Maryland Institute College of Art

Current Courses

Animated Museum Campaign

In this public project, GD MFA designers created short looping visitors to post on Instagram, celebrating the opening of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s exhibition How Posters Work (May-December 2015). The videos were released on Instagram over a period of months by Cooper Hewitt’s social media director, Greg Gestner. Collectively, our videos garnered thousands of likes and helped build interest around the exhibition. Each video explores one of fourteen design concepts that form the basis of the exhibition, from “Focus the eye” and “Activate the diagonal” to “Tell a story.” Exhibition curated by Ellen Lupton.

HPW_Instagram_Compilation from Ellen Lupton on Vimeo.

Imaginary Museum

Imaginary Museum is a collaboration between Graphic Design MFA and Curatorial Practice MFA at MICA. The project results in an exhibition and book. Curators brainstorm ideas for museums of the future and pitch their ideas to the graphic designers. Teams pair up, and the designers work to create visual brand “stories” about the museum concepts, materializing the museums through designs for logos, products, exhibitions, apps, signage, and more. Ellen Lupton and Marcus Civin, Faculty.

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Imaginary Museum 2015, photo by Dan Meyers, MICA

Records for Life

The Records for Life competition was organized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 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. An outstanding team of MICA MFA designers (Amanda Buck, Nate Gulledge, Sally Maier, Chen Yu) placed in the Grand Prize top-tier; 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. 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.

Amanda Buck, Nate Gulledge, Sally Maier, and Chen Yu, Records for Life

Amanda Buck, Nate Gulledge, Sally Maier, and Chen Yu, Records for Life

Amanda Buck, Nate Gulledge, Sally Maier, and Chen Yu, Records for Life

Amanda Buck, Nate Gulledge, Sally Maier, and Chen Yu, Records for Life

Amanda Buck, Nate Gulledge, Sally Maier, and Chen Yu, Records for Life

Amanda Buck, Nate Gulledge, Sally Maier, and Chen Yu, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Alex Jacque, Iris Sprague, Wenjie Lu, and Yushi Luo, Records for Life

Daniel Khang, Lolo Zhang, and Shiva Nallaperumal, Records for Life

Daniel Khang, Lolo Zhang, and Shiva Nallaperumal, Records for Life

Daniel Khang, Lolo Zhang, and Shiva Nallaperumal, Records for Life

Daniel Khang, Lolo Zhang, and Shiva Nallaperumal, Records for Life

Daniel Khang, Lolo Zhang, and Shiva Nallaperumal, Records for Life

Daniel Khang, Lolo Zhang, and Shiva Nallaperumal, Records for Life

Daniel Khang, Lolo Zhang, and Shiva Nallaperumal, Records for Life

Daniel Khang, Lolo Zhang, and Shiva Nallaperumal, Records for Life

Daniel Khang, Lolo Zhang, and Shiva Nallaperumal, Records for Life

Daniel Khang, Lolo Zhang, and Shiva Nallaperumal, Records for Life

Daniel Khang, Lolo Zhang, and Shiva Nallaperumal, Records for Life

Daniel Khang, Lolo Zhang, and Shiva Nallaperumal, Records for Life

Winnie Kuo, Records for Life

Winnie Kuo, Records for Life

Winnie Kuo, Records for Life

Winnie Kuo, Records for Life

Winnie Kuo, Records for Life

Winnie Kuo, Records for Life

Dailies: Shiva Nallaperumal

Shiva explored the content of famous albums and the visual tropes attached to their time and culture through custom typography. He looked at how certain styles and treatments can communicate the time and context of the music.

Shiva Nallaperumal, Dailies Project, 2013

Shiva Nallaperumal, Dailies Project, 2013

Shiva Nallaperumal, Dailies Project, 2013

Shiva Nallaperumal, Dailies Project, 2013

Shiva Nallaperumal, Dailies Project, 2013

Shiva Nallaperumal, Dailies Project, 2013

Shiva Nallaperumal, Dailies Project, 2013

Shiva Nallaperumal, Dailies Project, 2013

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!

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.

The competition brief reads, “Graphic designers connect ideas, information and people. This is an important responsibility in a world where image affects behaviour and opinions. Your personal imagination helps others to review, research, reflect and reconnect to new political, economical, ecologic and social systems. Your poster displays a personal way of handling contemporary challenges.”

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.

