Communicating effectively across a wide variety of media is one of the most powerful and ubiquitous forms of design in today's world. Our program honors strong graphic design history, but constantly incorporates new innovative technologies, platforms, and methods, ultimately pushing the discipline of communication design into new territories. Today, we face many challenges resulting from communication breakdowns and misinformation. Through diverse perspectives, we use new narrative frames, storytelling, and future-casting to prepare students as future leaders, playing critical roles across various industries, organizations, and settings. We celebrate our interdisciplinary approach to teaching—working alongside students to develop the necessary 21st-century skill-sets, posture, and critical consciousness to effectively use Communication Design practice, leading to positive impact. Further, our curriculum acknowledges that the act of designing does not exist in isolation but instead is part of complex social, political, environmental, and economic systems.
Complexity & Contradiction in ArchitectureA system of book jackets that celebrates three leading deconstructivist architects, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, and Bernard Tschumi, and their impact in design. They are architects, and they are artists at heart. From there I began to get more interested in the nature of their works and decided to communicate that through more abstract imagery and the idea of how process works and feels.
Title IXFor this project I created a poster for Survivors of Sexual Assault. I used a survivor's story to help illustrate the story and give the piece a more personal touch.
CMU Design BrochureThis project is a brochure made with the intention to give to perspective students considering Carnegie Mellon's School of Design. When I was in the middle of my college search, I was more interested in students' personal account of their experience as a student as opposed to learning about stats and objective facts about the university. That said, much of my content for this piece are excerpts from interviews with fellow students paired with some surface level information about CMU Design.
DIN VideoIn this in-depth typeface exploration I studied the DIN font family, and DIN Medium in particular. What are the characteristic qualities of DIN? What's its personality? By tracing the individual characters, I really got to know DIN's structure and subtleties. I produced several gridded compositions, both by hand and digitally, to highlight aspects of certain characters and the relationships between letterforms. Finally, I produced a video to tell DIN's story.
Creative MorningsCreative Mornings is breakfast lecture series for the creative community. This project involved a 3-hour design sprint to create three posters and two web ads, followed by a week of refinement. My concept focused on the idea of early morning napkin sketches: quick iterations and the sparking of ideas paired with the breakfast meal.
Personal BrandingFor this project, I created a letter mark using my initials and then used this to influence the rest of my designs. I created a composition by creating patterns and layering them to create interesting interactions in the composition and then worked back from there, deleting unnecessary clutter on the page. I then created a grid based off of my diagonal sub-dominant flow line and a nine column structure.
Dear PittsburghRobyn Lambert and I were asked to develop a solutions to encourage community involvement and support for the Environmental Charter School. We created a letter writing system that lives on the web and in print that are meant to be shared with the community and the Pittsburgh School Board. This solution is more directly related to Pittsburgh as a community and targets receiving personal stories of locals that will provide a new perspective on learning and how education needs to change.
The Omnivores DilemmaThe project challenged me to visualize information with an interactive tablet experience and poster. Given the book, Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, the author talks about implications of our food system and the reality of how we eat as a nation. What is not discussed is how we can change to prevent a decline in food production and distribution. The interactive experience provides users with the ability to recognize their habits, look for ways to change and see how they effect the system.
Avenir Next Letter GridI created a 3 x 3 grid of cropped letters from the Avenir Next alphabet, which was a typeface I was assigned.
Food For ThoughtThis project started out with the concept of food waste. We were asked to think about it in our lives and the lives of others while illustrating it using a basic grid of circles and squares. Through the process I made the project more personal and reflected on my own shopping habits and how wasteful I can be. The final product utilized illustrations,photography of real fruits and vegetables, and handwritten type.
Roomie BrochureThis handheld narrative tells the story of many young adults entering careers without the means to afford individual housing and offers the solution of Roomie! This promotional brochure was developed for the upcoming opening of this budding company. I began with a storyboard that incorporated the missional goals of the company, that is, offering an effortless platform for anyone looking for affordable shared living.
Folded NarrativeThis icosahedron is covered with quotes by Audre Lorde, an influential writer, activist, and feminist. The size and placement of the text creates an intimate experience where the reader has to hold the ball close to them in order to read it. The reader is able to discover something new whichever way they turn the shape.In this way, the interaction imitates the experience of actually reading Lorde's writing, in which new bits of wisdom are always waiting to be found.
