Maryland Institute College of Art


Visiting Artists: Rick Valicenti, Odyssey Works, and more!

Fall 2016 has been an amazing semester for visiting artists. In September we started the semester with visits from Rick Valicenti, who made narrative posters with first-year students, and Odyssey Works (artists Abe Burickson and Ayden Grout), who worked with Thesis students. Other visitors this fall have included Post Typography (Bruce Willen and Nolen Strals), and two sets of amazing guests from the Netherlands: Eric Schrijver + Louise Furter, and Rianne Petter + Mark Mulder. These workshops help us shake up our point of view and engage in introspection and extra-spection!

Rick Valicenti talks to first-year GD MFA

Rick Valicenti talks to first-year GD MFA

First-year posters created with Rick Valicenti

First-year posters created with Rick Valicenti

Abe Burickson and Ayden Grout work with thesis students

Abe Burickson and Ayden Grout work with thesis students

Momento Mori thesis explorations, created with Abe and Ayden

Momento Mori thesis explorations, created with Abe and Ayden

Public Domain workshop with Eric Schrijver and Loraine Furter

Public Domain workshop with Eric Schrijver and Loraine Furter

Thesis workshop with Rianne Petter and Mark Mulder from the Netherlands

Thesis workshop with Rianne Petter and Mark Mulder from the Netherlands

GD MFA Celebrates Twelve Years

GD MFA | Class Photo

Congratulations to GD MFA’s graduating Class of 2016 and to our rising Class of 2017. Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips welcome new graduate faculty, Jason Gottlieb.


Thank-you tribute from twelve years of GD MFA graduates, created by Hieu Tran, GD MFA 2016.

Benedikt Reichenbach Inspires Thesis Explorations

The 2016 thesis group is hard at work refining the scope of their projects and channeling their energy around specific goals and questions. Berlin-based designer, editor and publisher Benedikt Reichenbach inspired students to create a poster that is also a book. One side of each poster contains only images; the other side contains only text. During the workshop, thesis students gathered material and distilled it into text/image dichotomies. The result was fourteen individual books and posters, presented in an exhibition at the end of an intensive weekend. Reichenbach prepared his workshop in Berlin and delivered it to Baltimore. We enjoyed the chance to meet him in person to share the results.

Benedikt Reichenbach received his MA in philosophy and history with a thesis about the ban on images in the writings of Theodor W. Adorno in 2007. Since then, he has worked as a graphic designer and editor in Berlin and New York, for JRP Ringier, Sternberg Press, Birkhaeuser, Phaidon Press, and Aperture Foundation. This year, he is a visual artist in the esteemed Whitney Program at Whitney Museum of American Art.

Thesis workshop at MICA, September 11-13, 2015

Thesis workshop at MICA, September 11-13, 2015

Thesis workshop at MICA, September 11-13, 2015

Thesis workshop at MICA, September 11-13, 2015

Books designed in GD MFA workshop

Books designed in GD MFA workshop

Silas Munro comes to MICA

Class of 2017, Alter Ego Video Stills

A selection of stills from the Class of 2017’s “Alter Ego” video interviews

For the fifth consecutive year, MICA’s Graphic Design MFA program welcomed Silas Munro to campus as a visiting designer, September 11-13, 2015. In a three-day weekend workshop, Silas launched our “Alter Ego” project, challenging MFA designers to create a new, imaginary design psyche. This year’s workshop included improvisation exercises and video interviews exploring each persona’s dreams and aspirations. In the weeks to come, MFA designers will use their “Alter Egos” as points of departure in an extended project (directed by Jennifer Cole Phillips and Jason M. Gottlieb). Each designer will author a new work from a new point of view.

Silas Munro

Silas Munro presents the student’s final “Alter Ego” videos

Silas Munro makes and teaches graphic design that is beautiful and smart, with empathy for humanity. He is Faculty for the MFA Program in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts and was recently appointed full-time faculty of graphic design at Miami University of Ohio. He holds a MFA in Graphic Design from CalArts and a BFA in Graphic Design from RISD.

