by Design

Featured Alum! Connor Green

2018 Alum

Where are you currently working? (location & company)
R/GA Los Angeles

What are you currently working on?

The latest project I worked on was for Verizon’s Super Bowl collaboration with the NFL and battle royale video game Fortnite. With work environments becoming remote over the last year due to COVID-19, Verizon teamed up with Fortnite builder influencers to show off the powers of Verizon 5G. These Fortnite builders worked together online via video chat to build an in-game replica of Raymond James Stadium, the location for this year’s Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, FL. During the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Verizon livestreamed gaming influencers and various NFL superstars who battling it out in Fortnite, taking part in the various different game modes within the stadium. The public could even get involved by joining the same games as the NFL players, searching for easter eggs around the stadium to win a handful of prizes, including meet and greets with these same NFL players.

What’s your favorite recent project?
The current Verizon Super Bowl project is definitely my favorite as well. Below I added a few links to tweets showing off the work.

How has your job changed with COVID?
Since going fully remote back in March, collaboration amongst your team has definitely been different. I’m sure like many others, Zoom calls is how all work is crafted and reviewed, whether its internally or with client. But allowing yourself to be nimble and open to new ways of working in this even faster changing work environment, is super important.

Any advice for current KUCD students?
Two pieces of advice to current KUCD students about to enter the field:

1) If your goal is to work at a big-name agency or big-name design studio, don’t be bummed to take an internship (paid of course. no free work) there after graduation to get your foot in the door, if you can’t get a full-time gig. I took an internship at R/GA and was lucky enough to get hired at the end of the summer. And even the friends I interned with who weren’t able to get hired at R/GA that summer, made incredible connections that lead them to other awesome opportunities at other agencies.

2) If possible, be open to the idea of moving for a job. I had never been to Los Angeles before accepting my internship at R/GA but knew this job opportunity had huge potential. It was a giant proponent in my career growth as well as my personal growth. It helped me put my career on a different trajectory and I’m forever grateful I was able to make it happen. That being said, when it comes to location, cast a wide net when looking for jobs. You won’t regret it.

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