Design Lecture Series

The Design Lecture Series is sponsored by the Graduate Communications Design Department

Spring 2014

Pablo Medina

Pablo Medina is a designer, artist, teacher, builder, filmmaker, photographer, lover, traveler, dancer and cyclist. Some clients that he has worked with include The Museum of Modern Art, Zoo York, ESPN and The New York Times. He is Assistant Professor of Communication Design at Parsons the New School for Design and has taught there for the past twelve years. He has also taught at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and at California College of the Arts (CCA). In 1999, his typeface designs were exhibited in the Design Triennial exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Museum. [Cubanica]

Armin Vit

Born and raised in Mexico City, Armin is a graphic designer and writer now living in Austin, Texas. He is co-founder of UnderConsideration, a graphic design firm and publishing enterprise all rolled into one. While he has written for most of the well-known trade publications, he is better known for his writing on the blogs that make up the UnderConsideration online network, as well as from the books he has co-authored with his wife and partner, Bryony Gomez-Palacio — their most recent efforts being Graphic Design, Referenced and the self-published Flaunt. [UnderConsideration]

Andy Cruz

Born the son of a hot rodder, Andy spent his early years skating the mean streets of Elsmere, Delaware, and hassling the French Paper samples department for Charles Anderson posters. After graduating from Delcastle Vocational and Technical High School with “shop” certification in Commercial Art, he opted to skip art school and started working as a full-time designer at a local firm. Apart from his obvious artistic talents, Andy had a knack for subtle persuasion that he would later use to talk Rich into quitting a cushy, well-paying marketing job to start Brand Design Co. As the art director and creative nerve center of House Industries, Andy uses his calm, quiet demeanor to cajole frustrated House artists/designers into making something perfect by redoing it “one more time.”
[House Industries]

Fall 2013

Timothy Goodman

Timothy Goodman is a designer, illustrator and an art director based in New York City. Currently he runs his own studio, working for clients such as the New York Public Library, Airbnb and The New York Times. Previously, Timothy worked in-house at Apple Inc. where he helped integrate Apple’s visual language, domestically and internationally, across third party environments, retail stores, events and campaign launches. This lecture was organized by the Type Director's Club.

Dawn Hancock of Firebelly

Dawn Hancock of Firebelly lecture is on entrepreneurship and socially responsible design. Firebelly Design opened in 1999 and practices "Good Design for Good Reason". Check out their 10-year retrospective of sustainable design which was featured at Pratt's GradComD gallery. This lecture was organized by the GradComD Communications Committee.

Marian Bantjes

Marian Bantjes is a designer, typographer, writer and illustrator working internationally from her base on a small island off the west coast of Canada, near Vancouver. Marian’s art and design crosses boundaries of time, style and technology. She is known for her detailed and lovingly precise vector art, her obsessive hand work, her patterning and ornament. Read the 2009 EYE magazine interview here.

Spring 2013


Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi are Sonnenzimmer, a Chicago-based art and print studio founded in 2006 that is influenced by pop-culture and driven by form and technique. The duo model their business on the idea of a music studio -- making, performing, and touring with their designs. Their work combines typography, printmaking, graphic design, and fine art, creating a sophisticated and contemporary aesthetic.

The Post Family

The Post Family is a designer collective and "family" of friends that support each other's creative passions in an industrial space on the outskirts of Chicago. The Post Family is also a gallery, letterpress and screen printing studio, and experimental music venue and creative incubator that was founded in 2007 as a respite from their digital day jobs. The Family, which relies both on digital and analog modes of creation, comprises Rod Hunting, Chad Kouri, David Sieren, Davey Sommers, Sam Rosen, Alex Fuller, and Scott Thomas. The workshop with students is documented here.

Kind Company

Patricia Belen and Greg D'Onofrio are practicing designers, writers, graphic design history enthusiasts and collectors. Alongside client work at their small studio, Kind Company, Patricia & Greg organize and write for their self-initiated project, Display—a collection of important modern, mid 20th century graphic design books, periodicals, advertisements and ephemera. From the experimental to the playful to the rational, this hands-on discussion will feature original works from Display and serve as an important overview of Modernism in graphic design. This visual treat will include examples of lesser-known designers or the lesser-known work of well-known designers including: Herbert Bayer, Lester Beall, Karl Gerstner, Franco Grignani, Alvin Lustig, Herbert Matter, Bob Noorda, Paul Rand, Studio Boggeri, Ladislav Sutnar and Massimo Vignelli, among others. /

Lev Manovich

Lev Manovich has been working with computer media as an artist, computer animator, designer, and programmer since 1984. His art projects have been presented by, among others, Chelsea Art Museum (New York), ZKM, The Walker Art Center, KIASMA, Centre Pompidou, ICA (London), and Graphic Design Museum (Breda, NL). He is a Professor at CUNY Graduate Center and founder and director of Software Studies Initiative.