Chen Yu Wins 2015 GD MFA Thesis Prize

3D-printed letterforms, "Typography is what language looks like"

3D-printed letterforms, “Typography is what language looks like”

Congratulations to Chen Yu for winning MICA’s 2015 Graphic Design Thesis Prize. awarded each year by the graduate faculty and guest critics to an outstanding thesis project. Critic Abbott Miller commented on Chen Yu’s work, “The attention to subtlety of detail, materials, installation, and execution makes this a stand-out project. The project is restrained yet dramatic.” You can see other amazing work by MICA’s Class of 2015 at

MICA Designers Win Breda Poster Competition

Katrina Keane and Shiva Nallaperumal, winners, Breda Poster Competition

Katrina Keane and Shiva Nallaperumal, winners, Breda Poster Competition

Designers in MICA’s GD MFA Studio II created posters for an international competition held in Breda, The Netherlands, in connection with the city’s Graphic Design Festival. 2,100 designers competed from 69 countries. Out of 50 winners, two are from MICA’s Graphic Design MFA program: Katrina Keane and Shiva Nallaperumal.

Some designers chose to comment on global issues such as human trafficking, income inequality, and privacy, while others focused on topics from within the world of visual communication and media, such as body image and the economics of white space. See more MICA student entries!

MICA Designers Win Big in Gates Competition

Records for Life Competition Entry, screen designs

Records for Life Competition Entry, screen designs

An outstanding team of MICA MFA designers (Amanda Buck, Nate Gulledge, Sally Maier, Chen Yu) placed in the Grand Prize top-tier of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Records for Life Competition. The Records for Life contest challenged the global community to re-design the health record in order to better meet the needs of providers and caregivers, with a focus on immunization information.

, a Gates Foundation blog linked below, includes more details, but in a nutshell there were over 300 submissions from 41 countries. The top 40 semifinalists (we had two) were tested by focus groups for their potential and narrowed to 10, which were then judged by, among others, Melinda Gates, Co-Founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization; Robert Fabricant, Vice President of Creative for Frog Design; and Jocelyn Wyatt, Co-Lead and Executive Director, The $10,000 award was announced at the culmination and finale of the international Interaction Design Association conference in Amsterdam.

A second GD MFA team (Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo) placed in the top forty entries. All entries in the top forty were user-tested by the Gates Foundation.

The project was led by Jennifer Cole Phillips, Director, Graphic Design MFA Program, with guest advisors Islam Elsedoudi, IDEO; Doug Storey and Manish Arora, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Lee Davis, MASD.

Records for Life competition entry

Records for Life competition entry

Michele Champagne and Islam Elsedoudi come to MICA

Michele Champagne at MICA, 2013

Michele Champagne at MICA, 2013

“Bullshit in the Sky” (Michele Champagne) and “Design at IDEO” (Islam Elsedoudi)
Friday, October 11, noon, Brown 320
Open to all MICA students, faculty, and staff

On October 11 – 13, Michèle Champagne and Islam Elsedoudi will conduct workshops and lectures with MICA’s Graphic Design MFA program. All MICA students are invited to a joint lecture; graduate workshops to follow.

Michèle Champagne is a designer and writer who works in branding and editorial across media. She is the founding editor of the print and online magazine That New Design Smell. Her branding projects include Mediamatic Travel, a social network pinned to an open source platform. Champagne recently spent four years in Amsterdam completing a Masters degree at Rietveld Academy’s Sandberg Institute; she has worked with Droog, Metahaven, Strelka Institute, Mediamatic Foundation, and VPRO, a Dutch public broadcaster. Her essays and work have been published with Print in NYC, Volume in Amsterdam and OpenCity Projects in Toronto.

Islam Elsedoudi
is a Senior Communication Designer based in the Boston office of the renowned international design firm IDEO. More than any other firm on the planet, IDEO has been responsible for developing and disseminating “design thinking” as a human-centered design methodology, creating products, systems, and services focused on the needs of users. Islam Elsedoudi has worked across the US and India, with work ranging from brand strategy thinking to packaging design systems and online service platforms. His work represents the expanding role of the designer as thinker, maker, and strategist in the twenty-first century. Global Marathon

Once again, MICA has participated in the Visualizing Marathon, a competition organized by Taking place this year on November 9, 10, and 11, 2012, the competition featured live meet-ups on college campuses around the globe. Students anywhere in the world were able to enroll and participate virtually, with the opportunity to come together as communities in campus meet-up spaces. We had great participation from MICA, with teams from the Graphic Design BFA, MFA, and Post-Bac programs and from MASD (MA in Social Design). Below are links to projects from the GD MFA teams.

