explore. experience. expand.
Archive by Author

UCLAxOpen Free Course: What’s Your Brand Story?

Join us Thursday, May 13th from 2 – 3:30pm PST for What’s Your Brand Story?, a free short-course taught by Design Communication Arts instructor and Outstanding instructor Award winner Shirin Raban.

Have you ever struggled to quickly explain what you do to someone you just met? Did you ever wonder how people come up with short and effective descriptions about their creative careers or activities? Explore examples of professional and student brand stories and learn how to articulate the value and tone of your brand through a message that moves your audience.  

Shirin Raban

I am a brand strategy designer and documentary maker who teaches courses and workshops in branding and visual storytelling. My expertise is articulating the purpose of stories and visually communicating their messages. My passion is helping my clients and students project the authentic voices of their brands and stories.”

Enroll in What’s Your Brand Story? today!

Interview with DCA graduate Maureen Keeney

Congratulations to recent graduate Maureen Keeney! She tells us a bit about her experience in the DCA program:

Tell us how you got interested in design and what brought you to the DCA program.

Ever since I could remember, I always loved looking at interesting design. Mostly, I was drawn in by the illustrations, if any. But there were these other elements all working in harmony that made it capture my attention. At the point that I decided to join the DCA program, I had already completed some college for illustration and I was pretty good at choosing typography, but there were other things I didn’t quite understand. I chose the UCLA Extension certificate program because it seemed like a promising opportunity to gain more knowledge in the realm of design without having to make the commitment of an undergrad degree.

What were your favorite courses and why?

My favorite courses in the program were the Design Software Intensive Boot Camp with Hakon Engvig, Design IV: Capstone with John Beach, and Portfolio with Michelle Constantine. These instructors made the classes memorable because they gave us the freedom to experiment while also sticking to the curriculum. The software boot camp was one of the first classes I took in the program so I could brush up on the programs used for design. In Design IV: Capstone, I learned how to properly rebrand and pitch. Then, everything came together in Portfolio, where I worked on my own brand and decided which direction I wanted to go in, career-wise.

If the phone rang right now with your dream job, who’s calling and what’s the job?

My dream job would probably be designing and illustrating movie posters, book covers, or children’s books. I would be satisfied at any job where I could use both of these skills to my advantage. A New Yorker cover would probably be the ultimate dream.

Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?

In five years, I hope to be freelancing full time and making enough money to support myself with my art. The end goal has always been to work for myself and be in place where I can pick and choose which projects work best for me. I’m hoping that, by this point, I will have designed and illustrated at least one children’s book.

Congrats, Maureen!

Interview with DCA graduate Elizabeth Gilmour

Congratulations to recent graduate Elizabeth Gilmour! She tells us a bit about her experience in the DCA program:

Tell us how you got interested in design and what brought you to the DCA program.

I came to design indirectly. I have a background in art, languages, teaching, and marketing. My love of the written word was the connecting thread. I decided on taking the DCA program to improve my visual communication skills in my marketing career.

I like to think of the visual shapes of words as graphic elements in and of themselves. In early childhood, I lived in a place where the main language was foreign to me, and before I could understand what was written on store signs and parking lots, I was drawn to the outlines of the words and the emotion they seemed to convey. As soon as I became literate, I became a type nerd, inventing alphabets and secret codes, collecting rubber stamps, scrutinizing international postage stamps, and creating homemade posters and booklets on the history of printing. One of my memorable childhood experiences was visiting a linotype printing press and casting my name in a line of metal type.

I’ve had a lifelong love affair with the visually represented word. For me, a book is the perfect design object because it combines functionality and beauty; it is also a tactile, visual, and a personal object that links one’s past, present, and future.


What were your favorite courses and why?

All my UNEX courses were amazing. I particularly enjoyed Typography, InDesign, and Design History and Context. Typography is foundational, as type is the anchor on which effective design communication lies.

InDesign is a compact yet complete course to improve layout and typography skills. I learned efficient work flows in design software and even tried my hand at book-binding techniques!