Peter Nencini

Peter Nencini is a London-based artist and illustrator. His work explores "abstract play" and the distortions that arise out of systems and process. The pieces allow for open interpretation and freedom for the end user.

Adam Harrison Levy

Adam Harrison Levy is a writer and freelance documentary film producer and director. He specializes in the art of the interview. For the BBC he has conducted interviews with a wide range of actors, writers, musicians and film-makers including Meryl Streep, Philip Glass, and Gay Talese. He was the U.S. producer for “Selling the Sixties,” a cultural history of advertising in New York in the early 1960s and “Close Up,” about the artist Chuck Close. He wrote the catalog essay for “Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945,” an exhibition at the International Center for Photography (2011), and “Saul Leiter: Retrospective” at the Deichtohallen, Hamburg (2012). He teaches a class in the “art of the interview” at the School of the Visual Arts in New York. In the fall of 2012 he co-taught a course in Visual Biography at Wesleyan University with Jessica Helfand. Levy has an MA from the Royal College of Art and a BA from Wesleyan University. In 2012 he was a Poynter Fellow at Yale University.

Fall 2012

Urs Lehni and Lex Trüb

Lehni-Trüb functions as an occasional graphic design studio, founded by Swiss graphic designers Urs Lehni and Lex Trüb in 2005. Besides working together on commercial projects, particularly printed matter, both Lehni and Trüb realize self-initiated projects including the independent publishing ventures Bookhorse and Rollo Press, established in 2008. Since 2008, Lehni co-runs the Zurich based project space Corner College, a small venue which hosts lectures, workshops, movie screenings and culinary experiments.

Diego Kolsky

Diego’s left brain may have started his studies in business administration, but his right brain moved him to design in a matter of months. The two sides have continually tugged at him ever since. Upon graduation from Pratt Institute, Diego joined DiefenbachElkins (now FutureBrand), managing comprehensive brand initiatives for companies like AeroMexico, Banco de Crédito Argentino, Banco Santander, Eg3/Repsol, Malaysia Airlines, Naluri Holdings, and Telefónica.

Spring 2012

John Thackara

John Thackara is a writer, speaker, design producer, and director of Doors of Perception. John writes for Design Observer, and is the author of twelve books including In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World and Wouldn't It Be Great If….

Karin Fong

Karin Fong is a director, designer, and one of the founding members of Imaginary Forces. A graduate of Yale, Karin’s work has been featured at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, The Wexner Center, Artists Space, The Walker Art Center, and in numerous publications.

Rory McGrath & Geoff Han, OK-RM workshop

OK-RM is a London based design studio founded in 2008. Working with a broad range of clients from individuals to institutions, the studio has a project specific approach allowing for a highly varied output that encompasses visual identity, publication design, art direction, editorial and digital projects.

Khoi Vinh

Khoi Vinh is a graphic designer, blogger, and former Design Director for The New York Times, where he worked from January 2006 until July 2010. He is the co-founder and CEO of Lascaux Co., makers of Mixel for iPad, the world’s first social collage app. Fast Company named Vinh one of "The 50 Most Influential Designers in America" in September 2011.

John Gall

John Gall is the Vice President and Art Director for Vintage/Anchor Books.

Fall 2011

Paul Elliman

Mr. Elliman lives in London. His work has addressed the relationship between language and the urban environment, engaging the human voice in many of its social and technological guises, including the imitation of other languages and sounds of the city, from the non-verbal messages of emergency vehicle sirens to radio transmissions and the muted acoustics of architectural space. Mr. Elliman’s work has been exhibited at London’s Tate Modern, New York’s New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Kunsthalle Basel, and is included in collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and the Anyang Public Art Project (Korea). Mr. Elliman is also a thesis supervisor for Werkplaats Typografie, a graphic design program in Arnhem, the Netherlands. He was appointed to the Yale faculty in 1997 and is currently senior critic in graphic design.

Massimo Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli of Vignelli Associates is an AIGA Gold Medal winner. The work of Massimo and his wife Lella has been influencing designers since 1960. Their office have indeed done it all: industrial and product design, graphic design, book design, magazine and newspaper design, packaging design, interior and exhibit design, and furniture design.

Spring 2011

April Greiman

April Greiman is a thinker and artist, whose transmedia projects, innovative ideas and projects, and hybrid-based approach, have been influential worldwide over the last 30 years.

The LAB is Rockwell Group’s digital interaction design team

The ambition of the LAB is to explore, experiment, and demonstrate interactive experience augmented with digital technology in objects, environments and stories.

