Short Term Practicum: Graphic Design

Brandy Gibbs-Riley '96

Brandy Gibbs-Riley ’96

Brief Course Description

Instructor: Brandy Gibbs-Riley ’96

(see biography at end of page)

Overview: This course was held in 2014 as part of the pilot for the Purposeful Work Pracitioner-Taught Course program. It provides students with an introduction to graphic design, technology, and the design profession. Through studio work, design research, and historical study, students acquire a foundation in the principles and elements of design, typography, and visual communication. Students address aesthetic and communication problems through the creation of identity, poster, publication, and user interface design. Students also gain proficiency in industry-standard software, including Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign. We examine graphic design in relation to industrial design, the built environment, and emergent media. Additional field study affords students the opportunity to experience the breadth and depth of activity within the design profession. Contemporary business and problem-solving practices are also covered, including branding, design management, design thinking, and strategic innovation.

Concentrations and Major Information:

  • Major credit for Art and Visual Culture
  • GEC credit for: C029, Visible Ideas 2D and 3D Design; C036, Color: Sight and Perception; C061, Producing Culture: Arts and Audience

Biographical Information about the practitioner instructor:

Brandy Gibbs-Riley graduated from Bates in 1996 with a degree in Studio Art and holds an MFA in Graphic Design from Boston University. She has nearly 20 years’ experience in corporate practice and is Principal and Owner of Gibbs-Riley Design. She also has nine years’ experience as a design educator, most recently serving as Associate Professor of Art and Design at Salve Regina University and Colby-Sawyer College.

Brandy’s areas of expertise include design thinking, design strategy, marketing communications, branding, identity, print, advertising, packaging, user interface/interaction, and experience design. She also collaborates with industrial designers and architects on large-scale projects that involve environmental, retail, signage, and wayfinding design. She has worked internationally for corporations and non-profits located in over 30 countries. Her client history includes Bain & Company, Boeing, Dartmouth College, Duracell, Fair Trade, Johnson & Johnson, Harvard-Pilgrim, IBM, MIT, Ocean Spray, Palm, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Reuters Thomson Financial, Siemens, and the YMCA. Her work has been published and exhibited internationally by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Creative Quarterly, the Design Management Institute, Graphis, the Massachusetts Interactive Media Council, and the University and College Designers Association.

In addition to private practice and education, she is actively involved in design history, writing, and criticism. Her research builds upon industry experience, and her interests lie in the history of twentieth century corporate design as well as contemporary design in emerging and changing global markets. She has served as curator, editor, and contributing author on the fifth edition of Meggs’ History of Graphic Design (Philip Meggs and Alston Purvis, Wiley 2011) and is currently working on the sixth. She has been a visiting scholar at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Library and the Museum of Modern Art Lily Auchincloss Study Center for Architecture and Design.

Brandy is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the College Art Association, the Design Management Institute, and the University and College Designers Association. She has also served on the board of the AIGA New Hampshire / Vermont chapter and has worked with the AIGA Design Educators Community on the development of academic standards for graphic design education.