by Design

Griffin Macaulay. Designer. Illustrator. Level 5 Half-Elf Cleric. KUCD Grad.

Griffin majored in Communication Design at KU with concentrations in Illustration, Graphic Design and Interactive Design. His first year out of school Griffin began working with the Neo-Pangea Society and began working on designs for the web and games, most recently jumping into UX design.

Some of Griffin’s works can be found in games like Dungeons and Dragons, Pokémon Go, and Dr. Pol: Vet Rescue, to name just a few.

Watch the recording:


KUCD held a VIRTUAL hands-on design camp that introduced sophomore, junior and senior high school students to design as a career and raise awareness of design’s possibilities. We had 38 participants attend our Saturday morning camp. We discussed job possibilities with a BFA in Communication Design, campus life, and the amenities in the KUCD department. In the morning we gave the students a hands-on graphic design challenge! They were tasked with creating a collaged Album/Spotify cover! There were a set of parameters to follow and supplies (mailed home to them).

The second half of the day walked attendees through what work to include in their portfolio and how to present it.
KU Visual Arts Programs require a portfolio for first year students. These students received the ‘inside scoop’ from the Portfolio Committee.

Joey Strain, Illustrator, still in College.

An Illustration Blog by Kevin McCloskey

I bought a copy a new kid’s book illustrated by Kutztown University student Joey Strain. The Little Wolf Who Howled at the Moon is written by Dr. Curtis Herr of the KU English Dept. Not every college student can illustrate a high-quality hardcover children’s book, but Joey pulled it off with distinction.

I wrote to Joey to ask about the project. Below is our lightly edited Q and A.

read more…

The “Think Method…” it still works!

Harold Hill, that charlatan professor of music in Meredith Willson’s wonderful play The Music Man, exhorts his young music pupils to learn to play their instruments, not by any formal or even informal instruction, but to simply think they’re playing, and then they’ll be able to do it. The Think Method actually worked. If it hadn’t, Professor Hill would’ve been run out of River City, Iowa, tarred and feathered by the city council!

Maybe there just are some things we learn best by the Think Method…an effective blend of common sense, some practice, and maybe even a few therapeutic failures. Who really teaches a newly-married husband and wife what to do on their wedding night? Who really teaches soccer-playing children how far to bank the ball to score a goal instead of putting it out of bounds or sending it squarely to the goalie? Life is experimental.

The other day I watched my second semester juniors in Production Processes nimbly navigating quirks of Quark and peculiarities of Photoshop. Who really teaches them how to get so good at software? Miles Decoster, a fourth year temporary who teaches high tech courses and manages our computer lab, has a theory…they’re young people who’ve learned to be deft with design software from growing up playing computer games where there are often no instructions given by the manufacturer or the other kid who loaned the cartridge. And avoiding sudden death or gaining new powers for your little virtual action figure only comes through common sense, some practice, and a few failures. It’s the Think Method!

Frustration is part of the act, to be dealt with as a matter of course. “Game Over,” while a real pain, simply means try again and maybe you’ll do better next time, just as crashed software means rebuild your file…it’s always easier next time because your own brain’s memory stored the necessary functions.

We older designers who’ve had to learn the new skills without the benefit of growing up playing computer games, not to mention the benefits of fast reaction time, still get to learn by the same Think Method…challenging but entirely possible. At any age, as long as we’re willing, we gain great powers from common sense, practice, failures, and trying all over again. Even River City’s bickering town fathers learned to get along with each other that summer after Harold Hill came to town.

-John K. Landis

KUCD Marketplace

The KUCD Marketplace is an online catalog of student & alumni work, shops, books, jewelry, and other products. It is designed to showcase and support the hard work, creativity, and small businesses from our department.

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