GDE710 W1 | Task One: Introduction

Like you, I’ve gone ahead and enrolled in grad school. And, I couldn’t be happier.

Finding the MA in Graphic Design program at Falmouth University was like finding a new trail on a long hike that you’d not seen before. I’ve been a practicing designer for much of my adult life — nearly twenty-five years… a quarter of a century. Sheesh, that seems like a lot.

Some of my doodles

Some of my doodles

I am the Creative Director at the University of San Francisco. I lead a team of design and multimedia professionals to help visually tell the stories and extend the brand of the university. Lucky or grateful are two words I think of often when reflecting on my job and team.

The first week’s assignment and insights were quite exciting and curiously nerve-racking for me. I felt very affirmed in the studio videos as well as inspired. It was great to see a range of folks, disciplines, passions, backgrounds, approaches, and ideologies. Something I found interesting was to hear how graphic design is regarded or seen as a solution to a problem. Some had a tough time saying this directly, almost dodging it as if it was a negative connotation or pedestrian assignment to such a (IMHO) prolific field. That said, it was present in each interview. I love the puzzle, the problem-solving, the mystery, the discovery and hold no qualms in identifying as a problem solver through my design practice.

Here are some of my key takeaways from each of the videos…


I love seeing how the two design partners regraded (or didn’t) one another. They seemed like an old married couple that while very different in their approaches and preferences are deeply connected to and loving of one another. Even down to their body language.

Adrian Talbot said something that stuck in my brain like a splinter during the week’s challenge. His point was that to design is to be a storyteller, and to be a good storyteller, you must be effective and efficient — using the minimum number of components. That thought woke me from sleep in the middle of the night to rethink or further my quadtriptych.


I loved learning about these recent graduates and their resolve to learn from failure and remaining curious - as an essential part of staying fresh and growing as designers.


Sam was very intriguing for me. He has found his groove and is not settling or choosing alternate grooves that don’t suit him. That is good boundary-setting as well as self awareness and courage. I believe it’s as important to know what you don’t like as much as or more so that what you do. He is willing to take the risk to work the way he prefers in service to his calling. Rad.


Best part was her reference to “happy accidents.” I am not sure we could maintain curiosity without serendipity or happy accidents. Exploration and experimentation lead to unexpected results — sometimes really good ones


Simon’s explanation of adaptability really resonated with me. Especially the aspect of having folks of various disinclines adapt in harmony versus individual tracks. Better together. That’s a big part of how our team culture is fueled.

Next up…. The Quadtriptych.