Design History and Context helped me further develop professional presentation techniques and helped expand my Eurocentric perception of design into one that is more inclusive and historically aware.

In addition to the DCA certificate, you’ve also pursued certificates in marketing and business at UCLAx. Please tell us about the rationale behind your pursuing the different fields of study, and what you hope to accomplish?

At the beginning of my UCLA Extension certificate in Business Leadership, I had no idea this path would lead me to marketing and design! I took the Business certificate initially to help transition from a teacher mindset to one of a businessperson in my new life in the US.

I took a social media marketing course as an elective in the Business certificate, and soon after opted to pursue the Marketing Certificate with Concentration in Social Media and Web Analytics. The energy of collaborating with teams in these courses was infectious: marketing in the digital era was an exciting channel for verbal/visual communication and creativity. After completing the Marketing certificate, I began my OPT (Optional Practical Training for international students on F1 visa status) as a marketing communications coordinator for a non-profit. I soon realized that I loved the graphic design side of my new job but needed to improve my skills to create original and professional-looking materials. That’s where UCLA Extension’s certificate in Design Communication Arts came in. The very name of the certificate echoed my belief that good design is as much a form of communication as it is an art.

Extension helped me find my true calling as a marketer and designer.

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?

I’ve lived in Canada and Germany, and travelled extensively. I think a lot of us who have lived internationally and have been engaged in many different fields find it hard to see how all our experiences tie together at first. UCLA Extension gives students the practical skills and personal connections to help them distill their diverging experiences into something compelling and unique.

I see myself channeling the skills and practices I’ve learned into visual communications that help people and organizations improve their stewardship of the natural world. We are facing a grave climate crisis; we need to learn effective communication techniques to bring conservation awareness to individuals and corporations. Language can empower, give hope and enable positive transformation. Language amplified through beautiful design can spark positive action and change.

Congratulations, Elizabeth!

UCLAxOpen free course: Design a Brilliant Career and Find Your Professional Purpose

On Monday, March 29th from 3-4:30pm the Visual Arts presents: Design a Brilliant Career and Find Your Professional Purpose.

In this free short course, design education leaders Scott Hutchinson and Dave Moon will teach you how to take your design career goals from lackluster to brilliant.

This opportunity is part of UCLAxOpen, your gateway to no-cost personal enrichment and professional development courses and seminars offered via UCLA Extension.

Dave Moon

Dave Moon is currently serving as an art and design professor at California State University, Northridge. He is the Communication Design area head and faculty/business advisor for IntersectLA. Prior to his current appointments, he served as chair of the Art Department and Interim Dean of CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication. Dave founded or co-founded a number of student-based creative enterprises, including the Center for Visual Communication (VISCOM), DesignHub, META+Lab, RADIUS, and most recently, IntersectLA, a design, marketing, and strategy agency. He has always been focused on student learning and creating innovative spaces that encourage collaborative learning via a “learn-by-doing” model, and Dave developed a handbook to assist other educational institutions in replicating the model to further connect education with industry. Additionally, he has authored two textbooks: Design Strategy for Effective Branding and Power-Up YOU: A Personal Branding Handbook for Artists, Creatives, and Designers. Both books were developed to serve students seeking jobs upon graduation. Dave has 30 years of experience in higher education and helping students find jobs, and he continues to make student success his highest priority.

Scott Hutchinson

Scott Hutchinson is the Program Director of the Visual Arts at UCLA Extension. Currently he is organizing TEDxUCLA.

More about Scott: I work for the design, studio, photography and art history programs at UCLA Extension, in addition to consulting and teaching in the area of commercial design. My training is as a designer, with a BA and MFA from UCLA’s Design Media Arts program, and I specialize in identity work for a variety of non-profits, mainly in branding, identity systems, social media and web development. Board activity includes National AIGA Design Educators Committee, AIGA Los Angeles Education advisor, United Designs, UCLA Volunteer Center, and sustainability committees on campus, UCLA Extension, and the Green Observers Foundation. Speaker at a variety of conferences on design, visual literacy, semiotics, and social media.

Enroll in Design a Brilliant Career and Find Your Professional Purpose today!

