The School of Visual Communication Design (VCD) invites you to learn more about a variety of events taking place in the month of April. In the attached flyer you will find details about speakers, the annual senior portfolio show, and the upcoming Inspire creative camp.
On Thursday, April 4 AIGA Kent will be hosting a free event with award-winning designer, artist and author James Victore. The following week, In Transit, this year's BFA show, will be on display in School of Art Gallery. The show will close with a reception the evening of Friday, April 12.
Also in April, AIGA Cleveland will be presenting an event on the 18th with Justin Ahrens of Rule29 and a group of VCD graduate students whose research supported his Life in Abundance project aimed at improving access to healthcare.
Lastly, alumni and future students alike are encouraged to learn more about Inspire, a week-long summer creative camp, now in its second year, that introduces high school-aged students to the professional field of design, photography, and illustration.
Check out the entire list of events by downloading the attached PDF.
By Amy Breedon
“If you're meant to do it, you're meant to do it. Perseverance is a must.” - Cece Bell
1998 School of Visual Communication Design (VCD) Master of Arts graduate Cece Bell recently earned the Geisel Honor Award for her latest children's book “Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover,” published by Candlewick Press last year. Bell describes the new book's adorable yet simple plot: “Four things on a list of things to do, three pizza toppings, two friends and one crazy night!”
Bell lives and grew up in Virginia, where she also completed her undergraduate degree at the College of William and Mary. She met fellow art major and future husband, writer Tom Angleberger, at the College. Bell earned a graduate degree in illustration and design at Kent State University and went on to do design work for a company that sold exotic pet products before establishing herself as a freelance illustrator. Bell explains, “Children's books just seemed like a good fit for the kinds of illustrations I was creating. And since no one would hire me to illustrate their books, I started writing my own and illustrating those.” She now works as a full-time author and illustrator and lives with her husband, two children and three dogs.
Bell says being a self-employed author-illustrator has its advantages and disadvantages. “The best part is being your own boss, deciding how hard to work each day (or how hard not to work each day). The not-so-wonderful part is also being your own boss, hearing that little nagging voice saying, 'you should be working today' on the days that you decided to not work so hard.”
Work as a children's book author-illustrator demands not only a strong imagination but meeting deadlines, facing the editors' criticism, a good deal of waiting, and having work rejected from time to time. What starts as a curious and silly idea that comes to Bell during a dog walk may eventually be written on a slip of paper and tucked away in a drawer. Later, when searching for a concept for a new book, that small idea may be chosen, proposed, and if approved, will be edited repeatedly until the final illustrations are complete. From start to finish the whole project, Bell says, can take anywhere from three to nine months. “The most difficult step for me is always the edits. The best part is the beginning, when you're figuring it all out and making that first dummy,” Bell adds, when the brainstorming takes place and the concept is still fresh.
Bell attributes her thick skin to the VCD program, what she considers a valuable step in developing her skills as an illustrator. “The design classes were a must for me. I owe just about everything to that program, I really do,” Bell says.
“Everyone wants to see the students succeed, and those tough critiques were probably just tough love. Super-tough love.” Having endured these critiques, Bell feels she was better prepared for a career in illustration, where the ability to sacrifice many ideas in order to arrive at the most successful one is crucial.
“If you're meant to do it, you're meant to do it. Perseverance is a must. Be prepared to do a lot of waiting. And while you're waiting, go ahead and start new projects!” Each rejection gives her determination and inspires her try harder next time, says an encouraging Bell.
Bell would like to see “Rabbit and Robot” come back for a second book but in the mean time a new book “Crankee Doodle,” a collaborative effort with her husband, is set to be released in June of 2013. Current projects include illustrations for a mid-grade series that Angleberger is writing, a graphic novel about her childhood and hearing loss, as well as a book about grammar.
Alumnus Lee Zelenak will speak about his experience as Senior Designer at the Obama for America campaign at an open AIGA Kent chapter event on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the FirstEnergy Auditorium in Franklin Hall on the Kent State campus.
Zelenak is a graphic designer and educator from Cleveland, OH. Prior joining the Obama campaign, he was a designer at Twist Creative and an instructor in Kent State's School of VCD.
Zelenak is an alumnus of Kent State's BFA program and is finishing is thesis for his MFA in VCD. He's served as Director of Programming for AIGA Cleveland and worked for VCD's Glyphix Design Studio. With a few of his friends, he started Kiddo Design Collect, which is a collection of independent designers, writers, programmers and printers who work collaboratively or individually on projects to impact their community and advance the greater good. His work has been featured by Print Magazine, HOW, HOW International, the Addy's, Kent State University, AIGA Cleveland and the Interactive Media Awards.
