Graphic Design News

Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

From Amber Cox's documentation of San Francisco's Financial District

San Francisco and Istanbul: Both built across seven hills, on peninsulas jutting into major bodies of water, where East meets West dramatically and literally-continentally. Their respective situations along major global shipping routes means that they have always been rich in trade, rich in a cosmopolitan diversity of cultures, and rich in ideas: Just as the Bay Area has been a center of forward thinking, from the 1960s Haight-Ashbury counterculture to contemporary entrepreneurial Silicon Valley culture, Turkey -- and especially Istanbul -- is facing the future culturally and politically in its unique position at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Arab world.

CCA and Istanbul: East Meets West

CCA has been engaging with Istanbul in many cultural exchanges in recent years. In 2011 Jens Hoffmann, director of the CCA Wattis Institute, co-curated the 12th Istanbul Biennial, which featured numerous CCA alumni and faculty. The Vehbi Koç Foundation of Turkey recently announced its pledge to support one full-time Turkish student each year in CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice. And in spring 2012, Mariella Poli's CCA course Locality and Global Discourses facilitated an exchange between 16 students at CCA and five students at Istanbul Bilgi University.

Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Watching their Carnaval float moving down Mission Street as part of San Francisco's massive annual parade, laden with dancers from the Brazilian troupe Sambaxé, accompanied by the vibrant beats of the Brazilian musical group Blocura and the powerful moves of the Brazilian ABADA Capoeira troupe, TV cameras rolling, people cheering from the sidewalks and the rooftops high above. . . It was a triumphant moment for CCA faculty member Sandra Vivanco and the 15 students in her Body and Spectacle course.

The Carnaval parade was the culmination of a semester of hard work and intensive collaboration -- not only among the CCA students, but also in coordination with a group of high school students enrolled in the Out of Site Youth Arts Center, the city of San Francisco, experts in construction and transportation, and beyond. The CCA course was offered under the auspices of Diversity Studies and attracted a correspondingly wide-ranging bunch, from Architecture and Interior Design to Graphic Design, Illustration, Fashion Design, and Painting/Drawing.

The students designed not only the Carnaval float structure, but also the costumes and props that made its appearance in the parade a real performance rather than just a potential site for one. They had done as much work as they could in the CCA shops, and then transported the pieces to Pier 40, where the city graciously donated space for final assembly.

Posted on Monday, July 2, 2012 by Rachel Walther

It was Alison Bailey's fearlessness that brought her home. A 2003 graduate of CCA's Photography Program and now an associate producer for the Travel Channel TV show Bizarre Foods, Bailey asks herself every day as part of her job, "Where haven't I been before?"

It's this enthusiasm for exploration that originally brought her from Minneapolis to CCA, then across the country to New York, and finally back to Minneapolis in search of a creative career that felt like home.

She landed this job with Tremendous! Entertainment, the company that produces Bizarre Foods, in 2010. The show, now in its sixth season, introduces audiences to exotic and regional foods of the world, from Alaska to Thailand. As an associate producer, she plans the day-to-day pre-production schedule, researches people and locations for future shows, and coordinates the details of filming.

Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Paula Hayes
Monacelli Press, 2012
Hardcover, 240 pages, $50

Leah Koransky (Graphic Design 2008) designed this book about the artist Paula Hayes, who is most famous for her exquisite, high-end art terrariums of organically shaped, handblown glass. But her affinity for all things green extends to full gardens as well. She has created more than 20 full gardens for private clients around the country. This volume, the first monograph on her work, is structured in a two-part format that devotes equal attention to both.

Hayes has been a fixture of the New York art scene for more than two decades. Her installation in the lobby of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Nocturne of the Limax Maximus, garnered much critical acclaim and landed her a feature on CBS Sunday Morning. She has an oversized terrarium in the lobby of Lever House in New York, and a solo exhibition on her work was held at the Wexler Art Center in Columbus, Ohio, where she also installed a permanent garden adjacent to the museum's main entrance.

Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 by Christina Linden

Amy Campos and CCA students at the Dolores Shelter Program

In fall 2011, CCA faculty member Amy Campos and a group of Interior Design students worked with Dolores Shelter Program (DSP) as part of an ENGAGE at CCA course. Their brief: to generate ideas for the renovation of DSP's homeless shelter on South Van Ness in the Mission District of San Francisco.

The facility's residents are in great need of an empowering and supportive sense of place, hope, and safety, and the aspiration was to facilitate this via better space planning and organization, and the creation of more durable and usable furnishings and storage.

Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 by Bob Aufuldish

Liz Tran, Bob Aufuldish, Nathanael Cho, and Deborah Lao

Sputnik is CCA's in-house, award-winning undergraduate design studio. Sputnik is a unique model that simulates (and in many ways certainly is) a typical professional client/agency relationship, where the client is a CCA staff member with a project, and the agency is Sputnik. Graphic Design faculty member Bob Aufuldish has been the faculty advisor for Sputnik since its inception in 1995.

Aufuldish has taught at CCA since 1991. In 1990 he cofounded the graphic design studio Aufuldish & Warinner. He has designed diverse projects for such clients as Adobe, Advent Software, the American Institute of Architects, the Center for Creative Photography, the Denver Art Museum, Emigre, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 1995 he launched the digital type foundry fontBoy to manufacture and distribute his fonts.

Here he talks to Nathanael Cho, Deborah Lao, and Liz Tran, all current Sputnik students, about the Sputnik experience. The interview was part of an exhibition-making advanced studio course led by Jon Sueda, in which the three were enrolled in spring 2012.

How did the idea for CCA's student-staffed, in-house design studio come about?

In 1995, the CCA board committee overseeing publicity was reviewing all the stuff the college was publishing. The chair of that committee was a former advertising agency person, and he said, "This stuff is terrible. We need to do something about this." At the time, the college didn't have the resources to hire people to design everything and manage all the projects that needed to go out.

David Meckel (now CCA's director of research and planning) knew I had gone to a school that had an in-house graphic design studio staffed by students. I told him what that program was like, and we decided to start something like it here. In the beginning, it was myself working with CCA vice president for communications Chris Bliss and two students, Eric Heiman and Nadine Stellavato. We didn't do a lot of work -- just a few projects here and there. This is because people were a bit skeptical about a group of students being able to pull off important projects. My attitude always was: All you need to do is point students in the right direction, and they'll do great work. I was right!

Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 by Allison Byers

CCA alum (BFA Graphic Design,2010) Niko Skourtis has been awarded the 2012 Catalyst Award by the Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) for his thesis project, Typograph.

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Under the Halo: The Official History of Angels Baseball
Insight Editions, 2012
Hardcover, 264 pages, $50

Under the Halo: The Official History of Angels Baseball is designed by Graphic Design faculty Brett McFadden and Scott Thorpe of the firm MacFadden and Thorpe. From the team’s inaugural season in 1961 under the ownership of film legend Gene Autry, this book traces memorable moments, personalities, and accomplishments through first-person accounts by Angels past and present. It includes more than 300 images, a vintage scorecard, program guide reproductions, and a removable timeline.

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Mitchell Schwarzer

Mitchell Schwarzer gives his introduction at the CCA faculty retreat

On February 4, 2012, the faculty at California College of the Arts gathered at the college's San Francisco campus for a retreat focused on the state of the arts across our many disciplines. In the morning, 25 short presentations offered insights into challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners and thinkers in recent times. The word aired most frequently was crisis: the crisis of the Great Recession; the crisis of Global Climate Change; the crisis of understanding and working within a discipline in our digital age.

Watch the video of all the presentations (91 minutes), shot and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography 2012)

The economic downturn has produced an economic squeeze within most of our disciplines. Art directors, as Alexis Mahrus remarks, have diminished roles in shaping an illustration. Smaller profit margins reduce the flexibility and time given over to experimentation. Branding and celebrity worship take up a larger slice of the creative pie. Some presenters, like Sue Redding of Industrial Design, see no problem in this conflation of art and business and, furthermore, dispute the notion of a crisis. Yet many presenters feel that the economic crisis is not only real but wielding dangerously asymmetrical impacts. Demand remains strong for high-end craft goods and blue-chip fine art. Some small nonprofits are struggling to survive. To Ignacio Valero of Critical Studies, the priority given over to luxury items can be attributed to the ongoing influence of classical economic policies that privilege individual decision making over collective social and natural needs. Likewise, Sandra Vivanco of Diversity Studies notes that economic inequalities have greatly worsened over the past few years, especially in the developing world. Contemporary society is forging a timeless, spaceless way of conducting business, a race for lucrative and short-term gains that concentrates investment more than ever in the hands of a few.

Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Georgia Bellflowers: The Furniture of Henry Eugene Thomas
Georgia Museum of Art, 2012
107 pages, $16

This catalogue is designed by Graphic Design faculty Brett McFadden and Scott Thorpe of the firm MacFadden and Thorpe to accompany the first-ever exhibition of works by Henry Eugene “Gene” (or “Shorty”) Thomas (1883-1965) at the Georgia Museum of Art. Thomas worked from his home in Athens, Georgia, as an antique dealer and furniture maker for more than four decades. Because he relied on locally found antiques for inspiration and because he favored local woods such as walnut, cherry and maple, his furniture has a distinctly regional flair. The exhibition features approximately 17 pieces of furniture and related ephemera.