.

For some, the class has instilled a passion for graphic design that's led to pursuing the field in college or creating brands of their own. One of those individuals is Wright, who recently started her own company called Conquer Apparel.

"Once you start it, you can't stop loving it," she said. "My favorite thing as of right now has been working with Coach Jackson to finalize my clothing brand logos and understanding how to actually put my dreams into action."

As COVID-19 put the brakes on the early days of the operation, forcing students to learn remotely before a few were allowed back in the building, the program has evolved from stickers and yard signs for all 500+ Class of 2020 graduates to what it is now - so big Jackson says he's likely changing classrooms next year to something twice the size.

The best way to get in contact with GamecockGrafx is by emailing Jackson at

Without a formal graphic design background but always having a knowledge and passion for it, Jackson's understanding of the field is growing just as the program is.

"Learning so much more about this field every day, that's what I like the most. I can spend three to four hours a day after school just learning more stuff and figuring things out, kind of being hands-on like the kids are," he said.

He added, "Once people see what we can do, they keep coming back for more. I wish we had more time. There's so much more we could do."