Michael Bierut

Michael Bierut, AIGA Medalist, studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.

Fall 2010

Michael Rock

Founding partner and creative director at 2×4 and Professor of Design at the Yale University School of Art.

Rob Carter

Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of nine books on Design, including Typographic Design: Form And Communication (with Ben Day and Philip Meggs)—which has become the prime text for typographic design education in the United States; American Typography Today; the five-volume Working with Type series; Digital Color and Type; and Typographic Specimens: The Great Typefaces (along with Philip Meggs).

Bruce Mau

Visionary and world-leading innovator, Bruce Mau is the Chief Creative Officer of Bruce Mau Design.

Firebelly Design

is tenacious about creating meaningful design, developing sustainable strategies and combining both to change the world. They believe in honest storytelling and genuine experiences—the sincere things organizations simply cannot fake or force.

Tracy and Chester Jenkins of Village Type

A very small independent distributor, publisher and designer of typefaces. Village consists of two partners in Brooklyn, with member foundries around the world.

Spring 2010

Sulki Choi and Min Choi

Sulki and Min, graphic designers in Seoul, Korea, met in 2001 at Yale University where they both were MFA graphic design students. Since then, they have been working together on various commissioned and self-initiated projects.

Jennifer Bernstein, Level NYC

After receiving her MFA from Yale, Jennifer worked for the New York firms Wechsler & Partners and Balsmeyer & Everett Inc. While senior designer at Balsmeyer Everett. she originated the concepts and design for title sequences for such feature films as Fargo, Girl 6, The First Wives Club, and Waiting To Exhale.

Experimental Jetset

Experimental Jetset (Amsterdam)
 is a small, independent graphic design studio based in Amsterdam, consisting of three persons: Marieke Stolk, Danny van den Dungen and Erwin Brinkers.

Paul Sahre

Graphic designer, illustrator, lecturer, educator and author Paul Sahre established his New York studio in 1997. While consciously maintaining a small office, Sahre has nevertheless built a large presence in American graphic design.

Crowdsourcing Panel:

Chris Clarke, CCO LBi
Ric Grefé, AIGA Executive Director

Craig Kanarick, Consultant / Founder of Razorfish

Ben Malbon, Managing Partner, BBH Labs

Mike Samson, Founder of crowdSPRING

John Winsor, CEO Victors and Spoils

Fall 2009

James Goggin, Practise (UK)

James Goggin set up his graphic design studio, Practise, in 1999 after completing an MA in Graphic Design at London’s Royal College of Art. Practise works across various media: from books, posters, typefaces, identities and stationery to exhibition design, signage, websites and motion graphics.

Rick Valicenti, Thirst

Rick Valicenti is the founder and design director of Thirst/Chicago, a communication design firm devoted to art with function and serves a collection of clients whose refined and enlightened design sensibilities yield rewards in the experience of creation. Rick was recently awarded the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA) Medal in 2006 for his sustained contribution to design excellence and development of the profession.

Luke Hayman, Pentagram

Luke Hayman was born in Hertfordshire, England and studied graphic design at Central St. Martin’s School of Art, London, graduating with honors in 1988. He has lived and worked in New York City since 1992. He joined Pentagram as a partner in December 2006.

Don Ryun Chang (South Korea)

Don is the author of five books including "How to Succeed in Business with Design and Brand Media Innovation."

Kitai Park, KDA Group (South Korea)

Kitai Park graduated from Pratt's GradComD program in 1981, and received an Alumni Achievement Award in 1996. While in NYC in the 80's he worked for Etan Manasse design studio in NYC.

Spring 2009

Ellen Lupton

Ellen Lupton is a writer, curator, and graphic designer. She is director of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, where she also serves as director of the Center for Design Thinking.

Brian Collins

Brian Collins is Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS:, an innovation-led firm dedicated to inventing branded experiences, digital interactions and communications that shape both companies and people for the better. 

Course Guest Lecturers have included:

Adam Harrison Levy
Alan Hori
Barbara Glauber
Jonathan Lee (Google Labs)
Stuart Smith (Google Labs)
Alison Uljee and Sierra Seip of Design That Moves You
Giona Maiarelli
Will Holder
Alexander Reyna, 4mm Games

Allen Wyke, 4mm Games

Berton Hasebe

Steve Ettlinger

Shawn Trail

Jerome Amos

Adam Snetman, ThinkSo Creative

Elizabeth Amorose, ThinkSo Creative

Lyle Owerko, Wonderlust Industries

Michelle Ehrlich

Franziska Morlok & Till Beckmann, Rimini Institute, Berlin

Liad Baniel, Liad Baniel Studio 

share this