One of my favorite perks of my new job is I now get to receive Masaki’s holiday greetings:
WHAT: UCLA Extension instructor Andrew Byrom sits down with Deborah Sussman to discuss her celebrated career and their recent collaboration curating and designing the current A+D Museum exhibition: Eames Words. Chairs will be arranged with-in the exhibit space, giving the audience a unique opportunity to see the work as it being discussed.
WHERE: A+D MUSEUM, 6032 WILSHIRE BLVD. LOS ANGELES, CA 90036
WHEN: Thursday, December 8th from 6:30 – 8:30PM
Deborah Sussman started her career working with Charles and Ray Eames. During more than a decade at the Eames Office, she worked on seminal exhibits for IBM, the Government of India, and the Ford Foundation. She later opened her own studio and was joined by husband Paul Prejza in 1980. Sussman/Prejza & Company are at the forefront of environmental design working with Walt Disney Resorts, The Gas Company of Southern California, Hasbro Inc. and on the identity and environment of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Sussman is a former AIGA board member and was the founder of AIGA Los Angeles.
Andrew Byrom is a graphic designer, typeface designer, and a Professor at California State University Long Beach. His clients have included The New York Times Magazine, Sagmeister Inc., and Pengiun Books. Byrom’s experimental type design has been honored by the TDC and AIGA – and can be seen in the December issue of Print Magazine and on the current UCLA Extension catalog cover.
$7 Student (w/valid ID)
A+D Members FREE
Ticket Purchase: www.aplusd.org/inconversation
The student will partner with a lead designer to develop graphic design solutions for various print ephemera connected with the Getty, including Education and Performing Arts. Work will involve collaborations with internal clients, production and web staff to coordinate deliverables. The Design Studio is a fast-paced, deadline-driven, creative environment that develops high quality design solutions.
The Design Studio at the Getty will offer a fully set-up MAC workstation for the successful student candidate. The Internship position is 16 hours per week. The work must be carried out at the Getty Center Design Studio. Allocation of hours can be flexible —ideally the intern would be here two 8 hour days per week (8:30 – 5:30 with a 1 hour lunch break), and option 2 would be four 4 hour days (8:30-12:30 or 1:30-5:30).
•Working knowledge of InDesign and CS4 programs.
•Ability to generate a design solution quickly and carry it through to completion.
•Strong communication skills.
Send your resume, cover letter and three work samples to email@example.com by Friday, Dec. 16. I’m happy to help you prepare your application and answer additional questions or put you in touch with past interns.
Instructor Andrew Byrom shared two exhibits with his students, the first called California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way” at LACMA, part of the Pacific Standard Time project celebrating the birth of the L.A. art scene.
The class then hustled across Wilshire Blvd. before it was shut down for President Obama’s motorcade to the Architecture and Design Museum, where Andrew discussed “the uncommon beauty of common things” at the exhibit on Charles and Ray Eames he co-created with Deborah Sussman.
UCLA Extension Design Communication Arts instructor Masaki Koike won a Grammy Award in 2008 for his design of the “What It Is: Funk Soul & Rare Grooves” box set from Rhino Records. He sat down with UCLA Extension’s Karen Lauritsen to talk about the design project and the “Design Fundamentals” course he teaches at UCLA Extension.
This interview between Karen Lauritsen and Jeroen Hermkens originally appeared on thewhiteboards.
Jeroen Hermkens is an award-winning Dutch interaction designer with 15 years of experience making technology transparent and easy to use for a wide variety of consumer, government, and business projects. He is the founder of Het is Simpel (It is Simple), which specifically focuses on interaction, communication, and concept design.
Jeroen has taught User Experience (UX) design online from Rotterdam for the Design Communication Arts Program since 2009. Wonder what kind of experience you’d have in the class? Recently, Jeroen put together a great page of student experiences and sample projects here from the spring 2011 quarter. Check it out!
I also asked him a few questions about the field via email:
When people ask you what you do, how do you explain it?
It can get confusing [very fast] for people if I try to explain them that, depending on the assignment, I do Interaction Design, UX Design, Information Architecture, Communication Design or Conceptual Design. I usually say, ‘I make technology easy to use’. This always sparks a conversation.
When you’re teaching UX Design, what do you consider the most critical principles that students come away with?
To trust their intuition and create an open mindset to WHY users are doing what they are doing. In the end the WHY is always something very basic.
What are companies looking for when they hire a UX Designer, both in terms of skills and portfolio?
Companies who do not understand UX are looking for nice graphics and flashy Flash presentations. Companies understanding UX look for thoughtful concepts and excellent execution.
What have students said they enjoy most about the course? What is the most difficult for them?
