Archive for the ‘Graphic Design’ Category

Explore. Reform. Succeed: How psychographic profiles drive Graphic Design’s innovative new website

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015
Graphic Design alum Youmna Chamcham's takes a Reformer's approach to design

Graphic Design alum Youmna Chamcham takes a Reformer’s approach to design

When a highly regarded graphic design program launches a new website, it’s often received by design community with the heightened levels of scrutiny and anticipation reserved for the latest iPhone unveiling. And those expectations become stratospheric when that academic department happens to have distinguished itself with its pioneering transmedia curriculum.

But all that pressure to dazzle the design world did not deter ArtCenter Graphic Design Chair, Nik Hafermaas, from breaking with convention in both the conception and execution of his department’s newly minted website. Instead, Hafermaas recruited a core group of innovative designers to take a distinctly idiosyncratic approach to developing and building the content of the site around a set of user archetypes known as “psychographics,” based on demographic research of likely visitors. The look and feel of the site was then created based on the written psychographic Q&As that Graphic Design faculty member Guillaume Wolf had assembled as the site’s driving conceit.

Hafermaas’ risk paid off. launched to great acclaim earlier this month. As the raves continued to roll in, we seized the opportunity to ask Hafermaas to illuminate the unconventional process that lead him to create a site inspired and inhabited by the presumed end user.


Nothing to lose: A conversation with OutNetwork president and graphic design student Gianfranco Ocampo

Monday, September 21st, 2015
Gianfranco Ocampo at ArtCenter College of Design

Gianfranco Ocampo this summer at ArtCenter College of Design’s South Campus. Photo by Chuck Spangler

Before Gianfranco Ocampo embarked on his first trip to Europe this fall as a participant in the Berlin Studio study away program, we sat down for a conversation with the upper-term Graphic Design major. Ocampo loves to travel, and over the years his family in Los Angeles has hosted many exchange students, one of whom in turn hosted Ocampo when he visited Japan for his 18th birthday. Already bilingual (English and Spanish), Ocampo learned to speak Japanese and to cook Japanese food. Confident and outgoing, he’s a people-centric person at home in the role of ambassador. As a peer mentor with the Center for the Student Experience (CSE), he welcomes incoming students to ArtCenter and this year was named president of OutNetwork, ArtCenter’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, Intersex and Allies (GLBTQIA) student club. The group is dedicated to fostering a multidisciplinary, multigenerational community that shares an interest in the intersection between GLBTQIA identity and the creative arts; members include current students and faculty as well as alumni. For Ocampo, advocating for important causes is integral to his calling as a designer.


Reach out and Art Someone

Thursday, September 10th, 2015
Still from film workshop video

Still from film workshop video

What started as a passion project for Alvin Oei, has morphed into an official and active ArtCenter student club that brings the disciplines of art and design to underserved kids in the community. This past summer, some sixteen Environmental Design, Film, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interaction Design and Product Design students participated in Art Reach volunteering in two separate local Boys & Girls club locations, offering a number of twice weekly workshops.


From techno to wearable tech: Study abroad students showcase Berlin-influenced wearables

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

“Head to Toe, Berlin” was a study abroad upper term course involving ten students from Product Design, Interaction Design, Graphic Design and Illustration. With nine weeks in Berlin, this immersed students in the design, textile and fashion industries of Berlin. Through field trips to designer studios, museums as well as input from professional guest speakers and studio work sessions, students were empowered to develop their own collection of designs focusing on head to toe wearables: apparel, accessories, soft goods, textiles and/or wearable tech.


Catch a sneak peek at the past, present and future of fonts and ArtCenter’s new Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
The centerpiece of the student-produced show was an interactive  typographical timeline enabling viewers to create a customizable program. Photo by Nik Hafermaas

The centerpiece of the student-produced show was an interactive typographical timeline enabling viewers to create a customizable program. Photo by Nik Hafermaas

The passageway leading into the South Campus gallery is swimming in an alphabet soup of letters and familiar icons and signage, hawking everything from the latest blockbuster to cheap, fast cash loans. It’s an immersive experience in the nuanced codes and messages contained within the various fonts and typefaces that punctuate our modern landscape. This visceral typographic encounter acts as an introduction to the student-produced temporary show, 85_15 TYPOGRAPHY: PAST/PRESENT/FUTURE, which is the first exhibition to be presented by the new Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography (HMCT), due to make its official debut on November 7 with the Symposium and Center opening celebration in its permanent space on the ground floor of ArtCenter’s 950 South Raymond building.


