Graphic Design Seniors

Nick Fogarty, class of 2016

August 02, 2017


the project

The only thing designers might love more than making work is talking about work. Span looks at this relationship between language and design process.

How I critique the work of others informs how I’ve approached my own work. Recently though, I found faults in a set of design principles that I thought would never change. What used to be simple and great, might just be very boring. 

After some research, I chose the terms accessible, alienating, minimal, maximal and organized them on a matrix to use as a tool for creating design. Choosing basic vehicles like a t-shirt, a mug, and some type allowed me to push the form, such as the silhouettes and surfaces, as well as the function, how the user interacts with the object. 

I pursued the matrix in a way that suggests any quadrant could yield cool or terrible graphic design. Although, my exhibition might suggest the matrix only yields ugly mugs.



Nick's advice

1. Approach your project holistically. Think about the complete package from the initial “branding” to the final exhibition design. And I would encourage investment in a strong digital component like a smart website. 

2. Consider how someone’s mom or grandpa or baby sister or pet dog might understand or learn about your project. Is your project for designer-eyes or designer-minds only?

3. Find the right balance of challenging yourself while making work that looks good and professional. Pushing yourself to create design like you’ve never created before will help sustain personal interest and enthusiasm, but you also don’t want to present really ugly or crazy looking work, right?

4. Design and make stuff ASAP. Ideas are important but you can work  through ideas by putting them into practice. And the sooner you design, the sooner you can revise and improve.



Nick is “freelancing” in New Jersey.
See more of his work at