GD MFA Visualizing Marathon

Visualizing Marathon entry by Jackie Littman, David Lam, Rob McConnell, and Gabriela Hernandez

GD MFA Visualzing Marathon

Visualzing Marathon entry by Javier Lopez, Luiz Ludwig, Hong Wei, and Amy Lee Walton

Visualizing Marthon entry by Nicki Dlugash, Ricky Blake, and Qian Li

Visualizing Marthon entry by Nicki Dlugash, Ricky Blake, and Qian Li

Recent Alums Doing Good (and Well)

Real Food Mobile Market

designed by Lauren Adams (MFA11), Kailie Parrish (BFA11), and Aura Seltzer (MFA12)

Core77 awards recognized the Real Food Farm Campaign, designed by Lauren Adams (MFA11), Kailie Parrish (11), and Aura Seltzer (MFA12)

Interview with Aura Seltzer (MFA12) about her thesis project, typeconnection, on HOW magazine. Another interview in Above the Fold, where Aura was Best in Show Winner. Typekit summarized her ideas for quick learning on TypeKit.

Kern and Burn icons

Kern and Burn, project by Tim Hoover and Jessica Karle Heltzel

Jessica Heltzel and Tim Hoover (both MFA12) were recognized in Metropolis magazine in a feature about life after design school (“Exit the Classroom,” by Lara Kristin Herndon). As well, Kern and Burn was recognized in the Education Initiative category in the Core77 Design Awards. Their project Kern and Burn was funded on kickstarter and received lots of press: Under Consideration’s Quipsologies, and eight hour day.

Cam Zotter (MFA12) is named a standout student by Avinash Rajagopal, Cameron has received a publishing offer from Princeton Architectural to turn his thesis work into a book.

Dream job: Lauren Adams (MFA11) was introduced in her new role as a designer at in San Francisco.

Designing for Social Change

Book by Andrew Shea

Andrew Shea’s (MFA10) amazing book Designing for Social Change, which he initiated as a thesis project, was released last year and continues to get great reviews. The book has been featured on featured on Fast Co | Co.Design, on Core77, on Design Observer, and Living Principles. Andrew is teaching and working in NYC and continuing to write; see this great piece on Design Observer.

Jenny Kutnow (MFA12) was selected as a Public Access Design Fellow for the Center for Urban Pedagogy.

Rolando Alcantara

Rolando Alcantara

Rolando G. Alcantara (MFA12) was recognized on Print’s blog with an interview about his life and work, “The Education of a Typographic Innovator.” Rolando represented MICA in AIGA NY’s Fresh Blood 3 event in NYC on June 5, 2012.

Eric Mortensen (MFA12) was interviewed on One Minute With.

The People's Pennant

Project by Eric Mortensen, Tim Hoover, and Jessica Karle Heltzel

The People’s Pennant is a very cool project by Eric Mortensen, Tim Hoover, and Jessica Karle Heltzel (all GDMFA12). Celebrate the everyday with limited-edition felt pennants, by your favorite designers. The project has received lots of press on losttype, icons on dribble, and felt and wire.

Thesis, Inc. awarded Cameron Zotter and Jenny Kutnow (both MFA12) grant funds for completing their MFA thesis projects in 2012. This marks the second year in a row that MICAns have received this prestigious award.

Print magazine’s March 2012 issue featured the thesis of Christina Beard (MFA11). Check out the Grids + Guides section for reproductions of her posters, and description of her time at MICA.

US News and World Report has ranked MICA’s MFA in graphic design as one of the nation’s best.

Special thanks to Brockett Horne, Chair, Graphic Design BFA program, for collecting this great info.

MICA Faculty and Alums Win Sappi Grants

Congratulations to all the 2011 winners of Sappi Paper’s “Ideas That Matter” grants.

Andrew Shea (GD MFA 2010)
Project for the Children’s Tumor Foundation

Mike Weikert (Director, MICA’s MA in Social Design, GD MFA 2005)
Project for MICA’s Center for Design Practice

Silas Munro (MICA faculty)
Project for Housing Works

Inna Alesina (GD MFA 2013) featured at Cooper-Hewitt Museum

Inna Alesina is the creator of a unique design thinking process that has been employed in numerous public programs at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City. The museum has created a video and PDF instructions for use by educators.