Katrina Keane, winner, Breda Poster Competition, 2014

Katrina Keane, winner, Breda Poster Competition, 2014

Shiva Nallaperumal, winner, Breda Poster Competition

Shiva Nallaperumal, winner, Breda Poster Competition

Shiva Nallaperumal, winner, Breda Poster Competition, 2014

Shiva Nallaperumal, winner, Breda Poster Competition, 2014

Alex Jacque, Breda Poster Competition

Alex Jacque, Breda Poster Competition

Amanda Buck, Breda Poster Competition

Amanda Buck, Breda Poster Competition

Daniel Khang, Breda Poster Competition

Daniel Khang, Breda Poster Competition

Winnie Kuo, Breda Poster Competition

Winnie Kuo, Breda Poster Competition

Haoqian Zhang, Breda Poster Competition

Haoqian Zhang, Breda Poster Competition

Iris Sprague, Breda Poster Competition

Iris Sprague, Breda Poster Competition

Michael Bonfglio, Breda Poster Competition

Michael Bonfglio, Breda Poster Competition

Nate Gulledge, Breda Poster Competition

Nate Gulledge, Breda Poster Competition

Chen Yu, Breda Poster Competition

Chen Yu, Breda Poster Competition

Chen Yu, Breda Poster Competition

Chen Yu, Breda Poster Competition

Sally Maier, Breda Poster Competition

Sally Maier, Breda Poster Competition

Wenjie Lu, Breda Poster Competition

Wenjie Lu, Breda Poster Competition

Yushi Luo, Breda Poster Competition

Yushi Luo, Breda Poster Competition

The Mutant Library

In Spring 2013, MICA’s MFA designers published an iPad app called The Mutant Library. Each chapter of this interactive book presents a bibliography of books that influenced each designer in their life and work. The book was produced using Adobe DPS. A workshop with Krissi Xenakis (GD MFA ’12) immersed our design team in the technical aspects of DPS. Xenakis continued to work on the project through the spring, and Joe Zeff Design generously assisted MICA in publishing this free app.

Mutant Library app, cover

Mutant Library app, cover

Gabriela Hernandez, Mutant Library

Gabriela Hernandez, Mutant Library

Hong Wei, Mutant Library

Hong Wei, Mutant Library

Ben Chemelski, Mutant Library

Ben Chemelski, Mutant Library

Yingxi Zhou, Mutant Library

Yingxi Zhou, Mutant Library

Ricky Blake, Mutant Library

Ricky Blake, Mutant Library

Nour Tabet, Mutant Library

Nour Tabet, Mutant Library

Emma Sherwood-Forbes, Mutant Library

Emma Sherwood-Forbes, Mutant Library

Jackie LIttman, Mutant Library

Jackie LIttman, Mutant Library

Visualizing Curatorial Content

In Spring 2013, MICA’s Graphic Design MFA program collaborated with curators in MICA’s Curatorial Practice MFA program to visualize content. The curators assembled content on a variety of topics, and the graphic designers visualized that content through infographics, illustrations, and timelines.

Kirby Matherne, Chris Ware Visualization

Kirby Matherne, Chris Ware Visualization

Hong Wei and David Lam, History of Bookbinding

Hong Wei and David Lam, History of Bookbinding

Gabriela Hernandez, Los Santos De Palo

Gabriela Hernandez, Los Santos De Palo

Sara Shahabi, Live in Your Head

Sara Shahabi, Live in Your Head

The Dailies

In this first-year studio project, students are challenged to identify a topic or frame an inquiry and respond to it every day for an extended period of time. This daily, disciplined formstorming exercise stretches thinking, making, and tech skills, and generates a robust collection of work within an articulated framework.