The main thing I am teaching is letting go of the judgements of how it should be or students think it should be. When students get this a complete new world opens up in which good UX design becomes much more easy. Students who are not able to make this step struggle a lot inside rather ‘normal’ projects.
What have you learned from teaching UX Design?
I have been involved in Interaction Design since ’94 so a lot of the theory I have discovered myself. It was very interesting to see a lot of formal documentation on topics I had figured out in my own way. Ever since, I enjoy following all kind of expert views.
Any student success stories that you know of, like someone being hired?
In my last course one of my students got his first UX Design job. He applied at a major healthcare company, had interviews, they liked the mindset he created in the course, [along with] his wireframes and the iPad2 app he designed within the course project. Over the last [few] years I have had emails from several students who got into the UX field as a result of the course.
Check out Het is Simple, Jeroen’s company.
DCA instructor and 3D type designer Andrew Byrom has been contemplating this question and isn’t convinced that YES is the answer. Hear him deliberate in this video.
For more on this topic, check out this post on his recycled desk.
Last night’s DCA AIGA Student Group event was fantastic, with a standing-room only crowd of about 100 eager listeners packed into a classroom in Lindbrook. Fred Dust educated us on the ways of thoughtful, empathetic and strategic design that is the IDEO way.
My personal highlights:
– The visuals, which included a photo of Fred’s dog (and connected story)
– Stories of Peruvian women who are change agents in their communities
– Distilling the diversity of our citizenry into four behavior types that can then be targeted when teaching said citizens how to access their social security
– Homemade bundt cake at the back of the room
– Seeing students I know and connecting them to one another and their instructors
– Fred’s sense of humor, which is up my humor alley
– Thanking Lutska for her years of service!
I took many photos and tried to capture how inspired and abuzz we all were. Love, hope, bravery!
What were your highlights?
One thing I love about meeting and advising students in the DCA program is their diversity. People come from all sorts of professional backgrounds and have goals that run the gamut. Steve Buccellato, who recently completed the Advanced Print and Graphic Communication certificate, is one of such people. He’s had what many consider to be a dream job… comic book illustrator! Where does an artist go from there?
Why did you decide to go for the advanced print and graphic certificate? I wanted something more out of my career, I guess. I felt like I was starting to stagnate and needed some new challenges. When I thought about it, the richest, most rewarding points in my career were when I was working in a studio environment, collaboration with other creative professionals. I wanted to get that back, but felt my portfolio was a bit too illustration and comic book centric to seriously compete for the Art Director positions I was looking at.
At first, I saw the program as a means to that end–to build up my portfolio with design projects. What I found was that I really enjoyed engaging with all the students and instructors on a high creative level. After years of working on “real” jobs, I loved being able to experiment and push myself creatively; to go past my comfort level. The past year has been incredibly stimulating.
You’re working to transition to an advertising role from the comic book world. What’s involved? Right now, I’m fighting the urge to start “fresh” and “disown” my past experiences in comic book publishing. First of all, that’s impossible! I’ve been in that game too long, and it’s a big part of who I am. Secondly, that would just be stupid. Comic books are in the spotlight of popular culture today, as they have never been before. I have to believe that my experience creating content for that world is extremely valuable to anyone who wants to market to a mainstream entertainment audience.
My other big challenge is related. It’s explaining to people in the advertising industry just where my skills and experiences overlap and duplicate their own. Some people get it immediately–they see the cross-over. But often, it needs to be explained…very clearly. It can be tricky. I’ve been in more than one situation where I thought I’d presented my case very well and was answered with, “but we don’t make comic books!”
In the end, there’s not much difference between creating comics/graphic novels (and associated collateral such as their ads & posters) and many of the works that ad agencies produce. It’s all images & type, right? Yes, that’s a HUGE oversimplification, but the differences are largely aesthetic; the technical aspects of print production are fairly identical. In any case, I know I can do both. Personally, I’m excited by the idea of creating entertaining content, regardless of the intended audience or delivery.
You did a mentorship with a DCA instructor, Marc Mertens. What was that like? Marc is a really inspiring teacher. I took Advertising Design with him last fall and it really solidified my interest in advertising as a career choice. I was already interested, but my practical knowledge was pretty spotty. Most of what I knew was from speaking to friends in advertising, or from occasional work as a freelance illustrator in the field. And from Mad Men, of course!
Marc’s course was very conceptual, and he ran the class as if it were a small agency. We approached each campaign using real Design Thinking, and did a lot of research into the products, competing brands and the consumer. We had to create “personas” & “brand houses” and we had to present our concepts often. I loved the entire process. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of this kind of brainstorming.