Winners! Autism Connects Competition

In Spring 2011, a team of first-year GD MFA candidates developed work for submission to the competition Autism Connects. The goal of the competition was to engage students in research and design innovation around issues in the autism community. Faculty member Brockett Horne guided a team of students in this project aimed at innovative thinking and design research. See more MICA project submissions here.

Out of 126 submissions, two MICA GD MFA students, Noel Cunningham and Cameron Zotter, won top prizes in this prestigious competition, organized by Autism Speaks (the world’s largest autism science and advocacy organization) in partnership with Core77 (the leading international information source and advocate for product design). Both students will travel to San Diego, May 12-14, 2011, to present their design concepts at the annual IMFAR Technology Demonstration session sponsored by Autism Speaks.

  • Second-Place Winner: Noel Cunningham/weSYNC
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder affects many different people in many different ways. Because the spectrum is so broad, it is important to evaluate each person’s needs on an individual basis as we determine their care options. It is common for a child with an ASD to have a rigid schedule and work with several different people on a daily basis. Doctors, therapists, and teachers may communicative with the child’s parent regarding their care, but not necessarily with one another.

    Noel Cunningham, weSync

  • Third-Place Winner: Cameron Zotter/Visual Watch
  • Visual Watch is a time management and picture exchange communication system (PECS) tool designed specifically for people with Autism. The concept tackles two complex issues: Sense/Management of Time and the need for portability of the picture exchange communication system (PECS). With this product, my goal is to increase autistic children’s communication abilities and ultimately to ensure better inclusion into society.

    Visual Watch from cameron zotter on Vimeo.

    Cameron Zotter, Visual Watch

GD MFA Launches Type-on-Screen Research Project

Web typography by Christopher Clark

Web typography by Christopher Clark

The GD MFA program is launching our latest book project: a practical and theoretical guide to digital typography called Type on Screen. The book will be published by MICA and Princeton Architectural Press in both a print and an electronic edition. Over the coming two years, GD MFA candidates will produce a variety of studies and exercises in the areas of screen typography and digital book design.

To begin our research, MICA has created four 8-week research fellowships, employing a team of top graduate students in guided research during summer 2011. Fellowship recipients are Chris Clark, Noel Cunningham, Jin Hwan Kim, Cameron Zotter, and Alice Hom. Each research fellow will pursue visual and technical research on one of the book’s core topics: CSS Type, Animated Type, Logotype, or Type + Code. Each fellow is responsible for thoroughly researching a topic; we will hold weekly group meetings to share and critique results. Fellowships supported by MICA’s Center for Design Thinking.

Chris McCampbell Wins Thesis Prize

Image from Chris McCampbell's thesis: proposal for a wayfinding app

Image from Chris McCampbell's thesis: proposal for an iPad app

GD MFA candidate Chris McCampbell 2011 has won a $1,000 award in a national competition for his thesis work. The grant was awarded by a design firm fittingly called Thesis. “Thesis recognizes the inherent challenge of being a student with ideas bigger than your wallet, so we created a grant program to help make finances less of a barrier to brilliance.”

Thank you Thesis, and congrats to Chris!

MICA Wins Visualization Marathon

Twenty teams from eight design schools were challenged to visualize the impact of humanity’s footprint on Spaceship Earth at the inaugural Visualizing Marathon: a 24-hour student data visualization competition. MICA sent fourteen students to New York City to compete in the event. MICA swept the competition, winning first place and honorable mention.

MICA’s winning visualization, “One Day Cause + Effect,” was lauded for its personal narrative and striking design and received the Jury’s top score for ‘understanding’ – the ability to help the reader better understand the impact of humanity’s footprint on Earth. An honorable mention was awarded to MICA’s Team #3 for its coherent analysis of data and effective storytelling in “What Kind of World Do You Want?”

Supisa Wattanasansanee and Chris Clark on site at the competition

  • First Place design: Christina Beard, Christopher Clark, Chris McCampbell, Supisa Wattanasansanee.

  • Honorable Mention: Melissa Barat, Bryan Connor, Ann Liu, Isabel Uria.

