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Drawings and Sketches

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Drawings and Sketches from Julia Sotnykova on Vimeo.

Some Of The Best Design Schools

parsons, new school of design

With a new college year just beginning, students from all over the world are heading back to school. Many of these students are attending design schools. But which design schools are the best? Here is a list of the best design schools in the United States.

Academy Of Art University- San Francisco

The largest accredited private art and design school in the nation enrolling over 18,000 students. Founded in 1929 the school is world renown for as a source of inspiration and talent. One of the key values of the school’s portfolio development. From the first they step foot on the San Francisco campus students are encouraged to create a portfolio that demonstrates a their skill in traditional drawing and painting as well as typography, print and editorial design, and many other facets of design.

Parsons School Of Design- New York

Based off the main New York City campus on 5th avenue, the school is active in all corners of the globe. Parsons is made up of 5 schools, that make up 27 challenging undergraduate programs. The school is constantly investigating current design trends and tricks of the trade, including graphic design, web design and providing a solid foundation in a traditional practices and concepts.

Pratt Institute- Brooklyn

One of the oldest design schools in the world, founded in 1887. Pratt is home to almost 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Pratt has both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs. The school is best known for its communications department with concentrations in illustration, advertising art direction, and graphic design. All the degree programs provide students with the opportunity to develop their design process and prepare them for leadership positions in their field.

Rhode Island School Of Design

Founded in 1877, RISD has stood out as a leader in art and design. Attracting students from all over the world, the school founded simultaneously the RISD Museum of Art. The school is best known for its broad range of media, graphic design, giving students a foundation of formal aesthetic and analytical knowledge and skills while exploring visual communication.

Yale University School Of Art- New Haven, Connecticut

The very highly selective MFA program from a prodigious school needs no introduction. The program accepts up to ten students yearly and up to seven students for a preliminary year program. The degree program focuses on the student’s thesis, which is a project unique to each student. Most students who get accepted into these highly selective programs have relevant experience in a study outside design but have evidence of a design mindset.

Up and Coming Graphic Designers

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In my past blog post I talked about the unsung heroes of graphic design, whose work you see every day. Today the design industry is bigger than ever, and standing out is even harder than before. While there is a lot of talent out there here is a list of emerging designers/established designers you need to know.

Sulki and Min are a husband-and-wife team. Natives of South Korea who met at Yale. Their work tends to blend a wide variety of styles to help promote what the message they are trying to send is. They’ve worked mainly in the cultural area, collaborating with museums, galleries, publishers, and cultural foundations.

Mark Gowing, Australian designer who might consider himself a typographer, but he feels “a lot of people look at the text as an image before they realize what it says.” Mark considers himself an interdisciplinary artist working across communications, publishing and visual art. Also the founder of Mark Gowing Design, Preservation Music, the Australian Poster Biennale, and Formist Publishers.

Felix Pfaffli, Swiss born designer, at only 27 years of age has been making quite the splash as of late and has been considered an “incredible powerhouse.” Since graduating college in 2010, he’s started his own studio, and in 2011 he was appointed as teacher at the Lucerne School of Graphic Design to teach the fields of typography, narrative design, and poster design.

Jianping He, Chinese designer is known for his type and letterforms as objects rather than just 2-D shapes. Arrived in Berlin from China in 1997 in order to familiarize himself in a European location with the “Western” theory and practice of artistic design from his own surroundings.

Shiro Shita Saori, Japanese designer working in Berlin, known for putting modern stylized play on older fashioned designs. Born in 1990, Saori graduated from Tama Art University with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Graphic Design in 2013.

Theseus Chan, considered by many to be one of the influential pioneers of Singapore’s creative scene. Managed to prove himself to be both creative enigma, as a well as spot-on when it comes to either promoting, nurturing or judging innovative ventures.

Philippe Apeloig, is one of the most established designers as of late. Born in Paris, Apeloig has worked with cultural institutions, publishing houses, and important luxury brands. He’s created a number of logotypes including the ones of the Direction des Musees de France, the Istituto Universitario di Architetture di Venezia, and the Petit Palais.

These are just a few of the “must know” artists in today’s exciting graphic design world.


The Unsung Heroes of Graphic Design

SubwaySignThe Graphic Design world has many of unsung heroes and visionaries, some have gone mostly under the radar. Their work is regarded as outstanding, iconic, and sometimes just the influence alone is all that’s been felt without the name attached to it. Some designers have shaped the world of design and and pushed the standards of everyone around them.

Will Burtin is a name some might recognize.The German born, American based Designers simple approach and style to complex ideas is what many consider to be the father of modern day “data visualization.” Focusing on the relationship between spatial forms and functions, he says how molecules of a certain shape could be expressed through visual art.

Cipe Pineles, art director and illustrator, is a pioneer of the graphic design industry working on several women’s magazines. Including Seventeen and Charm. The Austrian born designer was the first female designer to become a member of the Art Directors Club in New York, and received the prestigious AIGA Medal in 1996.

Giovanni Pintori, Italian born designer and painter, worked in-house for the Italian typewriter manufacturer Olivetti. He was crucial in defining the Olivetti brand by creating all of the material that helped transform the already well designed, but very practical office equipment into a work of art in its own right.

Bob Noorda, the Dutch born graphic designer, who primarily worked in Milan, is known for creating the iconic signage of the New York subway system. He’s known for helping introduce a Modernist look to advertising posters and corporate logos.

Lora Lamm, a Swiss designer who left for Milan following World War II, has been a designer under the radar for some time. Almost written out of design history, she’s known for creating breathtaking illustrations, exciting layouts, and eye catching typography. Recently in Zurich, at the Museum fur Gestaltung, an exhibition on her works has opened.

Margaret Calvert, British designer and typographer, played an important part in the project which revolutionized the signage for Britain’s road system nearly 60 years ago. The iconic signage is as known, and comparable to the red pillar box or black cab in the British Landscape.

Barney Bubbles, English graphic artist is responsible for designing several album covers including Ian Dury, and Elvis Costello. Designers in the post-punk era took of influence on his work, which is now considered iconic.

The influence of graphic design on a day-to-day basis is unmeasurable. You see it everywhere, but the artists and visionaries of these works go unnoticed to the general public who sees it daily.

Upcoming Design Events

Spring and Summer are upon us and the design community plans to take full advantage of our favorite time of year. Below are a couple upcoming design events and festivals occurring in London and Berlin. Stay tuned for more updates as this summer is surely to provide a wealth of conferences for the arts.

pick me up london julia sotnykova vancouver ca

Pick Me Up 2015
April 23 – May 4
London, UK

The Embankment Galleries in South Wing, London will play host to this years Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival. Returning to Somerset House for the 6th year, Pick Me Up will feature new artists and designers presenting the latest in illustration, graphic design, and more. The festival will undoubtedly serve to inspire and delight all in attendance. From the emerging to the established artists, Pick Me Up will represent all ends of the arts spectrum. Events will also include lectures, debates, demonstrations, music, games, and more. The festivities will last for 12 days.

pictoplasma berlin julia sotnykova vancouverPictoplasma Berlin 2015
April 29 – May 3
Berlin, Germany

From April 29th to May 3rd, Pictoplasma Berlin will host the world’s largest conference and festival for contemporary character culture design and art. The festival will feature graphic and game designers, animators, and illustrators from all over the world. Pictoplasma promises to be a conference with exceptional lectures, presentations, workshops, performances, and much more. Andy Ristraino of Adventure Time, Yves Geleyn, Hikari Shimoda, and TADO are all confirmed speakers for the event.