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Visual Experiences

David Nelson
BFA Communication Design | 2002
Vice President, Head of Design, Sustain.Life
Milwaukee, WI

Windows 8 interactive design


“MIAD was one of the best experiences I ever had.”

Q. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A. I always knew I wanted to do something with art. I started doing design work in high school and fell in love with it from the get-go. MIAD was the obvious next step to get me where I wanted to be.

David Nelson

David Nelson

Q. What was your first memorable experience with art or design?

A. I won an advertising competition when I was 9 or so when a teacher persuaded me to enter. The contest was to draw something to help convince kids that wearing a bike helmet was cool. Seeing my drawing on all the buses in town was the coolest thing that had ever happened to me.

Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?

A. Honestly, MIAD was one of the best experiences I ever had. It really gave me a constructive place to focus my energy and I got the chance to meet some of the most talented people I know.

Q. What was the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD?

A. Problem-solving; it’s the key to being a great designer.

Q. If you had to sum up your job in a single sentence, what would it be?

A. I design the user experiences that define the future of ideas and communications, including designing and developing strategy directions and advanced interactive media for clients such as Autodesk, Microsoft, HP and Yahoo!

Q. Define how you saw your major while in school and how that definition has changed over the years.

A. Technology aside, design is design. It’s always been about solving problems and communicating ideas. Print, web, environmental design, they’re all, in essence, the same conceptually. You just need to focus on the work that interests you.

Prior clients include Adobe and Microsoft, where Nelson developed design, typography, art direction and interface design.