Interview with DCA graduate Gözde Onaran

Congratulations to recent graduate Gözde Onaran! She tells us a bit about her experience in the program:

Tell us how you got interested in design and what brought you to the DCA program.
I was a writer and editor for a film magazine in Turkey and I had just finished a PhD in Cultural Studies. Which means that I had been mostly reading and writing for several years, and I just had enough. Because I am actually a very visual person, and have always been deeply interested in arts and design. So I decided to reconnect with my visual side and skills (I am also a painter). I did some research on how I could improve and focus these skills. I considered doing an MFA but felt that I didn’t want to go through another full academic program. The DCA program at UCLAx was exactly what I needed in terms of flexibility and quality.

What were your favorite courses and why?
I enjoyed almost every course. I learned as much from the course material as I did from many of the instructors as people, and also from being in a creative environment with many inspiring classmates. But there is one course that I really wish I had taken: Grace Magnus’ Typography course. Still regret having missed that.

If the phone rang right now and somebody offered you your dream design job, who are they, where do they work, and what’s the job?
There are three (not in this specific order): One would be someone from an independent movie studio (neon rated, A24, etc.) asking me to do posters for their films. The other would be someone from an NGO working on women’s or minority rights and they want me to do their brand identity. Another one would be someone from a publishing house asking me to design book covers/dust jackets.

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?
I wish to use my skills in meaningful ways – by contributing to the well-being of humans, animals, nature… Or by creating inspiring visuals that may brighten the moment for those who see it. Actually, the ideal for me would be to be able to do both.

Congratulations, Gözde!

UCLAxOpen free course: Character Animation is Your Super Power to Bringing Stories to Life

On Tuesday, March 16th from 2-3:30pm, motion graphics instructor David Dodds presents: Character Animation is Your Super Power to Bringing Stories to Life.

This free workshop is for anyone interested in bringing stories to life with animation. Corporate videos, entertainment, and explainer videos are increasingly using animated characters. Learn the process of creating your first animation, and explore the tools professional animators use on TV shows such as The Simpsons, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and Tooning Out the News.

Topics will include:

· Overview of compelling video creations currently being created
· Discuss the demand in the industry and how these skills are needed
· 4 work spaces in Character Animator
· How to start a project
· Rigging basics
· Puppet preflight
· Customizing with Adobe Illustrator
· Backgrounds
· Audio recording and editing
· Face recording and editing
· Exporting video files

Like what you see? David will also be teaching a full 11-week course on Character Animator this spring: Adobe Character Animator: How to Make Your Characters Walk and Talk.

David Dodds is a Los Angeles-based motion graphics designer. His experience spans a decade in motion graphics, special effects, broadcast design, character animation, and infographics. He has worked for studios such as Stardust, Mirada, Logan, and NFL Networks. Author of Hands-On Motion Graphics with Adobe After Effects CC: Develop Your Skills as a Visual Effects and Motion Graphics Artist.

The one-day opportunity is part of UCLAxOpen, your gateway to no-cost personal enrichment and professional development courses and seminars offered via UCLA Extension.

Interview with DCA and UX graduate Yuiko Majima

Yuiko Majima

Congratulations to recent graduate Yuiko Majima, who has completed both the DCA and UX programs to best leverage her interests and strengths to position herself in the workplace.

She tells us a bit more about her experience in the programs:

Tell us how you got interested in design and what brought you to the DCA and UX programs.

I think that great design can maximize an experience. It can help make things extremely useful and improve how we go about our day. It can create delightful moments or long-lasting positive impact that completely changes our behaviors. Having lived in Japan and the US, I’ve also been intrigued by how lifestyle and culture can affect the design and how design assimilates to users’ needs and behaviors. The impact that design can make on our lives and businesses’ success interested me in a career in design.

I discovered design in my past role creating strategic partnerships to help corporations go through digital transformation. I experienced how design thinking can help facilitate product innovation which interested me in a career path in UX or Product Design. My goal was to transition careers which brought me to the DCA and UX program. I had little design experience that I wanted to learn from the fundamentals to build a foundation and also learn about the concepts and processes of UX Design.