Going bold and going home: ArtCenter’s graphic identity, past and present

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
ArtCenter’s original 7th Street campus, 1947

ArtCenter’s original 7th Street campus, 1947

At the beginning of 2013 the Design Office began evaluating the ArtCenter identity and considering possible adjustments that could enable a stronger, more flexible presence, particularly with online communications in mind. Our intent wasn’t to rebrand ArtCenter, but rather to make stronger use of the existing graphic identity elements that have always been associated with the College. This process led to a fascinating deep dive into the history of ArtCenter’s identity. We looked into the origins of the orange dot and studied 85 years of ArtCenter promotional materials to identify the things that represent the essence of who we are. Here’s what we found:


You go, grads: Let the Summer Graduation festivities begin!

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
Graduating students with friends and family following Spring 2015 commencement. Photo: John Dlugolecki

Graduating students with friends and family following Spring 2015 commencement. Photo: John Dlugolecki

“Sun is shining. Weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet.” Bob Marley

This Saturday, following a sometimes exhaustive, always intensive, memorably vigorous and astonishingly creative commitment to making and learning, 91 ArtCenter students will receive their diplomas. This will be the second graduation ceremony to be held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, a thankfully climate-controlled venue conveniently located between Hillside and South campuses.

As the day approaches, let’s celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world. Here’s the lowdown for the week:


Extra! Extra! May-June Art Center alumni notes are hot off the press

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
Laura Leiman's RAAC project

Laura Leiman’s RAAC project

Here’s your early summer bounty of Art Center alumni notes, news and happenings, best enjoyed with a cool beverage, under a shady tree on a breezy afternoon.


Art Center friends of 30 years unite for exhibition at Hurley HQ to raise scholarship funds

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
Julian Smith, Hayden Smith, Chris Lundy and Mark Smith worked together as the "Sarasota Brotherhood" to gather and ship the paintings for the exhibition.

Julian Smith, Hayden Smith, Chris Lundy and Mark Smith worked together as the “Sarasota Brotherhood” to gather and ship the paintings for the exhibition.

It’s no surprise that lifelong friendships are often forged out of the rigor and intensity of an Art Center education. Take Mark Smith (BFA 88 Graphic) and Chris Lundy (BFA 89 Illustration), who met at Art Center in 1985. What’s followed has been 30 years of artistic collaborations, a shared love of music, film and writing and surf days on the beach. When Chris was diagnosed this past September with glioblastoma multiforme, a cancerous tumor of the brain, the two friends met the challenge side by side. Inspired by each other and their shared Art Center experience, they decided to create a scholarship in Chris’s name.

On Saturday, July 18, an exhibition spearheaded by Mark will showcase Chris’s extraordinary paintings, with proceeds going to support the Chris Lundy Creative Scholarship. The fund will provide financial assistance to talented Art Center students. Mark offered to talk to us about the exhibition, which will take place at the headquarters of Hurley in Costa Mesa, and his friendship with Chris. Here’s our conversation:


Alumni video: Strategic brand storyteller Michael Etter sources his inspiration for the ‘beerification’ of wine

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Pizza delivery, filmmaking and teaching are not typical bullet points on a designer’s resume. But Michael Etter (BFA 03 Graphic Design) took a roundabout route to his chosen field at Art Center, which he ultimately came to see as the most effective means to exercise his passion for storytelling. The thread connecting all his diverse interests has always been a narrative one, which continues to inform his work today as a strategic brand storyteller.

What does that mean exactly? As you’ll see in the above video and the Q&A below, Etter works to define brands as if they were characters in a story he’s writing. He then shapes a campaign around the specific attributes of the company. It’s a process that has yielded supremely successful results. Case in point: His recent campaign for Union Wine Company, which was designed to take the pretension out of wine drinking and make it more casual and accessible to non-oenophiles. The resulting campaign combined design innovation—selling wine in cans. But it was Etter’s bold narrative about the “beerification of wine” that distilled the essence of the idea into a media-friendly easily digestible package, generating a smash hit for Union, which quickly sold out of its first run of cans and is now expanding its reach far beyond its roots in Oregon.