  • See more, see it bigger

Ann Liu Publishes Book Review

Ann Liu, GD MFA 10, has published a review on Designers Review of Books. Now we know that Ann kept up with her summer reading!

Ann Liu book review

GD MFA work to be featured in FINGERPRINT

Fingerprint book cover

A variety of work produced in MICA’s GD MFA studio will be featured in the forthcoming book FINGERPRINT, available for pre-order on Amazon. Thank you Joe Galbreath for helping get our name out there.

GD MFA Students Create Public Ad Campaign

Baltimore’s Daily Business Record reported today on a public-service ad campaign created by a team of Graphic Design MFA students and alumni. Read the whole story at Daily Business Record.

The ads are displayed on 14 bus shelters and 90 bus interiors. They promote Baltimore HealthCare Access Inc., which helps citizens get access to health care and to understand what is available to them.

“We used to only get a handful of calls a week,” said Kathy Westcoat, president of BHCA. “Now, we get about 20 calls a day.”

The campaign was generated by MICA’s Center for Design Practice, directed by Mike Weikert (GD MFA 2005) with Joe Galbreath (2009) and Christina Beard (2011), Beth Taylor (2011), and Supisa Wattanasansanee (2011). The team came up with the slogan “My health is important because I care about my _______. It’s your health. It’s your call,” paired with five different images, representing family, career, baby, future and community.

“The process is research heavy,” said student Christina Beard, 28, who was the photographer on the project. “We were spending a lot of time with the clients and [learning about] what speaks to them.”

“Trying to figure out what language — verbal and visual — would best convey [how they felt],” said Taylor. “We needed to steer away from being heavy handed, condescending or cheesy.”

The campaign also features 716 radio slots. MICA developed the script.

Lauren Adams Takes Aim at Archer

Lauren Adams (GD MFA 2011) has published an essay about the life and times of the typeface Archer on AIGA Voice. She began the piece in Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson’s fall , and now it’s real!

Ryan Shelley Talks with Rodrigo Corral

Ryan Shelley (GD MFA 2011) has published a Q&A with designer Rodrigo Corral on This piece started in Elizabeth Dickinson’s . Shelley has delved into how the designer thinks.

One Igloo, Fully Furnished

The storm of the century (or so they say) hit Baltimore this week. Grad students got plenty of time to focus on their work and experiment with alternative media. Try snow: it’s modular!

(via Elizabeth Herrmann)

History of Loudness

MICA GD MFA student Chris Clark has published an info graphic on “The History of Loudness” on Project was developed in Callie Neylan’s course Visualizing Information (Fall 2009).

History of Loudness, Chris Clark

History of Loudness, Chris Clark

Exhibition opens at MAP

Exhibition identity designed by Wesley Stuckey

Exhibition identity designed by Wesley Stuckey

The first-year students in MICA’s GD MFA program created a public exhibition at the Maryland Art Place in Fall 2009 on the theme of Instant Messages. The project features a 75-foot-long installation in MAP’s hallway as well as over a dozen works of art and design created by individual students.

MAP exhibition featured on Radar.

>> Read more

Andrew Shea contributes to Core77

Stewonit, fundraising dinner covered by Andrew Shea

Stewonit, fundraising dinner

Andrew Shea, GD MFA 2010, is now a “clogger” or contributing blogger on, the industrial design supersite. Shea, who came to MICA with a background in creative nonfiction as well as design and visual arts, has been actively developing his craft as a writer. His posts for Core77 focus on social design and sustainability initiatives. Recent posts address topics such mobile furniture for farmers markets and grassroots fundraising strategies.

Peter Buchanan-Smith Workshop


GD MFA had a great workshop with Peter Buchanan-Smith last weekend. A whirlwind of productivity struck the studio for 54 hours. We’ll continue to develop the results over the coming weeks.

See more on Flickr photos by Ann Liu.

Virginia Sasser on Green Graphic Design


GD MFA student Virginia Sasser has published a review of Green Graphic Design on Designers Review of Books. This piece was written in conjunction with Elizabeth Dickinson’s Design/Writing/Research course. Sasser concludes, “With Green Graphic Design designers will not only be well equipped to make more sustainable decisions on their future projects, but they will also know how to convey that conscientiousness to their clients and audiences. Dougherty successfully disentangles much of the abstract eco-information floating around today and reinvigorates a weary discussion with excellent, concrete examples.”

