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Student work: John Candland

WK11_C5_Candland_John - Cookies_Page_1It’s always exciting when students let their playfullness and originality shine through in a project. Student John Candland did just that in the course Icons, Logos, and Logotype Design. Not only did he animate his logo, but he also created a version out of cookies! Talk about an unforgettable interview leave-behind. John shared more with us:

WK11_C5_Candland_John - Cookies_Page_2 
What was your inspiration for this project?

Candland Connection was a logo design for my own hypothetical, future business with services including public relations, social media, web design, etc.  Something that I’m passionate about is authentic, open communication and “connection” between people.  That’s where the puzzle pieces concept came together.  Each of the puzzle pieces represents a person, and when they come together, each person is holding another person in their arms.  I believe that as humans, we feel incomplete until we “connect” our authentic, true self with others whom we “fit” together with.

Can you tell us what your process was like? 

I drew several thumbnail sketches for the logo options.  My instructor, Shirin Raban, and fellow students agreed that this concept was my strongest.  I created the logo in Illustrator, and used feedback from Shirin to tweak the shapes and the colors, and keep the concept simple.  (I had though about putting faces on the puzzle pieces).   Shirin had taught us about animated logos which made a lot of sense to me since so much of modern communication is online, it’s a great way to make a logo pop.

Here’s one of my earlier drafts:


Great work, John!

Enroll in Icons, Logos, and Logotype Design today.

Student Work: Pauline Batista

You may not know that in addition to our regular courses, we also offer a mentorship option, for students who have a specific project in mind and would like one-on-one time with an instructor to get individualized guidance and feedback. Students can pick an instructor they have studied with before, or whose work they admire. They spend six hours with their mentor over the course of the quarter.

Recently, photography student Pauline Batista completed a mentorship with instructor Roxann Arwen Mills. Pauline was kind enough to share some of her work and thoughts on the mentorship process.

Why did you decide to do this mentorship?

It was crucial to me to have someone’s input on my work that I could trust. The only way in my mind to do so was to find someone whose work I respected and who I thought would be able to understand where I was coming from.

I believe I was at a point in my work where I needed guidance that went beyond just another class.

The one-on-one time framework of a mentorship was exactly what I was looking for and needed. I have taken many UCLA Extension classes but each has their own assignments and parameters that weren’t always in tune with the kind of work I was looking to produce.  The great feature of the mentorship class is that it allows you to pick a mentor and work with him/her to develop your project and yourself as a photographer.

Can you describe your project and what your goals for the mentorship were?

 I began working on the series “Stumbling towards Oblivion” last year with a desire to leave the concrete jungle and explore our relationship to the natural environment.

I wanted to place my subjects as objects within a landscape but not to objectify them.

Personally the biggest challenges and rewards surrounding the project were the actual shoots. Although clearly staged scenarios, it was important to me to convey the excitements and fears surrounding such a explorations. Being out there for the shoots elicit many (opposing) feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, but also a strange feeling of peace and serenity.

I aimed to create a dream state removed from social expectations, and my goal with the mentorship was to translate that into photographs.

How did you and Roxann approach your work? What was she able to offer you in terms of guidance and critique?

As I mentioned I had already begun the work and therefore had my own ideas of what the project was and what I wanted it to convey to others.

In a way I was already determined to follow a certain path and aesthetics, which I believed, would communicate that.

Roxann being a well-rounded artist, who has also worked extensively with the human body was able to help me step back and analyze the work through a different lens. She questioned (and in turn made me question) the decisions I was making and the work I was choosing during the editing process. She offered me honest critique and was not hesitant to say when something did not work.

I think this is the best quality in a mentor.  After all you are not trying to get someone who simply agrees with everything you produce and say but rather can bring constructive criticism that may steer the work in an unexpected direction.

 How did your project change based on your work with Roxann?

It is very easy to get stuck within your own vision or ideas. Roxann enabled me to step back and be more critical of the work and from there evolve it. I began experimenting with different times of day and including dawn as opposed to just nighttime and also experimented more with lighting. The guidance with editing was tremendous.

The biggest contribution I would say came in terms of identifying where it was that the work could fit within the history of nude photography but also having something new to say about it. She encouraged me to study the history of it and what has been done in this field.

I can say with certainty that this mentorship has in more ways than one shaped the final body of work.




