by Design

It just wouldn’t work, no matter what he did. Autumn 1994

The high tech laser printer wouldn’t put any image whatsoever on the left end of a #10 envelope, even though the second semester senior ran it through time and again.

Everything on the screen showed all systems normal…positioning was well within live area, the envelope was fed into the right tray properly and a new bottle of toner awaited whatever images would be demanded.

So, he came to me, first asking if I knew what was wrong (no, I didn’t even know laser printers could print on converted envelopes without jamming), and if I knew of any other place that could print his self-promo logo on the end of an envelope, one for this Wednesday’s class an about 49 others for use in resume mailings for a job search.

Several calls to trusted service bureaus produced nothing. Screen process printing was a considered option (he had Serigraphy this semester), but we both knew nine point type would plug the screen after just three or four prints. Photocopying on a piece similar colored paper to be pieced on seemed…well, pieced on.

And, he just wouldn’t go away. It was as if he sensed I had some solution I hadn’t yet given him. It was one of those times I just wished I could hear the successful bottom line to the problem in a few weeks when I’d be looking at a handsome comp and hearing how he had resolved it on his own and learned a tremendous amount in doing so.

Finally, a light came on in my brain when he said he needed that small production run in addition to the supercomp. Letterpress—the oldest form of printing, whereby a raised, backward-reading plate can print on a smooth surface—sounded like a solution. I sent him to an Allentown printer who still ran letterpress jobs on an ancient platen press. Custom photoengraving, a zinc plate mounted type-high on a block of pine, could lay its image on the envelopes, one for supercomp needed in class, and 49 others to invest in job-getting. And, letterpress would make a reasonably low unit cost for the very small printing run.

The moral of the story…? Sometimes you need to know when to pick up a pencil or an X-Acto knife instead of a mouse. And, as a late 20th Century visual problem solver, you sometimes need to step back 100 years instead of the usual and expected forward.

-John K. Landis

GEN SHE Conference

The first annual KUCD GEN SHE (Generation She) Conference was held on Saturday, June 29th in the Kutztown University Sharadin Arts building. This event was created to support and connect all female Kutztown University Communication Design alumni on their career journeys. A day of resources, workshops and inspiration was planned to help attendees discover and plan their next move. Whether these women had been out of school for one year or 40 they were able to learn something valuable to take home with them. Topics throughout the day included goal setting, creative re-inspiration, self-care, finances and negotiation and more.

Professor Ann Lemon and Professor Summer Doll-Myers welcomed attendees spoke about how this event came to be a reality. Keynote speaker and KUCD alumnae, Kelly Whalen kicked off the day reminding us we need to be authentic and left us all with a sense of self-worth and confidence. Next up was Dr. Brandi Baldwin who spoke about finances. Not only did she capture the attention of the crowd with her hysterical stories she reminded us of our worth­–good design doesn’t come cheap. Christopher O’Reilly lead the third session of the day walking us through what it means to truly be in the moment and to give mindfulness a try. Not all stress is bad but how we react to stress is something all creatives should be aware of. Breathe in…and breathe out. Falling a bit behind schedule, that is bound to happen with such awesome speakers, lunch was combined with the 3 breakout sessions. Some had their portfolios reviewed to receive tips from KUCD professors, others networked and gained tips on entrepreneurship, while another group learned about earning an MFA in order to someday teach. Ready to put the inspiration on paper, literally, Professor Dannell Macilwreath and Professor Vicki Meloney led the group in a creative session. Staying inspired is a big part of working in this field. Our last session was led by KUCD alumnae, Jess Pacheco. She took us all through various improv exercises followed by short improv skits. Watching these women get to know each other and come out of their comfort zones was priceless. Throughout the day the Miller Gallery was open which featured the “Best of” this year’s graduates in Communication Design, Fine Art, Crafts and Art Education. Jordan Schnur, recent KUCD graduate and photographer was available between sessions to take headshots. There were of course snack and coffee breaks along the way but right before we parted after closing remarks we were able to get attendees to fill out a quick survey so we know what they loved and what we could do better next time. After we all said our goodbyes on campus a small group continued the networking at Saucony Creek Brewery. Cheers to a successful first KUCD GEN SHE conference.

So many great events all in one place. Also, a great way to network with people you haven’t met.

Great speakers, well organized! Loved the time for self-reflection.

This was such a wonderful day. So informative yet fun and relaxing.

So much stuff in one day! Bravo! I will def. attend again in the future.

This was incredible and even better than expected. Such a great day of thought for women at all stages of life.

Thank you for keeping KUCD such a great community!

Thank you so much for taking time to put this together. I had an amazing time and felt like I grew as a creative woman.

Special thanks to

President Hawkinson, Dr. Zayitz, Dean Kiec

Kaleigh Moran (designed logo / event graphics & student helper)

Kathy Traylor

KUCD faculty (Karen Kresge, Kate Clair, Denise Bosler, Vicki Meloney, Dannell MacIlwraith)

Kutztown University Foundation

Justin Shenk at Business Link

Student Helpers, Keri Stefkovich, Rachel Conville, Julia Conville, Fiona Kane-Salafia

All our speakers and attendees!


LGBT Pride Ad Campaign

Katelyn Baumann is a KUCD graduate from 2018.

She started her career off by heading to New York City a month after graduation. Katelyn was hired as a Junior Art Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. Only a year after leaving KU she was part of the team to work on a campaign for the organization “Out Not Down”. Katelyn’s main contribution to this project was the direct mail piece shown below.

“Ants Don’t Wear Pants!” by Prof. Kevin McCloskey

“Ants Don’t Wear Pants!” is the newest book in Kevin McCloskey’s Giggle and Learn series. The series explores natural science for beginning readers in a comic-book format.

Beginning with “We Dig Worms!” in 2015, McCloskey has published a book a year for the past five years. He is both the author and illustrator for the critically acclaimed series published by TOON Books, N.Y. The books are designed by Françoise Mouly, the art editor of The New Yorker magazine.

“Ants Don’t Wear Pants!” has been awarded a Junior Library Guild medallion for excellence. It will be available at the KU bookstore and wherever books are sold on Sept. 10. 2019.

“Plenty of lively and intriguing information, with high visual appeal. An excellent choice for younger readers who like animal facts peppered with humor.” –School Library Journal.


Buy Now

Ivan Brunetti’s new book, Comics Easy as ABC

Kevin McCloskey, professor at KUCD, is one of a dozen contributors to Ivan Brunetti’s new book, Comics Easy as ABC. Other contributors include Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snicket, and Kutztown U grad Renée French. The book is meant to teach children to create their own comics.