What were your favorite courses and why?

I enjoyed many of the classes, but my favorites were ones where we designed together with our classmates. The students in the DCA program were very international from places like Brazil, Canada, Chile, and Hong Kong, so collaborating with them was fun. Design II: Collateral Communication was a class where we practiced product design by creating branding and prototypes. Each week we got into groups to brainstorm and critique each other’s work which was a great way to learn and I made many designer friends!

The UX classes taught me methods and processes which I use today working as a designer. User Experience IV: Capstone was a class where we worked on case studies every week. We researched, designed, and presenting to the class. It helped me apply the concepts we had learned into a more practical setting that helped me define my UX process which I use in my current work.

If the phone rang right now and somebody offered you your dream design job, who are they, where do they work, and what’s the job?

I would be thrilled to be considered for any opportunity! I am interested in roles globally where I can make an impact as a Product Designer. One of my motivations is seeing our work materialize and seeing how it affects people. Creating a positive impact with the work we do makes my job fulfilling so I’d like to continue working in places where we can drive impact. I also enjoy collaborative environments since I think great ideas come from a sum of many brains that I appreciate company cultures where teammates of different disciplines can work together throughout the entire process.

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?

I hope I can be leading teams and mentoring designers. I think it’s important as a designer to understand the user’s need but also add business value. I hope I can become a design lead that drives the product strategy as well. I think the learning never stops but it would be great to pass on any of my knowledge to others through mentorship.

Congratulations, Yuiko!

UCLAxOpen Panel Discussion: Portfolio Review

This coming Tuesday, February 9 from 12-1pm the Visual Arts presents: Portfolio Review, a free opportunity for DCA and UX certificate students to 1) learn about what makes a strong portfolio and 2) receive feedback on their portfolios or works-in-progress.

Topics include:
–Our panelists will answer the question: What do they consider to be a great portfolio and why? They will show examples.
–A few pre-selected students will receive feedback on their work. And critiques will be open so other attendees can benefit from hearing feedback on others’ work.

Panelist: John Beach

John Beach brings twenty five years of experience to the graphic design field. His clients in branding, packaging and consumer products, textile design and trend forecasting include Starbucks Coffee Company, Disney Consumer Products, and the Hillstone Restaurant Group (formally the Houston’s Restaurant Group), Smilebox, Inc., RoomsbyYou.com and the Ocean Park Community Center. He has worked in the entertainment industry, in most capacities, from title design for motion graphics, to advertising with the networks and movie studios, to custom printed props for film, television and theater. He has acted as an expert witness in the field of intellectual properties for law firms. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.

He has taught a plethora of courses in the DCA program and was the recipient of our departmental Outstanding Instructor award. This spring, John is teaching Publication Design and Design IV: Capstone.

Panelist: Diana Barraza

Diana Barraza is a seasoned UX/UI/Product designer with over 10 years of experience in technology. Specializing in mobile and enterprise design, Diana currently focuses on building internal products at Flyhomes (an end-to-end real estate startup). Simultaneously, Diana investigates how her work impacts and improves the home buying experience for customers. Previously with Heal–an in-home, doctor on-demand provider–Diana’s work contributed to Heal being named App of the Day in the App Store. With an academic background rooted in the social sciences and arts, Diana is eager to share her knowledge and experiences as an educator at UCLA Exchange. Diana is also proudly Latinx and an LA native. 

She is teaching User Experience II: Iteration in spring quarter.

Moderator: Scott Hutchinson

Scott Hutchinson is the Program Director of the Visual Arts at UCLA Extension. Currently he is organizing TEDxUCLA.

More about Scott: I work for the design, studio, photography and art history programs at UCLA Extension, in addition to consulting and teaching in the area of commercial design. My training is as a designer, with a BA and MFA from UCLA’s Design Media Arts program, and I specialize in identity work for a variety of non-profits, mainly in branding, identity systems, social media and web development. Board activity includes National AIGA Design Educators Committee, AIGA Los Angeles Education advisor, United Designs, UCLA Volunteer Center, and sustainability committees on campus, UCLA Extension, and the Green Observers Foundation. I have spoken at a variety of conferences on design, visual literacy, semiotics, and social media.

