Some Familiar Faces on SVA’s New Subway Poster by Gail Anderson

September 6, 2012

With the start of another semester comes a new SVA subway poster, this season’s edition created by MFA Design Department faculty member Gail Anderson (BFA 1984 Graphic Design). Five versions of the poster can be spotted in various locations around New York City, and if you look closely, you’ll see some familiar faces, or at least parts of them (MPS Branding Department Chair Debbie Millman‘s eyes, 3D Design Chair Kevin O’Callaghan‘s nose, and MFA Design Department Co-chair Steven Heller‘s mouth).

Anderson has no shortage of ideas or experience (she has co-authored six design books with Steven Heller, is currently a contributor to Imprint and Uppercase magazines, and her work is in the permanent collections of the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, the Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives and the Library of Congress), but the seed for this project was planted during her time as an undergraduate at SVA. “A student in my very first undergrad class YEARS ago did a project that used the flip-face conceit, and it made me nostalgic for one of my childhood books.” This idea returned when she was brainstorming how to represent the SVA experience for the poster design. “Strangely enough, a little book of split faces was sitting on the desk where I was working, pretty much ready to smack me on the head. I’d always wanted to do something with that idea, and splitting the SVA experience into three emotive action words almost designed itself. My partner, Joe Newton, was on the same page, too, so it was fun to come up with a whole series together.”

Anderson chose images for the posters that reflect the community at SVA. “I hope the takeaway is SVA’s diversity of cultures—how many of us it takes to be SVA, and all the incredible changes that can take place when you immerse yourself in learning at the College.” And after all the design work Anderson has done, she still gets excited to find her posters on display. “It’s a total kick to see the posters at the various subway stations, and to collect snapshots of them like trading cards.”

For more information or to purchase a poster, click here.

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