DCA Student Releases Typeface Design

Congrats to DCA student Ryan Lyse who, under the guidance of Andrew Kutchera, first in the course Advanced Typography then in a Mentorship, designed and recently released the typeface above, named Portsmouth.

Ryan chatted with us about this accomplishment:

What was your inspiration for this project?

The inspiration came from a logo redesign I did for my Branding and Identity class in the DCA program. I chose to redesign the logo for Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I drew the letters for PORTSMOUTH finding inspiration from the height and strength of old tall ships and trying to bring those characteristics into the typeface. I also wanted it to have a historical feel to reflect the age of the city of Portsmouth.

Can you tell us about the design process?

Almost a year later, after I took Andrew’s Advanced Typography course, I decided to complete the rest of the alphabet outside of the PORTSMOUTH letters just as an exercise in type design. I showed it to Andrew and he suggested we do a mentorship to fully refine it so I worked on it with him for a quarter and finally got it to where it needed to be. Some letters were much easier to refine than others. I think I drew almost 30 Gs and almost 20 Ks and studied close to 100 of each. It was a lot more in depth than I expected but I am happy with how the final product turned out. The biggest revelation for me during the process was just letting the letters be the width they needed to be. The original set followed a strict formula with all the same width which made some letters appear unnatural. I really enjoyed the process and would love to do it again with another typeface.

How did you decide to release it? What was that process like?

I decided to release it because someone saw my Portsmouth type specimen online and asked if they could sell it on their site. Another friend who is a graphic designer, and who has done type design, was also confident it would sell so I figured other designers might want to use it as well. I didn’t have the font file and didn’t know how to create it but Andrew put me in touch with a type designer who is now selling it on the two websites below.

Portsmouth is available for sale here and here.

Congrats again, Ryan!

Congrats to recent DCA graduate Naomi Hotta!

Award-winning package design by Naomi Hotta

Exciting news – recent DCA graduate Naomi Hotta has received the GD USA 2012 American Graphic Design Award for the Student category for her submission: “Les Yeux Noirs” Chocolate packaging, a project Naomi completed in Shirin Raban’s Package Design (online) course.  

Naomi answered a few questions for us:

What was your inspiration for this project?

I titled my brand “Les Yeux Noirs”—dark eyes, with a main quote, “You know you are in love when you see the world in her eyes and her eyes everywhere in the world”. These are chocolates that are precious like diamonds, a joy to open like unraveling a gift, and special like the sparkle in the eyes of someone you love. Sophisticated, passionate, and romantic. Inspired by 1940s Paris, the love story of Frank Lloyd Wright, and his architecture style. 

Can you tell us a bit about the design process?

As a chocolate aficionado, it was one of my dreams to be able to design identity for a chocolate brand. I took this opportunity in Shirin’s packaging design class. I wanted this brand to have the 1940s Paris/Europe feel with something that had an architectural feel. I love Frank Lloyd Wright’s geometric yet decorative style, and his use of wood in his prairie style architecture. The class proposed the question, “but… how does Frank Lloyd Wright, an American architect, and 1940s Paris come together?”. During class discussion, I found out that Frank Lloyd Wright had a lover from Europe and they spent some time in Europe, including France. I took this love story and decided to make this the back bone of my brand. Love, dark eyes, sparkle of the eyes, diamonds… I used the idea of lines, forms, and colors of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. I created the logo, a circular form representing an eye, with a small diamond speckle shape as the sparkle in it. I tried repeating the diamond icon in my graphics on the packaging, as well as engineering the folds/dieline so that the diamond shapes will show up in the form of my packaging. I thoroughly enjoyed this design process and am very happy that I had this opportunity for this creative freedom.

How did you decide to submit the piece to the GD USA contest?

A designer friend suggested that I submit my work to this contest. I thought, “Why not? I’m only a student once (for now…). There’s nothing to lose”. I am glad I did! It was a great way to get validation of the work that I did at the UCLAx DCA program and it keeps me motivated to do more work that could communicate something to the viewer.

Congratulations, Naomi!

DCA students, be sure to get your work out there as well, submitted to contests, shared at AIGA student portfolio reviews, and other such events. You never know what opportunities may arise!