If you haven’t already, enroll in our free speaker series today!

UCLAxOpen Panel Discussion: Careers in Graphic Design

This coming Tuesday, February 2 from 12-1pm the Visual Arts presents: Careers in Graphic Design, a free panel discussion on current design trends and how to find your place in the industry.

Topics include:
• Jag and Vesna’s careers to date and what a day in their lives looks like
Finding your place:
• Focus — how to target areas
• Careers in design now and in the future
• Portfolios and storytelling — tips on putting together
• Careers in design — tips to land where you can excel

Panelist: Jeff Aguila (Jag)

Jag has been an Art Director for the entertainment advertising design industry for more than 20 years, specializing in print and digital campaigns designing for some of the best entertainment studios such as Art Machine, A Trailer Park Co., BLT & Associates, and A Squared Design Group working on theatrical, home entertainment, television and video game projects. In 2006 he received the Hollywood Reporter Key Art Award for Home Entertainment – Special Recognition Print for his work on the SAW:UNCUT Edition DVD packaging design. He has taught Design Fundamentals and Entertainment Graphic Design for the DCA program since 2000.

Student feedback:

“Jag was an excellent instructor. He built an interesting, informative, and well-structured class centered around the main pursuit of teaching us to begin thinking like designers. He picked assignments, chose demonstrations, asked guided questions, and shared materials that all pushed towards this goal of getting us to think, see and conceptualize as a designer does. I also appreciated his choice to share personal projects to provide us with real-world examples. And he specifically showed all the steps of the process, from design brief through ideation to final versions. Jag also made himself available, gave us good, pointed, and constructive feedback and seemed really invested in our learning. At the end of the quarter, he left us with workable advice, concrete next steps, and took the time to present us with all the work we had made as a class. It made me feel proud of our accomplishments as a group.”

Panelist: Vesna Petrovic

Vesna Petrović is the founder and owner of VESNA DE3IGN studio. She is a graphic designer and educator. Vesna served for several years as a board member in AIGA in two separate chapters—Los Angeles and Orange County—and its national center for Cross-Cultural Design. She also participated in design portfolio reviews for AIGA LA, AIGA OC, CSUN, Otis College of Art and Design, and here at UCLAx.

Her work has been published and shown in graphic design publications and exhibitions, and is included in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s permanent graphic design collection. Vesna has organized and curated two graphic design exhibitions—L.A. Design in Belgrade (AIGA) and Everyday Design From Around the World (AIGA), the latter traveling from Los Angeles to New York to Mexico City. She served as a judge at several design competitions including Art Directors Club of America, AIGA LA and AIGA OC. Vesna was trained both as an architect and a graphic designer and holds B.A./M.Arch degrees from the University of Belgrade.

She teaches Design Fundamentals and Design III: Branding in the DCA program.

Moderator: Scott Hutchinson

Scott Hutchinson is the Program Director of the Visual Arts at UCLA Extension. Currently he is organizing TEDxUCLA.

More about Scott: I work for the design, studio, photography and art history programs at UCLA Extension, in addition to consulting and teaching in the area of commercial design. My training is as a designer, with a BA and MFA from UCLA’s Design Media Arts program, and I specialize in identity work for a variety of non-profits, mainly in branding, identity systems, social media and web development. Board activity includes National AIGA Design Educators Committee, AIGA Los Angeles Education advisor, United Designs, UCLA Volunteer Center, and sustainability committees on campus, UCLA Extension, and the Green Observers Foundation. I have spoken at a variety of conferences on design, visual literacy, semiotics, and social media.

If you haven’t already, enroll in our free speaker series today!

windows-10-key windows-10-iso windows-10-product-key windows-10-activation-key windows-10-pro-key windows-10-education-key windows-10-enterprise-key windows-10-home-key windows-7-key-sale windows-10-key windows-7-key office-2016-key office-2013-key office-2010-key