Alumni and friends of VCD are welcome to attend the presentation. Contact email@example.com with questions.
Aimee Crane, alumna of the Master of Fine Arts in the School of Visual Communication Design (VCD) at Kent State University and current internship coordinator for the School, recently served as an intern at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Crane followed fellow master’s alumnus Jason Goupil and current graduate student Adina Feigenbaum in the internship program, which is an initiative of Cleveland State University that was started by Jennifer Visocky-O’Grady, Kent State alumna and chairperson of the Art Department at Cleveland State University. Goupil and Feigenbaum both completed undergraduate degrees in graphic design from CSU and held the internship prior to joining VCD.
This summer Crane worked at NASA Glenn Research Center to create a new exhibit representing Human Exploration and Operations messaging as part of an educational outreach program, based on project funding from NASA Johnson Space Center and NASA Headquarters. The exhibit elements provided an experience that was functional, informative, engaging and interactive to both encourage visitor participation and appreciation for NASA’s future role in human space exploration.
Crane designed various 3D environmental elements including display banners and posters for outreach events. She also designed an interactive table top activity for a Gen Y audience to understand the NASA Orion Mission and the other future mission destinations.
“Working with NASA employees as well as meeting awe-inspiring astronauts was no doubt an incredible experience,” Crane said. “However, the most exciting aspect for me were sharing NASA's future human spaceflight plans through our designed exhibit experiences and interacting with energetic and excited NASA fans. Knowing that I might have had a small part in inspiring a potential next generation astronaut is humbling to say the least.”
In the summer of 2011, Feigenbaum had a similar focus of making complicated and constantly changing information relatable to the next generation of space enthusiasts. She created a series of animations to explain NASA’s Orion spacecraft and the focus of future space exploration initiatives.
“I found the process of sifting through information and figuring out how to make it into something visual that people will want to look at and read an exciting challenge,” Feigenbaum said.
Crane said that teamwork and strong working relationships were crucial in meeting production timelines and coordinating exhibit messages, which were flexible based on the topic, location and audience. “I enjoyed seeing firsthand how design research, observations, and user feedback directly impacted our next prototype and how the project and pieces evolved with each field test,” Crane said. “No two events where our team provided educational outreach experiences were alike. It provided a unique challenge of creating a layered message system that was not only interactive and engaging, but scalable and modular as well.”
Crane applied skills from her concentration in 3D graphic design to meet the requirements of this position. She was able draw schematics of the exhibits and manage projects from conception to production using the skills she acquired in VCD.
“Being able to keep up with high demands and fast pace of the internship were a direct result of my education in graduate school in the School of VCD,” Crane said.
She hopes to continue her career in educational outreach and marketing using her skills in 3D design and creative problem solving in business and global engineering settings.
Alumnus Mikey Burton spoke to a packed crowd of design students, friends and even his own family on Thursday, Sept. 27 in the FirstEnergy Auditorium of Franklin Hall. Burton talked to a full audiortium about his education in the School of Visual Communication Design at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He discussed his personal design interests and where he often finds inspiration. Burton encouraged students to explore self-initiated projects, like he did with screen printing of posters as part of Little Jacket. He walked students through his master’s project, “New Covers for Old Books” and current portfolio of freelance work for outlets like the New York Times and Fast Company. Burton supplied copies of his “Work for Work” poster for attendees. Members of AIGA organized Burton’s visit and presentation.
Story from June 29, 2012
By Emily Horne
Renee Volchko, a December 2011 B.F.A. graduate of Kent State's School of Visual Communication Design is continuing her senior project, even after graduation. Volchko’s 2-D concentration with a minor in Web design and programming has gone to good use as she continues to tweak her project for use by the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring organization.
Volchko’s final project consisted of three “ad spots” or roughly 30 second videos. In order to create these videos, she interviewed many different kids. From her 25-30 minutes of footage from each kid, she narrowed it down to about 30 seconds for each video.
She says she chose to work with Big Brothers Big Sisters because family has always been important to her, as she has a sister eight years her junior. “I think that everyone deserves to have a sibling relationship,” she said. She also said she believes there is something special about having someone like that in your life.
One of Volchko’s biggest challenges with completing this project was adhering to a strict schedule. Between utilizing a green screen, rendering, animating, filming, setting up lights, and making sure each of the small technicalities were in place, it was a challenge to balance that with executing an overall message for her chosen audience.
“It was such an accomplishment, not only for me to get it done, but to get it done with success,” she said. She began thinking about this project in May 2011 and began executing it in October 2011. She says there was “a lot of thinking and planning” before she began tackling the actual project.
