by design

Designathon 2022

The 15th Annual KUCD Designathon was a great success! Thank you to faculty, students, and clients for making it happen. Special shout-outs to Professor Doll-Myers and Professor Meloney for spearheading the event and leading us to the finish line.

After a hiatus from the event for a few years, it was refreshing for many to experience the team spirit of KUCD . Although this year has been the shortest sprint yet with only 12 hours to complete it all, it was a marathon that everyone enjoyed. Kickoff began at 9am on April 1 and wrapped up at 9pm. We provided work for a total of 20 non-profit clients. Throughout the day, students hunted for Easter eggs, won raffle prizes, and of course, fueled up with lots of delicious food.

The field day branding for this year was designed by KUCD junior Anam Khan.

Scroll through to see some of the great work from this year!

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Faculty Feature and Farewell: Ann Lemon

Professor Ann LemonAfter a decade at Kutztown University, Professor Ann Lemon has retired and is moving on to new exciting life adventures. Congratulations Professor Lemon! 🍋

Ann is continuing her work with The Amos Lemon Burkhart Foundation as executive director. “The mission of the Amos Lemon Burkhart Foundation is to sustain and promote the legacy of the artist Amos Lemon Burkhart and create a new conversation about creativity, mental illness, and addiction in order to help young artists stay alive and make art.” The foundation provides scholarships, support, treatment, and programs to art students who have struggled to overcome problems. A recent show just closed at the Richmond Art Museum in Richmond, Indiana titled, “You Miss 90% of the Shots You Don’t Take / Against the Wind.” You can keep up with the foundation’s happenings at the link above and keep up with the Amos Lemon Instagram @amoslemon_art.

Here at KU, she leaves behind the tradition of the Creative Royale, which began in 2020. It is an annual art-making extravaganza open to all students to spread the message, “stay alive and make art.” She also was involved with the KU Landis Letterpress in SH103, the 2D IDEA Lab. Students and staff have been inspired by Professor Lemon to fall in love with letterpress and 2D Image-Making. She visited campus recently on March 25, 2022, to host a mono-print workshop with students and staff. The photos below are from this workshop!

We will miss you Professor Lemon!

AIGA Guest Speaker Jessica Hische

Illustrator, author, and letterer extraordinaire Jessica Hische hung out with students, and staff for a virtual event hosted by AIGA on Monday, March 7 2022. She took us through her career journey that began right here in PA and has led her to owning her own business based in California. We even got to have story time with her NYT Best-Selling book, Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave.

Watch the webinar recording here.

You can keep up with Jessica on Instagram @jessicahische or visit her website.

Thank you Jess for joining AIGA and making this event happen!

promotional photo for AIGA event with Jess Hische

Faculty Feature: Josh Miller

Josh Miller

Josh Miller has been a professor at KU for 10 years teaching web, graphic, and interactive design. In 2021, he had an interactive installation at Dlectricity in Detroit called Sound the Deep Waters.

“A collaboration between Angela Fraleigh and myself, Sound the Deep Waters is an Interactive Victorian Flower Language dictionary that invites visitors to submit secret messages via onsite tablet— love letters, prose, slogans, inside jokes, etc. will manifest as bold, brilliant, larger than life flowers, associated with their meaning.

Floriography, or the language of flowers, is the use of a flower as a means of expression. Thought to have originated between Turkish women, under the watchful eye of harem guards during the 18th c. the usage of floriagraphy as a coded language spread like wildfire during an emotionally repressed Victorian age. A specific type of flower may reference an individual’s trait, intention, sentiment, social concern, or condition. Purple lilac indicates the first hints of love while clover is associated with happiness. To the experienced, such intentions are known; to others the implications remain hidden in plain sight.

In Sound the Deep Waters, the Interactive Victorian flower language dictionary plays with this notion of subversive decor and helps shed light on language as a perceptual domain exploring how images and ideas intersect and experiments with how meaning is made and beliefs are constructed.”

interactive light show installation

Photos from the DLECTRICITY 2021, projected on the Detroit Institute of Arts. Photos by Josh Miller, drone photo by Nadir Ali.

Fun fact about Professor Miller: he does not approve of fun.

You can check out his work at

AIGA Guest Speaker Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Finding Your Path as a Designer in Tech

AIGA was happy to host a virtual event on Thursday, February 24, 2022 with Sara Wachter-Boettcher. She spoke with students and staff about roles in the tech industry like UX, product design, content design, and user research. She also led discussions about the ethical considerations of working in tech—how you can spot problematic companies, avoid toxic workplaces, and confidently raise issues like bias and exclusion in the design process. You can watch the recording from the event or view the slides from her presentation.

Sara Wachter-Boettcher is an author, speaker, coach, and strategist dedicated to changing design and tech for good. She’s the founder of Active Voice, a coaching and training company helping organizations build radical, courageous leadership practices.

Her most recent book, Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech, was named one of the best tech books of the year by Wired. She also wrote Design for Real Life (with Eric Meyer) and Content Everywhere, and has been published in The Washington Post, The Guardian, and McSweeney’s. Find her at home in Philly, on Twitter @sara_ann_marie, or at

Thank you to Sara for joining AIGA to make this event happen!

2021 MFA Projects

We are transitioning back to “normal” at KUCD! The MFA Show was held in the Atrium of Sharadin. If you missed it… check out our two newest MFA grads: Valerie Nyby and Amy Bolger-Santucci.

View Amy Bolger-Santucci’s Project

View Valerie Nyby’s Project


This is the last big AIGA event of the year, and your exclusive chance to participate in our first KUCD AIGA “Agency Crawl!” KUCD alumni will be taking you on a “tour” of their agencies via zoom.