Alex Jacque and Iris Sprague, The Dailies: Zine

Alex Jacque and Iris Sprague, The Dailies: Zine

AAlex Jacque and Iris Sprague, The Dailies: Zine

Alex Jacque and Iris Sprague, The Dailies: Zine

Alex Jacque and Iris Sprague, The Dailies: Zine

Alex Jacque and Iris Sprague, The Dailies: Zine

Shiva Nallaperumal, The Dailies: Black Flag

Shiva Nallaperumal, The Dailies: Black Flag

Shiva Nallaperumal, The Dailies: Elsewhere

Shiva Nallaperumal, The Dailies: Elsewhere

Shiva Nallaperumal, The Dailies

Shiva Nallaperumal, The Dailies

See more of Shiva’s Dailies

Winnie Kuo, The Dailies

Winnie Kuo, The Dailies

Daniel Khang, Dailies

Daniel Khang, Dailies

danielkhang_dalies_3

danielkhang_dalies_4

danielkhang_dalies_5

danielkhang_dalies_6

danielkhang_dalies_7

Winnie Kuo, The Dailies

Winnie Kuo, The Dailies

Winnie Kuo, The Dailies

Winnie Kuo, The Dailies

Daniel Khang, Dailies

Daniel Khang, Dailies

Dailies project by Jackie LIttman

Dailies project by Jackie Littman

Dailies project by Emma Sherwood-Forbes

Dailies project by Emma Sherwood-Forbes

Dailies project by Brian Pelsoh

Dailies project by Brian Pelsoh

Dailies project by Brian Pelsoh

Dailies project by Brian Pelshoh

Dailies project by Jenny Kutnow

Dailies project by Jenny Kutnow

Dailies project by Jenny Kutnow

Dailies project by Jenny Kutnow

Book: Type on Screen

GD MFA students and faculty have published a series of books about design in partnership with Princeton Architectural Press. Our latest title, Type on Screen, was released in May 2014. The book explores basic principles of typography as applied to web design, interaction, animation, branding, icon development, and more. The book was written, designed, and produced by GD MFA students enrolled in the Publishing Workshop course (Spring 2011) and in GD MFA Studio (Spring 2013). A team of students received research fellowships to complete the book in 2014 (Brian Pelsoh, Javier Lopez, and Young Sun Compton). Published in both print and electronic versions, Type on Screen continues MICA’s influential series of design texts, which have contributed to design’s global discourse, with titles such as Graphic Design: The New Basics (2008), Graphic Design Thinking (2011), Indie Publishing (2008), and Design It Yourself (2004), all written and designed by MICA students and faculty.

Type on Screen, cover designed by Noel Cunningham

Type on Screen, cover designed by Noel Cunningham

Alter Ego

In this project prompt created by visiting artist Silas Munro, designers develop an alternative persona for themselves, one that amplifies, undermines, and rediscovers an element of who they are. After creating a biographical diagram of their alter ego, they produce a new work of design in the mode of that person. Graphic design becomes a visual performance.

Erin Meekhof, Alter Ego, 2014

Erin Meekhof, Alter Ego, 2014

Emma Zhang, Alter Ego, 2014

Emma Zhang, Alter Ego, 2014

David Dale, Alter Ego, 2014

David Dale, Alter Ego, 2014

Henry Becker, Alter Ego, 2014

Henry Becker, Alter Ego, 2014

Linxuab Lyu, Alter Ego 2014

Linxuan Lyu, Alter Ego 2014

HItesh Singhal, Alter Ego, 2014

HItesh Singhal, Alter Ego, 2014

Hieu Tran, Alter Ego, 2014

Hieu Tran, Alter Ego, 2014

Alex Jacque, Alter Ego

Alex Jacque, Alter Ego

Alex Jacque, Alter Ego

Alex Jacque, Alter Ego

Alex Jacque, Alter Ego

Alex Jacque, Alter Ego

Shiva Nallaperumal, Alter Ego (Modern/Post-Modern)

Shiva Nallaperumal, Alter Ego (Modern/Post-Modern)

Shiva Nallaperumal, Alter Ego (Modern/Post-Modern)

Shiva Nallaperumal, Alter Ego (Modern/Post-Modern)

Shiva Nallaperumal, Alter Ego (Modern/Post-Modern)

Shiva Nallaperumal, Alter Ego (Modern/Post-Modern)

Shiva Nallaperumal, Alter Ego (Modern/Post-Modern)

Shiva Nallaperumal, Alter Ego (Modern/Post-Modern)

Daniel Khang, Alter Ego

Daniel Khang, Alter Ego

danielkhang_alterego_2

danielkhang_alterego_3

danielkhang_alterego_4

danielkhang_alterego_5

    • Bethany Heck

Bethany Heck, Alter Ego

    • Javier Lopez

Javier Lopez, Alter Ego

Javier Lopez, Alter Ego

Javier Lopez, Alter Ego

Javier Lopez, Alter Ego

Javier Lopez, Alter Ego

Javier Lopez, Alter Ego

    • Kelcey Towell

Kelcey Towell, Alter Ego

http://micadesign.org/2011/11/alter-ego/

Kelcey Towell, Alter Ego

Kelcey Towell, Alter Ego

Kelcey Towell, Alter Ego

Zines

In this project, GD MFA candidates elected to write, edit, and design their own zine. Printing costs were supported by MICA’s Center for Design Thinking.

  • Aggie Toppin
  • Aviv Lichter
  • Aviv Lichter, zine

    Aviv Lichter, zine

    Aviv Lichter, zine

    Aviv Lichter, zine

  • Aura Seltzer and Jessica Karle Heltzel

Autism Connects Competition

A team of first-year GD MFA candidates developed work for submission to a student competition called “Autism Connects,” organized by Core 77. The goal of the competition is to engage students in research and design innovation around issues in the autism community. Shown here are MICA’s submissions.

  • Cameron Zotter: Line Up Game
  • In my research, I have found that it is common for autistic children to line up objects (often very precisely). I have developed a product that aims to harness that behavior to teach better communication skills by improving facial expression recognition, which is a struggle for Autistic children. Line Up is a fun game for autistic children, that harnesses their interest in lining up toys and other objects, to to teach them facial recognition skills that are essential for communication.

    Line Up from cameron zotter on Vimeo.

