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kidd-peplinksi-webMIAD hosted Chip Kidd, iconic lead designer for Random House publishers and Knopf Books known for such designs as the Jurassic Park and 1Q84 book covers, as part of a two-day intensive professional experience for students.

During his stay, Kidd engaged with students in a variety of art and design classes. He critiqued the work of students in Chair of 2D/4D Design Phil Belair’s CD Packaging and Design class, who were working on the “Packaging Nothing – Instant Karma Project,” and that of Instructor Adam Beadel’s Type-Based Printmaking class. Students in faculty member Ashley Potter’s Advertising Design
class created concepts and brainstormed book cover creation with Kidd, and seniors in Chair of Liberal Studies Courtney Maloney’s Senior Writing Seminar conversed with Kidd about how artists write about their experiences.kidd-student-critique-web

Kidd’s contributions to the student experience didn’t end in the classroom, as MIAD presented his free public lecture entitled “Living and Breathing Design – Lessons from an Expert” at Discovery World on Friday, February 17, with event sponsors Discovery World, AIGA, Adworkers, Concordia University, Marquette University and the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University.

The capstone of Kidd’s visit was a riveting keynote presentation that launched the Foundations Professional Portfolio Symposium. Captivating 180 first-year students with his wit and honesty, Kidd spoke of his professional experience designing book jackets. At the end of his address, which he later delivered to the 2012 TED Conference, he noted that great art can be great business.

“Understanding the visual, a steering moment to see the arrow get to the target before it arrives.”

Professor and alumnus James Barany offered this insight to Foundations students moments before they began to explore the open portfolios of 20 local art and design professionals, many of them alumni, who shared insights into lessons learned at varying stages in their careers.

Jeremy Shamrowicz, ’98 (Sculpture and Industrial Design) Co-Founder of Flux Design, was very enthusiastic as he explained his work and how he has flown all over the country to design. He also remarked that he loves how different designers can have an entirely different take on a project.

Students noted the environmental aspects incorporated into the work from Flux Deign, and Shamrowicz commented, “Flux doesn’t apply for green credits because almost everything we’ve ever used has been recycled or found.”


One student asked Mitch Mortimer, ’02 (Illustration) Illustrator and Graphic Artist, for advice on what he does when he feels he is struggling. Mortimer remarked, “Stay true to yourself; don’t be someone else just to get a job. We all struggle, but I would rather struggle doing what I love.”

Before the evening came to a close, Barany gathered the professionals and asked them to define a critical moment in their careers and to describe the outcome.

martin-head-shot-webVice President of Academic Affairs David Martin commented, “We view the First-Year Students Professional Symposium as a critical part of our students’ readiness for the world after they earn their studio-based education. We believe that a symposium aimed at first-year students is a rare and distinctive experience in higher education.

“Where else can you rub elbows with 20 practicing designers and artists, review their state-of-the-art professional portfolios and have the opportunity to ask questions and get advice about the future? Think of how formative it can be to meet designers and artists who share the same dreams and passions that you do, and that they are making a living and a creative life from those dreams and passions.

“We want the students to know that they can create a successful professional pathway, and that we will help them forge these pathways by introducing them to successful designers and artists in their four years at the college.”

As students were leaving the symposium, many said how much they loved this opportunity. One group of students described the evening as “awesome and absolutely amazing.”

Kidd’s lecture and the Professional Portfolio Symposium continue MIAD’s unique Foundations experience.

Click here to read more about the first-year curriculum.

Top image: Chip Kidd and Communication Design junior Jamie Peplinksi, who designed the poster for Kidd’s public talk
Second image: Chip Kidd critiques the work of a student in Type-Based Printing
Third image: MIAD alum and Interior Architecture and Design faculty member Nichole Jeffries shares her portfolio with students. Image: Tara Bogart.
Bottom image: David Martin