SVA announces the appointment of Gail Anderson, New York-based designer, writer and educator, as the director of design and digital media at the Visual Arts Press, SVA’s in-house design studio. The Visual Arts Press maintains a cohesive visual identity for the College while also promoting the diversity and creativity of its undergraduate and graduate degree programs, students and alumni through a variety of traditional and new media. The studio also produces the long-running series of SVA posters that are displayed in New York City subway stations three times a year. These subway posters have featured the work of legendary artists like Ivan Chermayeff, Milton Glaser and George Tscherny, and have become inseparable from the city.
“When I became creative director of the VAP, Gail was the first artist I asked to create a subway poster,” says Anthony Rhodes, executive vice president of SVA and creative director of the Visual Arts Press. “Coincidentally, I asked Gail to design the next set of subway posters before I asked her to come home and take over the creative direction of the VAP. I just saw the new poster designs! Always elegant. Always thoughtful. Always wow!”
Over the course of her 30-plus year career, Anderson has established herself as a designer of rare wit and imagination. As a partner of Anderson Newton Design, she has worked on a number of high-profile projects in recent years, including a bestselling stamp for the United States Postal Service, honoring the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation; book jackets for releases by musician Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and playwright Glen Berger; and covers for ESPN, Fortune, Money and Time magazines.
“The SVA experience is about making a difference—leaving your mark on the world,” says Anderson, who is both an SVA alumnus and a longtime faculty member of the College’s BFA Design Department, as well as its Pre-College Program. “There’s a sensibility that runs through the institution, an incredibly high standard of excellence, and I want to help the College celebrate that.”
From 2002 to 2010, Anderson was creative director of design at SpotCo, an advertising agency specializing in entertainment and the arts. While there, she helped to craft the look and direction of campaigns for such Broadway productions as Avenue Q, a 2009 revival of Ragtime and The Year of Magical Thinking. From 1987 to 2002, she worked in various creative roles at Rolling Stone, ultimately as the magazine’s senior art director. Prior to that, she was a designer at The Boston Globe Magazine and at Vintage Books, a division of Random House. A leading expert on typography, she has authored or co-authored several books on the field; recent titles include Outside the Box (Princeton Architectural Press, 2015) and The Typographic Universe (Thames & Hudson, 2014), one of 10 books she has co-authored with Steven Heller, co-chair of SVA’s MFA Design Department.
In 2008, Anderson received an AIGA Medal, one of the design industry’s most distinguished awards. Her other honors include the Society of Illustrators’ 2009 Richard Gangel Art Director Award and a 2008 Distinguished Alumnus Award from SVA. She serves on the board for the Type Directors Club, is a member of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for the U.S. Postal Service and has lectured about design (and her bottle cap collection) at organizations and conferences around the world.