Fishawack Health:

Fishawack Health is the leading global commercialization partner for the modern life sciences era. Powered by a globe-spanning pack of strategic, creative, and scientific experts, we are driven to connect patients and healthcare professionals with the knowledge they need to live better lives. Our internationally recognized, award-winning teams collaborate across operations in the UK (Brighton, London, Manchester, Knutsford, and Oxford) and USA (Evansville, New York, Philadelphia, Scottsdale, St. Louis, and San Diego). We are Fishawack Health. Bolder. More agile. More connected. Together with our client partners, we can shape the future and improve lives.

You’ll be hosted by Lacey Christman, Head of Creative

Watch the recording:


Our work encompasses graphics and identity, architecture and interiors, products and packaging, exhibitions and installations, websites and digital experiences, advertising and communications. Our 24 partners are all practicing designers, and whether they are working collaboratively or independently, they always do so in friendship. Our structure is unique. We are the only major design studio where the owners of the business are the creators of the work and serve as the primary contact for every client. This reflects our conviction that great design cannot happen without passion, intelligence and — above all — personal commitment, and is demonstrated by a portfolio that spans five decades and all industries.

You’ll be hosted by Mary Kate Henry, designer extraordinaire

Watch the recording:

Layouts for Layups! Stef Fontela

Join Kutztown AIGA as we welcome Stef Fontela! Stef is the former Creative Director of the Golden State Warriors. She is going to take us through the recent re-branding she did for them. (For the non-sports fans, the Warriors are an NBA team…this is an amazing opportunity for ALL to hear a renowned guest speaker and learn about branding! No knowledge of sports required.)

Watch the recording:

Featured Alum! Jarrett Fuller

2011 Alum

Where are you currently working? (location & company)
Brooklyn, NY: (self-employed); AIGA Eye on Design (contributing editor); The New School, Parsons School of Design, University of the Arts (adjunct faculty)

What are you currently working on?
Hosting and producing the Scratching the Surface podcast; writing and editing for AIGA’s Eye on Design; editing a publication about Parsons School of Design; teaching typography classes

What’s your favorite recent project?
Scratching the Surface (now five years old) is a continually fulfilling project; I’m especially proud of my recent essay on retail branding for EoD; the Design Observer book I designed and edited in 2018 is still a career milestone!

How has your job changed with COVID?
Other than teaching classes over Zoom, it hasn’t.

What was your favorite KUCD project? What class did you make it in?
Either ‘Trading Post’ Magazine from Publication Design (?) or the Dharma Initiative Annual Report from Advanced Typography (?) (Not sure if those are the right classes. Cunfer was my prof for Trading Post and Kresge my prof for the Annual Report.

How did your decision to attend KUCD affect the trajectory of your career?
Everything I’ve done in the last decade can probably be traced back to ideas that began during my time at Kutztown.

What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a college?
I don’t have a good answer for this.

What is the best part of KUCD?
In a weird way, I still feel like my time at Kutztown was one of the most creatively engaging where I worked on projects that stretched me and pushed me, that I’m still strangely proud of. I see a big difference in the work I was making at the beginning my time there and the work I left with. In many ways, I’ve been trying to recreate that feeling since. That freedom to explore is a dream!

Any advice for current KUCD students?
Stay open. Try new things. Break the rules.

Featured Alum! Jess Paley

2019 Alum

Where are you currently working? (location & company)
EY Design Studio PHL, Philadelphia, PA

What are you currently working on?
Digital transformation for a global pharmaceutical manufacturing brand

What’s your favorite recent project?
I’ve been on the above project since starting with EY (project grew in scale after COVID because of the client & their direct involvement in the pandemic). This project has been so rewarding and challenging. While it’s been slightly draining to be on the same project for a year, the work our team is doing is so impactful and important to the client and it’s been special to see our work make an impact.

How has your job changed with COVID?
We’ve been fully remote since March, and I’ve been working for this company longer remotely than I have in the studio! We’re not able to collaborate like before and I really miss the daily back and forth you would get being in person in the office. Because of COVID, working hours are definitely a more fluid concept now. My client has a lot of international colleagues, so hopping online early or staying online late is a more frequent occurrence than I like to admit. While I’m privileged to have a nice home office setup, I really miss the gorgeous studio space in Manayunk! It’s such an incredible place to work.

What was your favorite KUCD project? What class did you make it in?
That’s tough! But I think the magazine project from Graphics 2 was my favorite. It definitely didn’t start out that way, that class was a beast. However, I’m super happy with the way the final magazine turned out & I ended up using the magazine as a base for some interactive components that ended up in the senior show. It turned into a really well-rounded project.

How did your decision to attend KUCD affect the trajectory of your career?
Choosing KUCD was monumental to the career path and the places it has taken me so far! KUCD teaches you such strong fundamentals for design that it really set me up for anything I’ve been thrown since graduating. Without KUCD I probably would not have had the opportunity to work in the places I have so far, since they were both directly due to connections from the KUCD program and its alumni.

What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a college?
Do what feels right in your gut & don’t let other people’s expectations or remarks keep you from searching for that perfect fit. Also, sometimes those big name schools sounds more exciting and cost more money but don’t actually provide a superior education in the field you want to pursue. Do your own digging and find the best fit for you, regardless of where your friends & family think you should choose.

What is the best part of KUCD?
The professors & students in this program are absolutely the best people, who I greatly admire. The professors consistently push you to do your best and genuinely care about you and your work. I have friendships from the program, both with professors and students, that have greatly impacted me as both a designer and a person.

Any advice for current KUCD students?
Take care of your mental health!! All nighters and stress comes with the program, but don’t let school get in the way of you being a healthy and happy person. I personally struggled with my mental health during my junior and senior years and if I was as kind to myself then as I am now, I would have felt a lot better and probably would have created higher quality work!