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Singing with the Sirens

In all of my graphic design classes, I require students to thoroughly document their problem-solving process from start to finish. Not only does this allow patterns and insights about one’s process to emerge, it ensures that young designers aren’t trying to skip steps. As one matures in the visual communication design profession, a deep and […]

Reflections on an Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences Academic Conference

In my 15 year tenure in the academic world – either as graduate student or professor – I’ve attended several conferences. Typically they entail themes explored by the design profession, sponsored by professional organizations or industry publications with significant funds put into bringing ‘rock stars’ of the design profession from all corners of the […]

Sweet & Savory Design

My most recent–and most ambitious–self-initiated project, the Eating Local Made Easy campaign, brings together two things I’m passionate about: seasonal food and graphic design. So, these days, it’s hard not to notice this intersection portrayed in inspiring ways around me. Some images and designs, like my own Eating Local guide, serve to make complex information […]

a little healthy competition…


“Crowdsourcing”, “Contest”, “Competition”, “Bid”, “Spec”… all bad words in the design industry of late. For too long, and seemingly rampant in our current financial climate, artists and designers have been asked in multiplicity to share their hard-earned skills and creative energy and ideas so that businesses and organizations can choose the ‘best’ solution among […]

What’s In A Name? The Fate Of “Graphic Design”

An intriguing question was recently raised by Rick Poynor [A Report from the Place Formerly Known as Graphic Design, PRINT October 2011]. What term could properly describe a profession that has expanded far beyond the limits of the term “graphic design”? Rick points out that “Graphic design stopped looking like graphic design, as we once […]

Wedding Design

Being a designer (and a bit of a control freak), I couldn’t imagine turning over the design for my wedding to someone else. Though it was a lot of work, I enjoyed it and thought I’d share.

It started with the engagement announcement, and the ‘J + J’ graphic and brown & blue color scheme […]

Following My Own Advice…

I try to frequently impart this message to my graphic design students – design what you love, love what you design. This summer I’ve had the luxury of doing a lot of that, researching and crafting a significant campaign on a subject I’m quite passionate about: Eating Local. In fact, it’s safe to say that […]

Type Is/As Art

JB – fun with collage and doodling

It’s no secret to those that know me… I’m a typophile. I love typography, and especially those examples of cleverly expressed type that at once make the message clear AND move you in some way. And yet, sometimes, it is solely for that latter purpose. Here’s a […]

“Branding” and Community

“Branding”, or identity design, has many important functions: it helps an organization establish a positive connection and value-relationship with those that it serves. It also serves to build brand equity and value. Recently, some of my graphic design students have gained valuable real-world experience, and helped shape their community, through branding two important organizations at […]

BIOPLASTICS symbol design contest

VOTE FOR ME – help me reach the finalist round, and maybe even take home $25,000!

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The challenge: a symbol to represent Bioplastics, and an alternate symbols for end-of-life instructions – some are compostable some are recyclable.

Bioplastics are an environmentally friendly alternative […]