MICA’s Center for Design Practice in Urbanite

CDP team in Hale County, AL; photo by Luke Williams

CDP team in Hale County, AL; photo by Luke Williams

MICA’s Center for Design Practice pursues real-world projects with not-for-profit clients in Baltimore and beyond. The CDP is directed by Mike Weikert (GD MFA ’06). Here, a team of graduate and undergraduate students, including Ryan Clifford, GD MFA ’09, is at work in Hale County, Alabama with Project M. The Center’s work is discussed in the current issue of Urbanite magazine. Read the full article by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson.

Visual Resources: Branding

[presentation notes for Richard Stanley’s undergrad Branding course]

Inventive Typographic Brand Identities
A brand is not just a logo. Although a word mark or symbol may be at the center of a visual brand identity, designers build systems that extend the visual language to print, the Web, packaging, and environmental applications.
The Express Local packaging, by Haik Avanian
Kunstvermittlung identity, by Lorenzo Geiger
Utrecht City Theater, designed by Edenspiekermann
Gil Vicente identity, designed by Martino and Jaña Design
Thymes packaging, by Duffy and Partners; one brand, many packages
IBM, “Smarter Planet” campaign

Re-Branding and Counter-Branding
Brand New, the blog about corporate identity and visual branding
Softer Soft Drinks
Re-Branding Social Services in the Netherlands
Redesigning the Dollar Bill

Repurposing… Death?

I think this is an interesting idea for our Repurpose Project, I wish I could have found it earlier. Multiple meanings and cycles (more than just recycling!). It makes my skin goosebump. It’s clever, and a bit creepy.


Go check it out. It’s worth a look and a read. -Isabel.

Check it out!

Ok. So after Monday’s class, I had a few inspirational ideas for the Repurpose Projects that some of you are doing. But I think all of these can be interesting things for everyone to look at. Enjoy!

Ann, you were talking about typography and words, and it made me think of this artist’s work I saw in a book called Vitamin D.  I found the artist’s name: Dominic McGill. Here’s one of his pieces.


His work is here.

Supisa, you were talking about blotches and splatters that sort of form into shapes. You are also interested in typography. This might not be precisely what you were thinking, but it’s a fun mix of elements, the splatter paint/blood and the word.


This was made by Lippa Pearce Design, in London. I don’t know if it helps, but it came to mind as you were talking about your project.

Lauren, the video I mentioned of the short stop-action animation is here. It’s called Western Spaghetti. PES is the company or group that makes them. There are a bunch of them here worth looking at. Some cater to product advertising and branding too.

Finally, I would like to mention, if anyone is interested, Veer is having daily and weekly contests, giving away subscriptions, money, etc. They’re also having one large contest at the end for a Mac laptop I believe. If interested, go check it out:

So What’s a Visual Language Anyway?

Here are some examples of graphic designers who have developed distinctive visual languages. We’ll discuss this work in relation to the Repurposes project.

This is an interesting example of how to exhibit graphic design.


We just started a visual exercise called “Swatch,” where students are articulating their own personal graphic language by assembling imagery and marks on a 2-d surface. The project is not about pattern design per; instead, we are using the idea of pattern to assemble imagery that may come from diverse sources yet holds together around a common vocabulary. Here are some examples of work by artists and designers that works along these lines:

Murakami painting/print

Read the rest of this entry →

GD MFA in Mobile


Virginia Sasser, Andrew Shea, and Mark Alcasabas were invited to present their paper, “Designing for Social Change in the Baltimore Community,” in May 2009, at the National UCDA Design Education Summit. This annual conference is in its fifth year, and it provides a platform for dialog among design educators around the country. This year’s theme was “Designing for the Common Good” and it was hosted at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.

Read the rest of this entry →



At the end of last semester our last visiting artist Mike Perry came for a long weekend to lead us in our first independently published project. We decided on the theme of Science. What resulted was a 36-page, tabloid format zine print in 3 beautiful colors.

If you would like to purchase a copy you can get it directly from us on-line at : MICA GD MFA PROJECTS

To our advertisers, we will be getting your complimentary copies out very soon. We could not have done it without you.