Tween Box | Presentation for BirchboxChemicals are in most cosmetics today. The are absorbed into our bodies that can cause detrimental health issues. We propose Birchbox to make a product line, DIY kit and special box for teenage girls and their mothers to learn and use safe cosmetics to stay trendy, expand customer base, and promote good health for the future of the cosmetic industry and Birchbox as a growing business. Partner: Robyn Lambert
Speak LabDanae Paparis and I worked together to create a solution for the refugee crisis in Syria. We created a pitch for Luis von Ahn (CEO of Duolingo & CMU CS professor) proposing a partnership between Duolingo and Snapchat to help refugees learn the new languages of the countries they arrive in.
For Girls and BoysThis is my senior design project - a movement that seeks reduce the prevalence of gendered toy packaging as well as the effect it has on purchasing decisions, in order to allow children to enjoy and be positively influence by a greater variety of toys than just those marketed towards their own gender, so that our children can learn and grow with the toys they play with, unconstrained by our narrow gender frameworks.
RumorsRumors is a book meant to be used while listening to the Serial podcast in order to compare the various accounts of January 13, 1999 regarding the day Hae Min Lee disappeared. The book is a time line of the day and includes accounts from Jay, the State's primary witness, and Adnan, the convicted. Placed throughout the timeline are quotes from those who knew the boys talking about their credibility.
Self BrandingA project in order to create a unified self branding system to send out to potential employers.
Resonating FactsThe Current Crew is a four part system: the Current crew narrative, the Check List, the Next Step card, and the lighting bolt badge.This system aims to inform and engage a child about energy conservation and consumption in their home. The Current Crew narrative the hook -it introduces the concepts of energy and defines key terms, the Check List informs the child and parent on energy their activity with their child. The lightning bolt badge is a tool to empower the child to make a change.
Resonating FactsI aimed to increase homeowners’ satisfaction & understanding of their homes through the process of increasing its energy efficiency. I designed a series of postcards that document a homeowner's relationship with the house over time. They are written in the form of love letters, and the narrative prompts readers to place themselves in the story. It highlights common problems with houses and encourages people to know their houses better by getting an home energy score audit.
Resonating FactsHow do we get homeowners to take action towards energy efficiency? I found that homeowners commonly search online for solutions for common comfort issues(humidity, cold, dust). These are often directly related to efficiency, so I created an online quiz that they can take to address their concerns. The results explains how these symptoms connect to energy efficiency, and also introduce the user to the Home Energy Score rating and encourage them to take action by signing up for an energy audit.
Jan TschicholdOur design history education is somewhat limited at CMU, and names of famous designers often get talked about briefly and are soon forgotten. In order to make this history useful and usable for our class, we each investigated a famous designer, made connections with each other, and shared our discoveries through digital and physical pieces. My designer was Jan Tschichold, a master typographer and leader of The New Typography movement.
Connecting HistoryEach student in our class wrote a biography on a designer to be put in a single design history book. We each had three spreads to work with to convey our designers' style and achievements. Through this process, we learned how to work with grids, hierarchy, and graphic elements to convey our messages. My designer was Cipe Pineles, and I worked to show the breadth of her career, her playful style, and the contributions she made as the first respected female designer.
Connecting HistoryI created visually engaging spreads pertaining to my designer, Bradbury Thompson, that reflected his style and design ideology. These spreads are to be part of our class book, 'Visual Visionaries'. I also designed a responsive webpage for this designer that incorporated elements from my spreads.
Connecting HistoryAs a class, we researched historically famous designers ranging from past centuries to modern-day. The designer that I focused on was Michael Bierut, and I was prompted to emulate his style, but also incorporate my own voice. The content fits different contexts, including a printed book, a website, and a mobile version of the web browser. This project explores diagramming content relationships, stories that have multiple off-shoots, and interaction design in different media.
Our alumni have been associated with the design of many well known communication design projects including: the Starbucks logo, the Pinterest interface design, the title sequence of the movie Spiderman, and custom typefaces for The Guardian newspaper.