Graphic Design News

Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 by Allison Byers

I’m a huge concert goer; more than 20 concerts in this past year. I’ve taken up volunteer ushering at venues to see my favorite musicians. My job requires me to check tickets and usher people to their seats--a manageable task, but after checking hundreds of Ticketmaster tickets, it’s very clear that these tickets were designed more than three decades ago without a serious look into how people interact with it.

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Posted on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 by Allison Byers

Graphic designer Matthew Lew likes concerts, but he hates concert tickets. A student from California College of the Arts, Lew was dismayed by the poor standard of design of tickets, both from an aesthetic and usability perspective. Rather than simply complain about it, he set about creating "a redesign worthy enough to keep paper tickets in circulation."

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Posted on Monday, December 9, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

"Japan totally blew my mind."

That's a typical comment from a student after returning from Doug Akagi's summer study-abroad trip to Japan. Akagi created the course -- titled "In Search of Emptiness and Wabi-Sabi" -- three years ago, and he has led it each summer since. It's often difficult for the students to put into words what the adventure means to them and their work.

"Most of them," Akagi observes, "have never experienced a metropolis like Tokyo or the sublime beauty of an ancient city like Kyoto. And I realize that the trip is expensive, with the tuition and the airfare and the incidentals. So I try to make it a trip of a lifetime.

"Leading 14 students to almost 30 venues in two different cities in 12 days without incident is a challenge, and exhausting. Dozens of subway, train, and bus rides, endless miles of walking, and counting heads at every juncture.”

But there is plenty of beauty and inspiration as a reward. And Akagi gets a profound kick out of showing off his old haunts from when he was a young graphic designer living and working in Tokyo and Kyoto.

Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 by Allison Byers

Over the weekend of November 16-17, 2013, 24 CCA undergraduates participated in Wheel Well, a “design sprint” for bicycle safety in Silicon Valley.

Organized by Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s Roadway Safety Solutions Team, CCA’s Center for Art and Public Life, and CCA’s Design division, the event challenged students to rapidly conceive an intervention that would: 1) improve the relationship between motorists and cyclists in Silicon Valley; and 2) encourage behavior change to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2013 by Claire Fitzsimmons

Tim Belonax in Facebook's Analog Research Laboratory [photo: Andria Lo]

Along the walk to the cafeteria, a poster reads: "Eventually everything connects." Another, "People not pixels." In the atrium, "Hack the graph," and in the corridor, "Empathy. Have some!"

This sounds like it could very well be CCA's campus, but it's actually Facebook’s. Each poster is stamped at the bottom with the words: "Poster brought to you by your friends at the Facebook Analog Research Laboratory."

Facebook designer and CCA Graphic Design faculty member Tim Belonax calls the Analog Research Laboratory -- known around Facebook simply as the Analog Lab -- "a playground for a print designer. There are very few places around the Bay Area where a lover of handmade graphic design would encounter such amazing facilities."

Wired magazine has called it "Facebook's secret propaganda arm." The Huffington Post dubs it "a slogan factory where techies get tactile."

Posted on Thursday, November 14, 2013 by Allison Byers

So don't miss this Thursday's "METAMORPHOSIS," when the talented artist/designers from the California College of the Arts transform the Academy (and possibly you) into something unexpected. Explore a multitude of industrial, interaction, illustration, fashion, furniture and graphic designers from CCA as they showcase an amazing, cutting-edge array of work, highlighting new technologies and innovative ideas that explore the concept of metamorphosis.

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Posted on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

How to Hang a Picture: And Other Essential Lessons for the Stylish Home
St. Martin's Griffin, 2013
Hardcover, 160 pages, $19.99

CCA alumna Susanne LaGasa (Graphic Design 2005) coauthored this user-friendly guidebook that details everything you need to know about hanging, framing, decorating, and displaying art. Think of it as Strunk & White’s Elements of Style for how to put art on your wall.

The book outlines not only technical pitfalls and mishaps—crumbling plaster, ruined antique lath, mismatched art hung too close together, poorly-mounted photographs warping in their frames—but also more essential aesthetic lessons. The skill and consideration with which you decorate your home makes a statement about the world you inhabit. And when it’s done right, it very clearly looks a whole lot better.

Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition
Prestel, 2013
Hardcover, 258 pages, $75

This exhibition catalogue, published by Prestel and the de Young Museum, was designed by Graphic Design faculty member Bob Aufuldish. It captures the grand scale and vibrant color of Hockney's work of the 21st century. In the past decade, having returned to England after years on the California coast, Hockney has focused his attention on both landscapes and portraits, all the while maintaining his fascination with digital technology. The resulting work is full of color and light, ranging in dimension from billboard-size to letter-size.

The catalogue features more than 100 full-color works of art from museum collections and Hockney's private studio, including such major new works as The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate Wood, The Bigger Message, and Bigger Yosemite. It also includes multiple-image galleries (spread over gatefolds) of some of his iPad drawings and self-portraits, plus film stills from the artist's "Cubist" movies.

Posted on Friday, July 19, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

The Ninth Page: Etel Adnan's Journalism 1972-74
CCA, 2013
Paperback, 128 pages, inquire to purchase

This book accompanies the thesis exhibition of the class of 2013 of CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice. It was edited by faculty member Julian Myers-Szupinska and student Heidi Rabben, and it was designed by Graphic Design faculty member Jon Sueda.

Posted on Friday, July 19, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

New Constellations, New Ecologies
ACSA, 2013

This book was coedited by Director of Architecture Ila Berman and Edward Mitchell and designed by Graphic Design faculty member Brett MacFadden of MacFadden & Thorpe. It ocuments the proceedings of the ACSA’s 101st annual meeting, which took place in spring 2013 at CCA (read more here).

Subtitled "New Constellations, New Ecologies," the hope for the conference was "to reset the agenda for architectural education." As a counterpoint to the 100th anniversary meeting hosted by MIT, the first American school of architecture, ACSA 101 took place at CCA, one of the younger architecture schools. The intention of this shift was to "resituate the issues facing architecture within the Bay Area's complex context: a global urban mega-region known for its technological innovation, ecological attitude, and social diversity, with cultural and economic influences coming from its position at the edge of the continent and its strong ties to the Pacific Rim."