After contacting the Big Brothers Big Sisters Headquarters to show them her project, she got in contact with the art director. They are now in the process of integrating the organization’s logo and an existing slogan into the project so it can be viewed by the public. Volchko said she hopes they will use it as some kind of viral video or ad spot on their Youtube or website in the future.
“Completing this project gave me a little bit more confidence in my abilities,” Volchko said. She went on to say that receiving responses and praise from people who have viewed her project is a great reward.
A self-proclaimed driven and inspired designer, Volchko said she finds inspiration very easily and very quickly. “Graphic design has been my way to communicate with people,” she said. “Art is a language everybody speaks.”
Volchko recently coded and launched a new personal website. You can view it and some of her work at www.hellorenee.com.
Delphine Keim-Campbell was recognized in the most recent American Design Awards semi-annual competition (Summer 2011). Her work in the category of Catalog Design received a first-place award. Delphine is an Associate Professor in the Art and Design Program at the University of Idaho.
Two logos and a poster designed by Little Jacket (Ken Hejduk, Mikey Burton and Joey Parlett) are featured in the recently published book Just Design: Socially Conscious Design for Critical Causes.
Bob Aufuldish has had several poster designs featured in the same book. One of his featured posters is a promotional piece for a reading at California College of the Arts by author David Sedaris. A spread of Bob's series of posters for the CCA Architecture Lecture Series Fall 2008, 2007 appears in the book with a note by the author that the posters accurately reflect the "critical and relevant" nature of the fields of study presented by the lectures.
Bob is a Professor of Graphic Design at California College of the Arts, runs the design studio Aufuldish & Warinner with his wife Kathy Warinner and operates the digital type foundry Font Boy. In 2009, Bob was selected by the San Francisco Center for the Book to receive one of their first annual Five Treasures Awards. Following is some information about this very unique award:
Living Treasure: a title awarded in several countries that denotes a person who embodies intangible national cultural values as a living human treasures. The nominee is recognized by peers for their cumulative experience, expertise and educational competences. They must be capable of passing on their knowledge and skill by teaching, speaking and demonstration.
Many individuals have contributed to the rich history of San Francisco fine printing, bookbinding, type and book design, creative writing and publishing. Their work has transformed our community and our country. Over 50 individuals representing the five areas of recognition for 2009 (Book Art & Design, Fine Printing, Publishing, Bookbinding, Creative Writing) were asked to nominate peers who prove that innovation and creativity have no limits. The nominees were considered by a nine person selection committee of outstanding professionals representing all nomination fields, who selected the final award winners.
At the Akron Advertising Federation ADDY Awards March 2, Kent State VCD alumni proved their talent once again! While in Glyphix last year, students produced several client projects which were deemed worthy of awards in the professional level entries. A Gold Award was earned by Pat Routa, Hilary Demko and Dave Steckel for the 2011 ADDY Awards Campaign. Kate Hardy, Alex McClelland and Hilary Demko won two Silver Awards: one for KSU The Fashion School Catalog in its entirely and one for the cover of The Fashion School Catalog. A Silver Award went to the Broadleaf Partners LLC Brochure which was created by Joe Scherben and Kate Hardy. All projects will be forwarded to District judging where they will compete against 14 other districts. Congratulations to all!
Mikey Burton's design work was recently featured by Steven Heller on his blog "The Daily Heller" on Imprint.printmag.com. (Imprint is a member of the F+W Design Community that includes HOW and Print magazines.) The post "Whatchya Readin’?" describes how Mikey has teamed up with Out of Print Clothing to create t-shirt designs that celebrate the world’s great books. With a quote from the designer and links to the partner sites, it's a link worth checking out.
Burton was also featured on pp 38–39 in the April 2010 issue of Print magazine, which is their "new visual artists issue."
About the illustration, Steve tells us. "The image is part of my thesis exploring the usage of portraiture in a series of posters for Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities through Major League Baseball. The hope is to make baseball relevant again to young African American children who find other sports or activities more appealing. The image selected depicts Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels. Hunter rises from a bad neighborhood with boarded up houses. Angel Stadium is seen flanking both sides of Hunter as if forming wings. Symbolically, the wings represent his ability to rise above the challenge of his childhood dealing with drugs, guns, and gangs. He is seen holding the ball and taking control of the situation by focusing on baseball and leading a good life. An overlayed baseball field diagram is seen as an additional layer of information weaving the image and color together. Home plate is located in the house from which Hunter springs. Second base is located on his nose and the baseball represents the pitcher's mound. First and Third base can be found on the facing of the stands where advertisements and info is displayed during the games."
Steve has an intriguing web page showing the development process of the series of illustrations: http://primaryhughes.blogspot.com/