This semester, students in the BFA Advertising and Graphic Design Department were visited by John C. Jay, the executive creative director at Wieden + Kennedy (W+K). Best known for its iconic work for Nike, W+K is one of the largest independently owned advertising agencies in the world.
In addition to his guest lecture in Department Chair Richard Widle’s Visual Literacy class, Jay taught an advanced seminar to a select group of students from the department. The subject: What makes you truly unique and why should anyone care? Jay described the day’s assignment to the students with a philosophical approach: “Despite the advances of technology, we suffer today from a disease of sameness. Being authentic and original has never been more important.”
On February 27, students met Jay in the Tribeca offices of W+K and each brought along a meaningful object. They were then asked to discuss how the object represented them and use it as a jumping-off point to design a poster that express the student’s original voice.
“His assignment really made me think about who I am,” said current student Yumi Nakamura. “It gave me the freedom to express my originality and forced me to question myself and my uniqueness. This is a lifetime question and challenge.”
Image: (top) John C. Jay and Richard Wilde with students from the BFA Advertising and Graphic Design Department, photo by Harry Zernike; (bottom) student Guilet Libby and John C. Jay, photo by Harry Zernike.