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  • 12Dec

    The Impact of Teaching Graphic Design

    BY | December 12, 2018

    About 5 years ago, I started teaching graphic design at a community college in northern New Jersey. I never realized what an impact it would have on, not just my graphic design, but also on my life. I have taught classes in everything from typography to history of graphic design.

    When you teach, you must know your subject inside out. I thought I knew a lot about the history of graphic design. Wow did I have much to learn. In teaching, I began learning. I have a new wealth of imagery, philosophy and ideas that populate my projects. I am a better designer for it.

    You also must accept the fact that many of your college-age students are going to be better than you at software and technology. They have a decided generational advantage. So here is another place where the teacher learns from the student.

    But there are so many other ways that my students have taught me, not just in graphic design, but in life. I was definitely an impatient person before I began teaching. And now I am much more patient. (Ask my adult children and my husband; they will reluctantly agree). Not that some students don’t push the limits, they do. However, I am there to teach them to think like graphic designers and to push them to whatever their limits are. I am not there to judge their political views, interests or lifestyles.

    In the past 4 years I have been teaching at FDU (Fairleigh Dickinson University). See below my  Creative Concept Drawing students sitting with an exhibit of their Earth Day posters. The students start by sketching their ideas for a project, and when they have decided on a design solution, they go to the computer to create a final product.

    I love teaching. It feels like I am giving back to my graphic design community. Teaching has given me the ability to make a small impact on the young graphic designers of the future.

  • 1Dec

    Welcome to Different by Design

    BY | December 1, 2018

    Original logo choice

    Final logo choice

    Why Is Branding

    So Hard

    I am sure most designers will agree that designing something like a website or a promotional piece for your own company can be a most painful process. Branding is ongoing and really never ends. It just keeps evolving and changing.

    First you think you’ve got it, and then it slips through your fingers. This past year I designed a new logo for the small town that I live in, New Providence, New Jersey. In some ways it was fraught with the same issues that arise when designing something for your own company. Something like the “too close to home ” idea.

    The process took the better part of a year. We had many meetings, and when I thought we had a logo to work with, the committee decided that we needed to start over. At first I was disappointed, not just because I had to start from scratch, but because I really loved the logo and all the possibilities it brought to the table for branding. It was hip and fun and colorful. It projected diversity and many of the nice things about living here, without illustration, just type.

    Back to the drawing board, and here is what we eventually agreed on, pictured also at the left under the original design choice. In all honesty I think the actual choice is better for so many reasons. It is clearer, cleaner and easier to work with and has the same punch as the original logo. It is also more sophisticated which in the long run works better for the town.