Beyond the Compass


Banner installed at the Walters Art Museum for the upcoming exhibition Beyond the Compass Beyond the Square, designed for the EDS class. Designed by John P Corrigan, spring 2008.

Blauvelt at MICA


We were all excited about Andrew Blauvelt’s recent seminar presentation for MICA’s GD MFA program. There’s a short summary of his talk on the Walker Art Center blog. Thanks to Tony Venne for the lead.

And here’s the text on Design Observer.

We’re Live on Flickr!

Kit of Parts project by Virginia Sasser

Kit of Parts project by Virginia Sasser

View ongoing work of the MICA GD MFA program.

Helen Goes to CAA

NV PosterFinal3.indd

Helen Armstrong just got back from the CAA conference, a professional conference for college-level educators in studio art and art history. Some schools who are hiring new faculty conduct interviews at CAA. Most interviews are set up in advance, but there is some spontaneous networking as well. Here are Helen’s notes:

Read the rest of this entry →

MICA in Print


MICA’s Graphic Design MFA program was featured in the April 2009 issue of Print Magazine as one of the top general-interest graphic design programs in the U.S.


Joe’s Robots on TV


An army of Joe Galbreath’s paper robots appeared on Minneapolis TV news this week, threatening to overwhelm the Twin Cities.

Jim Sherraden at Thesis Exhibition

L to R: MICA letterpress guru Kyle Van Horn, Joe Galbreath, Globe Poster owner Bob Cicero, Jim Sherraden and MICA GD/MFAer Ryan Clifford

L to R: MICA letterpress guru Kyle Van Horn, Joe Galbreath, Globe Poster owner Bob Cicero, Jim Sherraden and MICA GD/MFAer Ryan Clifford

The head of Hatch Show Print, Jim Sherraden, had a few hours to kill before his AIGA Baltimore lecture and stopped by to check out Joe Galbreath’s thesis exhibition about Globe Poster Printing.

Social Studies Live


Our conference web site is live, thanks to the hard work of the whole first-year team (okay, especially Kristian). Check it out at Logo designed by Tony Venne.

Hello from Mauritius!


Joe, Tony and Ryan received greetings from the small island nation of Mauritius from our friend Michele who we met at the Option Shift Control conference at North Carolina State University. Thanks Michele for the lovely postcard. We can’t wait to visit. — Tony

GD Basics Website

The web site for our book Graphic Design: The New Basics is live. Special thanks to Viviana Cordova for designing and building the site with Ellen, and to Yeohyun Ahn for the wicked interactive logo. The book, which features work by dozens of MICA students and faculty, debuts at MICA on Thursday, May 1, with a smashing party in the Leidy Auditorium, Brown Center. And it all started right here in the GD MFA studio.

More from the workshop!


Here’s a gorgeous group shot of us with Laurie, and our work! — Kelley

Laurie's Workshop


A few photos from our workshop with Laurie Rosenwald.

We got really into making our trash bag outfits. — Kim

Laurie Rosenwald Lecture

It’s back to school week, and Laurie Rosenwald will be speaking on campus and conducting a workshop with GD MFA students. Come hear her lecture on Thursday, January 24, 3:30pm, Brown 320.

Making Mistakes with Laurie Rosenwald

Laurie Rosenwald is an illustrator, graphic designer, artist, and author who conducted a two-day workshop at MICA in Spring 2008. The workshop involved making and using found imagery. Laurie forced us to think so fast, we were barely thinking at all. She made us put aside strategy, concept, and personal habits, and plunge into a new process and a rough, raw way of working. The experience was intoxicating, exhilarating, and at times exasperating.

Read the rest of this entry →

New Views Posters

Students in the GD MFA studio created these posters for submission to New Views 2, an international conference held at the London College of Communication in July 2008. The poster exhibition travelled to Melbourne, Australia and opened at Melbourne Museum, November 15, 2008 – February 15, 2009.

Read the rest of this entry →

Science Zine with Mike Perry

Zine Cover

At the end of the semester Mike Perry came for a long weekend to lead us an independently published project. The group decided on the theme of Science. What resulted was a 36-page, tabloid format zine print in 3 beautiful colors.

Read the rest of this entry →

Michael Bierut at MICA

Michael Bierut

Here is the Michael Bierut interview by the Atlantic, shot at MICA before the end of the semester critiques.

