Posts Tagged ‘Graphic Design’

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.


Signature move: Alum Laura Leiman’s Creative Identity project explores the power of the pen

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
Laura Leiman's students learn carving techniques

Laura Leiman’s students learn carving techniques

“The signature is a singular fingerprint, original and distinctive to each person…and it is fast becoming extinct,” says Laura Leiman (BFA 99 Graphics), a graphic artist, student mentor and recent Regional Arts & Culture Council grant recipient, who has observed that most of her students printed their signatures with few distinguishing qualities. In fact, Leiman’s students’ signatures were often so similar, it it was hard to tell them apart.

Leiman noticed students were missing something key to individuality: the ability to communicate a written signature clearly yet uniquely as their own. Leiman’s Portland public school students wanted to learn cursive and calligraphy, neither of which is consistently taught. More importantly, students were eager to create identities uniquely their own—something they could use and develop through life.


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.


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.


Gee whiz! Graphic Design alum Earl Gee named AIGA 2015 San Francisco Fellow

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
Design by Earl Gee

Design by Earl Gee

Earl Gee (Graphic Design, 1983), has been selected as an AIGA San Francisco Fellow for 2015. AIGA, founded in 1914, is the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design, with 69 chapters and over 25,000 members. AIGA San Francisco, founded in 1983, is one of the largest AIGA chapters in the nation with over 1600 members. The AIGA Fellow program recognizes mature designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within the design community and their AIGA chapter. Fellows are honored for their design practice and other contributions in a range of areas, including education, writing, and leadership.


Adoration and appreciation abound at memorial for letterform expert Leah Hoffmitz Milken

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Laughter, tears and, most of all, love was in abundance last Thursday evening, when more than 200 close friends and family gathered in Art Center’s Wind Tunnel Gallery to remember the extremely perceptive, bigger than life, impressively precise, brutally honest and encouragingly supportive Leah Toby Hoffmitz Milken, who passed away in October after battling a rare form of brain cancer.

President Lorne M. Buchman described Leah’s teaching as “the spine,” the core, the fundamental center for the design practice of her students. “Letterforms are a significant means through which human knowledge is conveyed and made precise, he explained. “Leah gave us the gift of knowing language, of seeing the visual word, in its most precise and exacting form. And from that came a release, a creativity of communication that can only enhance our experience as human beings.”


Has alum Chris Do helped reinvent the music video with the interactive design for the Coldplay hit, “Ink?”

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

The spotlight of attention and adulation trained on the new interactive video for Coldplay’s latest hit, “Ink,” has been nothing short of, well…blinding. Appropriately enough, this ambitious and innovative multimedia project sprung from Blind, the transmedia design agency founded by Art Center alum Chris Do.

The evolution of the video is fascinatingly chronicled in the above making-of video as well as the following Fast Company blog post by Evie Nagy. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this video’s customized storytelling experience in the comments section below. Is this a novel fluke? Or have we just witnessed the future of all music videos? Discuss!

In November, pop-rock titans Coldplay released a gorgeous and engaging interactive video for “Ink,” a single from their chart-topping 2014 album Ghost Stories. The animated clip, developed by Los Angeles design agency Blind, is a choose-your-own-adventure-style story about a lost traveler given multiple opportunities to chase his elusive lover or go his own way. In all, there are more than 300 possible paths and stories a viewer can experience.

In the new behind-the-scenes video, members of Blind’s creative staff describe the two-month process of conceiving and creating the video, which uses a technology called Treehouse that was developed by New York company Interlude. Treehouse is the same technology that Bob Dylan used last year to create the interactive video for his 1965 classic “Like A Rolling Stone.” That video allowed users to click among 60 fake television shows of various genres, all dubbed with the song.

“The most challenging part of all of this was figuring out how to fully take advantage of the interactive medium,” says director Matthew Encina. “We had to create a story with inherently interesting choices to make, engaging viewers to wonder, ‘What would happen if I chose something else?’”

You can experience the “Ink” video here.