    Cameron Zotter, Line Up game

  • 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

  • Rolando Gutierrez: Pictoric
  • A simple, personalized, visual scheduling and organizational tool which utilizes the portability and syncing capabilities of the iPod and iPad for individuals under the PDD umbrella and their respective aides.


  • 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.


Ereader Workshop

Visiting artist Eric Gunther of SoSo Ltd in Boston led a group of GD MFA candidates in a weekend workshop exploring the possibilities of the ereaders. Participants created concept presentations proposing a variety of tools for enhancing the digital reading experience. Selected projects shown here.

  • Alice Hom



  • Noel Cunningham



  • Eric Mortensen



  • Chris McCampbell



  • Aura Seltzer



Misused and Abused

In this weekend workshop with visiting artist Keetra Dean Dixon, designers each worked with an unusual material (chocolate, blueberries, frosting, marshmallows) as the source of experiments with form and image. They misused digital tools (slice, merge, filter, and so on) to derive unexpected results from familiar methods. The project culminated in the design of a “gift” presented to a fellow designer from whom they had surreptitiously stolen something from earlier in the workshop. Shown below is a selection of projects.

  • Jessica Karle



  • Michal Rotberg

  • Skye McNeill


  • Cameron Zotter


  • Tim Hoover


  • Aggie Toppins


  • Aura Seltzer

Designing Templates

This project began with a workshop led by visiting artist Denise Gonzales Crisp. The project brief was to design a tool or system that users can implement to create their own content. The final project took the form of concept presentations that illustrate key aspects of the user experience. A selection of final presentations is shown here.

  • Jenny Kutnow

  • Noel Cunningham

  • Eric Mortensen

  • Aggie Toppins

  • Tim Hoover

  • Aura Seltzer

  • Jin Hwan Kim

  • Aviv Lichter

  • Michal Rotberg

  • Jessica Karle

  • Alice Hom

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?”

Students in the winning team won not only a super-cool 3D-printed trophy but an iPad for each participant!


Supisa Wattanasansanee and Chris Clark on site at the competition


  • First Place design: Christina Beard, Christopher Clark, Chris McCampbell, Supisa Wattanasansanee. Download full-scale art at Visualizing.org.

  • Honorable Mention: Melissa Barat, Bryan Connor, Ann Liu, Isabel Uria. Download full-scale art at Visualizing.org


  • Design: Wesley Stuckey. Download full-scale art at Visualizing.org.


  • Design: Lauren Adams, Beth Taylor, Krissi Xenakis. Download full-scale art at Visualizing.org.

Graphic Design Thinking

GD MFA students and faculty have published a series of books about design in partnership with Princeton Architectural Press. The fourth title in the series, Graphic Design Thinking, will be released in Spring 2011. It was written, designed, and produced by GD MFA students enrolled in the Publishing Workshop course in Spring 2010. A team of GD MFA students was commissioned to complete the project over the summer of 2010, fine-tuning the layouts and typographic system and preparing final edits for publication.

The book is a compilation of techniques for defining problems, getting ideas, and creating forms. The visual examples consist largely of work created by GD MFA students. Graphic Design Thinking explores a variety of design processes and shows the rich range of inquiry taking place among MICA’s GD MFA students, who are working in such areas as social design, environmental graphics, systems design, branding, typography, and logo and icon development.


Selected Pages from Graphic Design Thinking: How to Define Problems, Get Ideas, and Create Form

Thesis Scope Diagrams

A signature element of the GD MFA Thesis development process in the fall semester is the creation of a Thesis Scope Diagram. The diagram prompts students to plan and visualize their working process as well as to create an initial overview of their project’s content and reach. The diagram provides an early opportunity to test the visual vocabulary of each student’s thesis.

  • Ann Liu


  • Supisa Wattanasansanee


  • Ryan Shelley


  • Lauren Adams


  • Elizabeth Herrmann


  • Christina Beard


  • Chris McCampbell


  • Chris Clark


  • Beth Taylor


  • Wesley Stuckey


  • Isabel Uria


What Is Experimental Type?

First-year students engaged in a series of investigations around the theme of experimental type. After creating typographic interpretations of texts, they were asked to answer the question “What is experimental type?” by visualizing their own statement. The visual exercises were accompanied by readings of texts by Roland Barthes, Peter Bilak, and Andrew Blauvelt.

A selection of works is shown here.

  • Noel Cunningham
  • Jin Hwan Kim
  • Aggie Toppins
  • Rolando Gutierrez
  • Jenny Kutnow
  • Cameron Zotter
  • Tim Hoover
  • Aviv Lichter
  • Abe Garcia
  • Skye McNeill
  • Clara Kohn Marquez

Type on Screen

GD MFA students and faculty have published a series of books about design in partnership with Princeton Architectural Press. Our latest title, Type on Screen, is now available for purchase on Amazon. The book was written, designed, and produced by GD MFA students and faculty.

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