Honestly, I was sad when the course ended and my mentorship with Marc was, in a way, an opportunity to extend it. The mentorship started with huge impossible goals that were ultimately pared down and brought into focus. In the end, the product we were branding was ME. It was fascinating to take the methods of Design Thinking and apply them to myself and my own career goals.
Do you know what your dream job is? I like the idea of keeping myself open to whatever exciting opportunities may come my way. That sort-of Taoist idea appeals to me; to be the “Uncarved Block” that goes with the flow and lets things good come to him. I like the idea, but unfortunately, I’m way too practical and goal-oriented for that!
While I can imagine myself working at many different types of jobs, today I am very focused on finding an “in” at an ad agency. I think I’m really good at leading creative people and projects, so my ultimate goal would be to become Creative Director of a super-cool agency. I have a real passion for visual storytelling, and want to apply it to creating advertising content–in any and all media.
Today, I’m just looking to get my foot in the door as an Art Director…but frankly, I’d consider a more junior position if paying dues is what I need to do to get in there. I’m not proud…but I am determined to do what it takes to achieve my goals. I guess I have to admit that I’m not a Taoist…
Often DCA students are freaked out about drawing. Any advice? In the spirit of great advertising I’ll say: “Just do it!” In my opinion, anyone can draw. Everyone DID draw, when they were children. People stop when they lose interest or confidence; usually because other kids (who are interested and encouraged) keep at it and improve. If you want to draw, then draw often. Carry a sketchbook and draw from life, get a couple books on perspective & anatomy. Take some classes. Copy masters at a museum. Find a mentor. If you’re seriously interested, you just need to put in the time. If not, don’t sweat it; you can always hire a professional. 😉
I can remember meeting Stacy Kimmel about a year ago when she was considering joining the Advanced Print and Graphic Communication Certificate. And join she did!
Since then, with her new and improved portfolio, she has landed a new job: Director of Creative Services at City of Hope. Read on to learn about what her new position involves, how she got it and what she’ll look for in your portfolio if you meet her in an interview.
What brought you to UCLA Extension’s DCA Advanced Print and Graphic Communication certificate?
I am an advocate of continuing education. If you believe you have all the answers and have learned everything there is to learn you might as well retire and call it a day. Our industry is constantly evolving through technological advancements including the introduction of new platforms such as social media. Taking classes, attending trade shows and learning from your peers are a just a few of the steps we can take to stay relevant in our field.
What was your design/work history before starting the certificate?
I have been very fortunate in my professional career which has spanned over 20 years. I have worked in a variety of industries both as an employee and as a founding partner of Kismet Design Group, an award winning design firm. Past clients include: Disney, Warner Bros., Mattel, Paramount Pictures, Kid Space Children’s Museum, Pier 1 Imports, Ross, Ryman Auditorium, Southern California Edison, Travel & Leisure, The Grand Ole Opry, The Motion Picture & Television Fund, The Topps Company, Universal Studios and USA Today.
You recently got a new position! Please tell us more about it.
I recently accepted the Director of Creative Services position at City of Hope. It’s a remarkable facility which I am very proud to be part of. For nearly 100 years, City of Hope’s pioneering research has brought the world closer to cures for many life-threatening diseases, from cancer to diabetes. Compassion drives the ongoing innovation. Every discovery made and new treatment developed gives patients the chance to live longer, better and more full lives. My department, which consists of 10 members, is responsible for all the print materials which support the development and clinical sides of the institution. That includes cause and celebrity marketing, event and fundraising as well as clinical materials that the patients, doctors and researcher use at the hospital.
You’re in a position to hire new and more senior graphic designers. What do you look for in those roles?
An invaluable skill for any designer is the ability to be a team player and have an understanding of what that really means. As a senior member of any team you are expected to take part of the collaborative process, respond well to art direction and have a positive attitude. When I review a portfolio I look for a well rounded book both stylistically and in the variety of work represented. I look for a good use of typography, color theory and most importantly creative conceptualization.
You have a continuing education benefit at work. What do you look forward to learning in the future?
I will be finished with my certificate in Advance Print & Graphic Communication next quarter after which I would like to take a few additional classes. I am considering your new class Social Media for Designers. City of Hope has a dedicated team in the Communication Department that works solely on social media platforms. Our 2 teams partner up frequently and it would be beneficial if I had a better understanding of that world. I am also interested in taking some business classes to further develop my leadership and management skill set.
Thank you, Stacy! There you have it – direct from a designer who could hire you one day. Core skills like type and color are critical, as are staying open to the new technologies in design. I really appreciate Stacy’s openness to learning new things and accepting that just because you’ve got a great portfolio and client list doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything left to learn.