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by Design

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!

Featured Alum! Austin Haas

2018 Alum

Where are you currently working? (location & company)
Johannes Leonardo, New York, NY

What are you currently working on?
Volkswagen, Apeel, Kraft Heinz

What’s your favorite recent project?
Not so recent now, but we got to make a :90 spot saying goodbye to the famous VW Beetle. The whole experience was a highlight to work on animated spot with a studio I had admired for years, but as a small add on, part of the media buy was the New Years Eve countdown clock in Times Square. It would have been a really standard logo placement, but we had to the idea to incorporate the logo into the clock. So I made this minimal clock using rotating circles as hands that worked around the logo. So when the nation watched from the their living rooms, counting down to the first minute of the new decade, they were watching a clock that I made. It’s a little thing. But a nice moment.

How has your job changed with COVID?
It’s been tough. It can be mentally taxing, and feel unrewarding to see an entire production go by through zoom calls. While we’ve suffered the ability to travel for shoots and truly collaborate with our partners, teams and clients, COVID has been really liberating. I hope that agencies are flexible with the ability to work remote when it’s desired.

What was your favorite KUCD project? What class did you make it in?
Creative Writing. I loved Creative Writing because it was an opportunity to make art and experiment without expectations. I wasn’t expected to be any good at it so the reward was sweeter. There’s a lot of pressure and disappointment that comes with any creative career and I think you need those outlets to keep your balance.

How did your decision to attend KUCD affect the trajectory of your career?
Financially KUCD was my best option. While getting on the radar of recruiters and good agencies took a lot of work, and it’s surly easier to do coming from a bigger AD school like VCU, or Brigham Young, it ultimately comes down to the quality of your work and thinking and how you navigate relationships.

What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a college?
I’d say not to stress so hard. It feels like such a big deal at the time but now that I am a few years past it, collage feels like a small stepping stone. Given the chance I’d try to enjoy it more a second time around.

What is the best part of KUCD?
The versatility of the program allows you to change direction quickly. I picked up a lot of skills like motion, editing, illustration, writing that don’t define my job or necessarily find daily use, but have helped me to stand out or contribute when I otherwise wouldn’t have.

Any advice for current KUCD students?
Model yourself and your expectations off of creatives you admire. Be super honest and diligent with yourself. If something is bad, fix it. If you’re not up to par for a job or internship, figure out where to start and work to get there.

National GDUSA Awards Winners!

We are so proud of Prof. Vicki Meloney’s Package Design class. There were over 2,000 entries and less than 10% of those were winners.

KUCD Winners are:
Kerry Domas
Elline Santos
Bethsaida Torres
Gisela Rivera
Michelle Hue
Maddy Zeman

All the winners received a certificate and will be published in the quarterly magazine and featured on the website.

For nearly 60 years — since 1963— Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) has been a business-to-business information source for graphic design professionals.

GDUSA covers news, people, project, trends, technology, products and services. The GDUSA brand now includes a 100,000 visitor-a-month website, a monthly e-newsletter, a digital version of the magazine formatted for desktop, tablet and phones, and several national design competitions that culminate in Annuals showcasing the best in Graphic Design, Inhouse Design, Web Design, Package Design, Healthcare Design, and Digital Design.

Other major initiatives include annual recognition of leading Designers to Watch and promising Students To Watch, and periodic benchmark Reader Surveys on the state of print design, technology in design, design education, and the use of stock imagery in design. The main office is located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan NYC.

http://gdusa.com/

 

Featured Alum! Andrew Cygan

2018 Alum

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

What are you currently working on?
Building dashboards and data visualizations for an international healthcare company.

What’s your favorite recent project?
Designing a treatment and tracking app for patients suffering from a rare skin disorder.

How has your job changed with COVID?
I’ve been remote since March 2020. My role and responsibility hasn’t changed, we’ve just had to adjust how we tackle certain design activities, like brainstorming and whiteboarding sessions. Luckily, there are a lot of online resources that allow us to continue those activities. But personally, I miss the camaraderie of a hands-on, in-person whiteboard session.

What was your favorite KUCD project? What class did you make it in?
My favorite KUCD project was a non-profit ad campaign to help teach children (and adults) the concept and importance of ‘consent.’ Working with my partner, we created 30-second animated commercials showing examples of how language and actions can impact a child’s view of consent.

How did your decision to attend KUCD affect the trajectory of your career?
Attending KUCD allowed me to take my career in a new direction. Without my education at KUCD (and the reasonable price tag), I would have been much less likely to return to school and would likely still be working in a job and career I disliked.

What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a college?
When choosing a college, make sure to visit and get to know staff and faculty in the department where you plan to study. If you have a good experience with them, that’s a really great sign. Also, always consider the cost. College is a huge investment and state schools often offer both a high quality education and a lower price, allowing you to pay off loans earlier.

What is the best part of KUCD?
The faculty! The professors truly care and are invested not only in your success as a student but in your success as a graduate and young professional.

Any advice for current KUCD students?
Don’t hesitate to reach out to KUCD alum via social media (LinkedIn) for advice or other opportunities. Most all would be happy to help! We were all once in your shoes!

Featured Alum! Mary Kate Henry

2016 Alum

Where are you currently working? (location & company)
Pentagram, NY

What are you currently working on?
With my team, I just finished branding a theatre in Omaha, a non-profit helping create more equitable workplaces called Coqual, and a soap company called Dally. I get to work on everything from logos, packaging, print, web, and sometimes signage. I also do a personal project where I redesign the covers of books I read.

What’s your favorite recent project?
coqual.org (identity / web) – I always love doing work for clients that work to make a difference.

How has your job changed with COVID?
I work from home full time until at least summer 2021.

What was your favorite KUCD project? What class did you make it in?
I loved The Magazine Feature project in Graphics with Prof. Cunfer. This class was when design really started to click for me.

How did your decision to attend KUCD affect the trajectory of your career?
KUCD gave me the opportunity to attend an incredible design program while going to a liberal arts school where I could meet people with all interests/backgrounds. The professors gave me the all the tools I needed to enter the field, and they supported me in finding internships exactly where I wanted. Kutztown is between New York City, Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley, all areas with great design opportunities (and where we often went on trips). And of course, I have significantly less student loans from going to Kutztown than I would if I had decided to go to a private art school in a big city.

What advice would you give your high school self about choosing a college?
Choose a college that feels exciting and that just feels right when you visit.

What is the best part of KUCD?
KUCD is one big family. You know everyone by the time you leave, and your classmates and professors will be in your life long after you graduate. I’m forever grateful for them!

Any advice for current KUCD students?
Don’t be too hard on yourself in COVD times. Otherwise, make work you love, and always try to make connections in the field. If there’s a studio or designer you really love, ask them to get coffee instead of just asking for a job. Build relationships and learn from people. They will remember you, and they might help you out down the line.