Cardboard Forest

Cardboard Tree

Well, I never finished any cardboard tables that were worth anything, but I did build this cardboard tree. Hurray! Decorated with several of Joe’s robot creations! A little late for direct holiday wishes, but belated are better than none at all. Happy new year! — Kristian

Robot army

Robot Army

Results from our evening of robot-making. — Kim

motion piece MY PATH


This motion piece is about places that I had been visited or stayed for a period during my life.

Please review at

MICA @ The Walters

Letterpress Book

The Letterpress and Book Arts class took a trip to the Walters Art Museum with the instructor Kevin Auer. He is a conservator at the Walters and got us the back room tour of the manuscripts and conservation lab. Thanks Kevin.

GD MFA Studio gets NEW Chairs

Tony Venne's Chairs

If you like what you see then come and purchase these beautifully designed chairs at the MICA ART MARKET, December 5th-8th. An edition of four were exclusive built for this sale. Designed by Michael Grider and MICA GD MFA Candidate, Tony Venne.


Art Market 2007

Here are our products.

Paul Rand 1994

My friend Nick Zdon was given a copy of Paul Rand’s 1994 interview to edit for Steven Heller’s recent visit to AIGA MN. He will be sending me a copy soon. He found some gem quotes in the video. We should get together and watch it some night.

From YouTube

Excerpt from an interview of Paul Rand by Steven Heller. Filmed at the Fitzgerald Theater (formerly known as The World Theater) in downtown St Paul, Minnesota, 1994. Presented by the AIGA, organized by John DuFresne and Sharon Werner.


— Tony

Interesting number set

Granite Letraset

This is a face called Granite from Formatt that I’m using for my robot packaging. Since the experimental type folks have been talking numerals of late, I thought it would be of interest. I also really like the exclamation point. — Joe

CO2 Piranhas v2

Piranhas v2

Different color option for the piranha leaves. I think I’ll include both versions in the entry proposal. — Kim

B’more birds

Urban Birds

Here’s my tentative sketch for the Urban Forest project. I’m still playing with the type, but the birds make me happy. — Kelley

CO2 Piranhas

Co2 Piranhas

Here’s another entry from the KB2 team. — Kim



Here’s my Urban Forest banner idea. — Kim

Eat / Excrete


Hey all, Kim and I have been hard at work on our trees-as-CO2-cutter ideas, and this is the final I’ve brought to the table… look for more to come from team KB2. — Kristian (and Kim, kindof)


Hug Me

Here’s my submission for the Urban Forest project. It’s a painting of a tree, reproduced at life size. — Ellen Lupton

New Letterpress Books

Letterpress Books

Case bound books created in Letterpress class tonight. If you look closely, you can see some of the colorful endpapers we used inside the books.

E.A. Poe + GD MFA

Edgar Allen Poe

The GD MFA class meets up Edgar Allen Poe to discuss thesis and BUY*PRODUCT ideas at Pulp, Ink and Hops 2007.

Type Tastes Good!

Modular Type

My modular type from Experimental Type class, cut out of dough and baked into cookies. I used an xacto knife to cut the dough and filled it with crushed jolly ranchers which melted really nicely.



Adam Palmer, GD MFA 05, published yet another illustration in the NY Times yesterday, in the Sunday Book Review. Palmer began doing freelance illustrations for the Times when he was a grad student at MICA. (He met NY Times art director Nicholas Blechman when Blechman was a visiting artist to our program. Palmer has freelanced for the Times ever since.)


M Letraset

Some Letraset tomfoolery from Joe.

Houston, We Have a Cover

Graphic Design The New Basics

After 6 different rounds of designs and dozens of individual iterations, the authors, editors, and publishers of Graphic Design: The New Basics have agreed on a cover. It features art work by Yeohyun Ahn, GD MFA ’07.

Globe Poster for MICA Thesis Show

Globe Poster

As part of Joe Galbreath’s thesis research, Globe Poster Printing of Baltimore designed and printed a poster commemorating the GD / MFA thesis exhibition. Supplied only with a column of text and a single instruction, “GD/MFA—make this big,” Globe laid out the poster using their trademark color palette. Like most of their work, these posters lived in the streets for a few days until they were torn down, blown away or covered up.