Members of the SVA community feature prominently in the April issue of Print magazine, known for its emphasis on both established and up-and-coming designers and entrepreneurs. Notably, five students and alumni are named in Print’s “The New Visual Artists,” an annual list of 20 influential designers under the age of 30.
In the issue, MFA Design for Social Innovation chair Cheryl Heller spoke with Print about the need for formal education in design and social innovation. Students in MFA Design for Social Innovation “learn the skills to apply design at scale to create with and inside communities, to use game design, storytelling, communication and identity design to foster change and innovation,” Heller says. “We don’t believe in waiting, but instead in making our own opportunities and fulfillment, and I hope that is the way that all design education will go.”
MFA Design co-chair Steven Heller interviewed BFA Design faculty member Timothy Goodman (BFA 2007 Graphic Design) about design, investment and entrepreneurship on the heels of 40 Days of Dating, his dating experiment with BFA Design faculty member Jessica Walsh, which has since gone viral, landing the duo a book contract, a movie deal with Warner Brothers and multiple television appearances. Goodman revealed that sincerity was key to the project’s success, “Jessica and I just put everything out there. Both of us knew that if we were going to do it, we’d have to do it with as much sincerity as possible, without worrying about the repercussions.” In addition to her continued collaboration with Goodman, Walsh serves as an art director and designer for Sagmeister and Walsh, the firm she co-founded with MFA Design faculty member Stefan Sagmeister.
Multidisciplinary artist Joe Hollier (BFA 2012 Graphic Design) is no stranger to sincerity or socio-political critique. “The Era of Great Cynicism and Selfishness,” Hollier’s video for CNN, encourages introspection and a microscopic look at individual belief systems. Though he is known for subtly edgy animation and design, Hollier values process over the end product. He says, “The feeling of having fun making something with your friends will always be the best feeling.” Hollier also adheres to the seasoned advice he received from BFA Design faculty member Paul Sahre: “Design is about somehow being comfortable with having no idea where you’re going.”
Zipeng Zhu’s (BFA Design 2013) portfolio is filled with impressive projects and conceptual branding for places like Museum of the Moving Image, Union Square and Sagmeister and Walsh, where he currently works as a designer. Among his many projects, Zhu struggles to pick a favorite. He maintains, “I love all my design babies.” Having worked with the likes of BFA Design faculty members Paula Scher and Gail Anderson (BFA 1984 Media Arts), Zhu has access to the most influential names in design.
The inspiration for MFA Design student Sasha Prood’s hand lettering design and illustration comes from natural sources. Animals, vegetables and minerals are among the organic materials that inform her carefully crafted, systematically composed designs. Coming from a family of scientists, Prood begins every project with research and then breaks the task down into fundamental sketches and clear steps.
Lizzy Showman (MFA 2013 Design) likes to keep busy. She says, “I find that working as both a freelance designer and a design entrepreneur allows me to tap into many different areas of my creative process.” In.Bounds, her nonprofit crowdfunding platform, is committed to alleviating the financial burdens associated with youth athletics. Another of Showman’s ventures, Blueprint, is “a free online wedding registry that offers couples a unique experience to organize and visualize their new home.” In addition to a consistent running and swimming schedule, Showman stays focused with an ambitious 10-year plan centered on inspirational projects and passion-filled side ventures.
Pennsylvania native Justin Colt (MFA 2013 Design) joined Converse’s branding team after graduating from Penn State’s design program. After two-years, Colt headed to SVA to study with Milton Glaser in MFA Design. After graduation, an internship with Glaser became a full-time position. Colt also co-founded design studio The Collected Works with classmate Jose Fresneda (MFA 2013 Design).