Fall Quarter Getty Design Internship

Work done by previous DCA intern, Naomi Hotta

“The Design Studio at the Getty is the best beginning experience for a designer. Their department is so comprehensive, you’re exposed to a little bit of everything.”
— current DCA intern, Bill Neal

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 CS5 programs.
•Ability to generate a design solution quickly and carry it through to completion.
•Strong communication skills.
• DCA certificate candidate.
Send your resume, cover letter and three work samples to dca@uclaextension.edu by Monday, September 3rd. I’m happy to help you prepare your application and answer additional questions or put you in touch with past interns. Set up an advising meeting by calling 310-206-1422.
— Kate

The DCA Final Portfolio Review

To complete the DCA program, the last step is a final portfolio review. Here’s what you need to know about it:

We first recommend that you come in for an optional pre-portfolio review with our program director, Scott Hutchinson. Scott will give you critical feedback to help you revise and prepare for the final review. He will also ask you about your career goals and tailor his feedback to help you reach them. You can schedule this anytime by calling 310-206-1422.

Need some inspiration on how to construct your portfolio? Click here to find links to the web portfolios of approx. 15 outstanding DCA graduates.

Each time three students are ready for the final portfolio review, we schedule them back-to-back, 30 minutes each. They are held in classrooms 407 and 408 at 1010 Westwood Center. You need to arrive at least 15 minutes early to ensure we stay on schedule. When your review begins, you can either 1) sit at the iMac in the front of the room and navigate through your online or USB portfolio (projected over the data projector) or 2) show a physical book or 3) show your work on your own laptop. You are also welcome to do a combination of these options if you’d like. The panel will ask you to briefly describe your design career goals. You then have about 10 minutes to share your work, then the panel takes turns giving you feedback for about 10 minutes (often asking you to return to particular pieces), then there is about 10 minutes of Q&A back and forth, for a total of 30 minutes.

Then you’re done! Congratulations!

We will email you a brief exit interview a day or two after.

Online students: If you don’t live in the LA area, your final portfolio review will be conducted via conference call.

In a rush? In special instances, students can complete the final review here in the office. For example, if you are an international student who must return to your home country soon.

– Kate

Ashley Margo

Ashley Margo


The UCLA Extension Certificate Graduation Ceremony was Friday from 4 – 6:30pm at Royce Hall. This was a great moment to recognize all of the hard work our certificate students have done and celebrate their accomplishments. It’s also a nice chance for certificate students across many disciplines to celebrate together. Visit our main UCLA Extension website for details on the event.

Flickr stream:

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Livestream of the packed Royce Hall event:


Submit your work now for EMERGE

poster from previous EMERGE event

 The annual student EMERGE exhibition will be held at the Architecture & Design Museum  May 12th to June 3rd, 2012.EMERGE is an annual exhibition of graphic design work involving students from various colleges and universities in the greater Los Angeles area. The show is organized by AIGA LA Education Committee and provides an opportunity to AIGA student members to showcase their design work.

The DCA Program is accepting your submissions now. Please email up to three images of your best work to dca@uclaextension.edu  by Sunday, April 15th.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re enrolled in the certificate program and that your AIGA membership is current. When I receive your submissions I’ll email you an official submission form.We look forward to seening your work!Go to aigalosangeles.org for more info.

It’s Your Show! Call for Submissions


It’s that time again! Time for “It’s Your Show,” our annual exhibition of student work from the areas of design, fine art and photography.

This is a fun event that brings together students of all disciplines. Plus, you can bring your friends to the opening, and there’s wine and cheese!

Please read the submission guidelines below carefully. It’s important to properly label your e-mail submissions, and remember that it’s limited to three submissions per student!

Submission Deadline:
Midnight on Sunday, April 15

Opening Reception:
Friday, May 11, 6:30 – 8:30pm
UCLA Extension
1010 Westwood Center Gallery, 4th floor

Open to all original work presented in a UCLA Extension Studio Arts, Photography or Design Communication Arts course in the last two years. All genres, formats, and media are eligible. Three submissions maximum per student.

Submission Guidelines:
Digital submissions only.

Email design work to dca@uclaextension.edu.
Email photography and fine art work to visualarts@uclaextension.edu.

Files should be .pdf or .jpeg images no larger than 1MB and named in the format described below. Include your name and phone number in the body of the email.

Digital File Label:


All entrants will be emailed on or before April 27 regarding their submission(s). Students will be asked to bring their original artwork to 1010 Westwood Boulevard in advance of the show and be required to sign a release of liability at that time.

Special recognition will be given by a jury of Los Angeles artists to projects displaying excellence in specific elements of art and design.

Questions? Call (310) 206-1422.

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