Design News

Posted on Monday, May 23, 2016 by Laura Braun

The pair started thinking about a move after graduating from California College of the Arts, where Gant studied industrial design, and Deming got his MBA in business and design strategy while simultaneously working for Yves Behar's Fuseproject. They felt supported by the design scene and shops there, but by 2012, the tech industry had already started to change the culture of San Francisco and finding a spacious, affordable studio space proved impossible.

Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 by Laura Braun

On a sunny November day in San Francisco’s Mission District, inside the offices of Stamen Design (a studio known for cool-looking maps), I met what you might call a unicorn of the modern knowledge economy. Her name is Nicolette Hayes.

Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 by Laura Braun

Part of this pivot involves nudging the internal conversation toward sustainability, an important global issue that wasn't directly addressed until recently.

Posted on Friday, May 6, 2016 by Lindsey Westbrook

SFMOMA // The Story of the New Visual Identity

It was a moment of jubilation--but definitely no rest for the weary designers who’d created them--when the massive S-F-M-O-M-A letters went up first on the facade of the new Snøhetta expansion, then on the Botta edifice, of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The reopening of the museum this week after three years of closure is significant for the city, to be sure, but it is profoundly special to the designers, many of them CCA alumni, who masterminded the new graphic identity that visually ties together everything about the new museum experience.

It is highly unusual for institutions of this size to consider redesigning their identities in-house, but it was a leap SFMOMA -- a museum with a long track record of excellence in design -- was willing to make.

“It made sense that my team could and should take this on given the respect that our work has earned us in the institution and in the field,” notes SFMOMA Design Director Jennifer Sonderby (MFA Design 2002).

Posted on Friday, April 8, 2016 by Laura Braun

Bits and pieces of this story have been told, but Katz, a design professor at California College of the Arts, is one of the first to fully explain the dramatic progress of the last half-century. As he describes it, design is the “missing link” that explains Silicon Valley’s success.

Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2016 by Laura Kenney

Jeremy Mende works with Desirae Rivera at his studio

With a seven-to-one student-to-faculty ratio and an average class size of 13, CCA students receive a lot of individual attention from their instructors. The vast majority of CCA’s faculty members -- 88 percent -- are practicing professionals.

This can lead to professional opportu­nities for students in the form of intern­ships and, in many cases, jobs after graduation.

See where CCA students have interned »

A good example can be found in the story of recent alumna Desirae Rivera (Graphic Design 2015) and longtime CCA Graphic Design faculty member Jeremy Mende, founder and principal of MendeDesign in San Francisco.

Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 by Jim Norrena

CCA each year provides its undergraduate and graduate students with more than 600 internship/externship opportunities in architecture, design, fine arts, and writing.

Because the college is located among the most well-known, respected, and innovative companies and design firms, we are uniquely positioned to provide students with access to real-world industry leaders and help them build relationships as interns and develop professionally toward life-long careers.

Location = Access = Career Success

“Perhaps CCA’s most enduring contribution to our students’ professional lives as designers and artists,” explains Dean of Design Leslie Roberts, “is our deep roots into tech, design, and fine arts in the Bay Area." Roberts goes on to cite such heavyweights as Uber, Huge, Facebook, Arup, Autodesk, Google, and frog as being among the many noteworthy companies where current design students and alumni are building their careers.

Why CCA’s Bay Area location matters »

“Our industry ties allow CCA students unique access to internships coveted by peers around the world. Are other colleges and students envious of this opportunity? Of course they are!”

Roberts shared a recent email she received from a former student who had interned while in the MFA in Design program: "I've actually been thinking about CCA lately ... probably the best career move I've ever made. More than doubling my salary and moving from regular designer to lead in less than two years!"

See where CCA students have interned »

Posted on Friday, March 4, 2016 by Laura Braun

During her master’s work at California College of the Arts, Kristin explored the use of inflatable technology for wearables, and found endless possibilities for animating the body and amplifying human behavior or emotions. There are functional designs for isolation or protection, like an inflatable vest to calm the wearer or a helmet that protects from a bike fall. Then there are empowering forms, like a soft inflatable exoskeleton that protects personal space, or inflatable “muscles” that blow up when the wearer feels threatened.

Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 by Laura Braun

Both artists’ journeys toward “Border Cantos” began long before Misrach first saw Galindo play in 2011 in San Francisco. The instruments Galindo had built were made of clothing, shoes and other found objects at the Laredo Rio Grande border. The feeling around the discards hit home for Galindo, a Mexico City-born U.S. citizen and California College of the Arts instructor.

Posted on Monday, February 15, 2016 by Janet Vail


Aaron De La Cruz’s (Illustration 2004) work walks the line between organization and chaos. When you first look at his paintings you see tidy curves and lines. You start to search for patterns and repetition, figuring the artist must use some mechanism to produce these massive wall murals.

But the closer you look you realize nothing is repeated, each new mark slightly different from the last. You’re in a maze, heading toward the unknown, and there’s no turning back.