Fashioning The Brand

Summer Doll-Myers
Graphic Design
Kutztown University

Ann Lemon
Kutztown University

The good, the bad and the beautiful of fashion advertising.

What does it mean to wear a label, a logo, a brand – across your chest or on your back pocket? Consumers, especially millennials, are becoming more invested in the brands they love by following, liking, and pinning products in addition to wearing them. The entire brand “story” is built from an archive of images that support an ongoing narrative. Fashion is a $1.2 trillion global industry according to a report from the U.S. Joint Economic Committee.

“Fashion apparel for the teenager is not the first considered purchase,” Wissink said. Teens see electronics as “popularity devices, not utilities.” –International Business Times

It isn’t just about “did you see what he’s wearing?” but more about “can you believe she still has an iPhone 4”?! Millennials are more skeptical about what they see as inauthentic or contrived messages.

The majority of ads for brands found in fashion magazines and online are non-conceptual. With the trend moving toward believing in a brand, ads need to be more than just pretty – they need to be designed around a solid brand concept.

After years of this Intro-Level Advertising Design assignment being used to teach students the power of the image in an ad, this brief got a revamp. First and foremost, students needed to have a concept. They were required to research positioning, and identify a specific audience. Beginning with sketches, they were not allowed to move on to shooting before a big, insightful, on-brand concept was approved. Students then explored the collaborative realities of production by taking on the roles of art director, photographer, casting director, writer, and stylist. We will show the project process award-winning student examples.


This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 3.1: Kean University on Saturday, Oct 22, 2016.

Making Small Things: Robots, Cracks, and Hamburgers

Whether exploring meditations on a single theme, embracing new materials or studying the affects of repetition and reproduction, designer Chris St. Cyr’s work exploits both the familiar and the unknown.

Chris St.Cyr
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
The College of Saint Rose

cracksMake some thing. Somewhere between morning routines, client projects and preparing for a class there is time to create something… a small something. Over time, these creations may evolve into larger projects or they can remain a collection of random ideas waiting for connections to given them form. The trick is to think small— a two-minute sketch, a single bullet item, one typeface, one principle, two constraints, no command z, a page, or one post.

hamburgersOver the past five years I’ve developed a series of small personal projects that continue to evolve and grow. Social media is part of the production process. It is used to start conversations and provides a place for my creations to exist on their own and to engage with a globally networked community. One project, an investigation of the efficiency of modular design systems and has evolved from building 3D Lego structures to using Lego block printing to create a system of robot symbols for use on T-shirts, stickers, and in augmented reality. In another project (perhaps a reaction against the Lego project) old rub down press type is used as a catalyst for the investigation of randomness, reaction, and flow. Here there is very little control and rubbing cracked letterforms onto sketchbook paper gives form to the compositions which are then scanned, manipulated and printed, all of which adds another layer of uncertainty to the outcome. robotsA third, and more recent project, is a meditation on the mobile menu symbol—affectionately known as the “Hamburger Menu.” More specifically it involves a series of motion design experiments that explore how three horizontal lines can transition into the shape of an “X.” As the projects have changed over time one thing remains consistent—they all started as a single small exploration of a design principle, material, tool or technique.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 3.0: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) on Saturday, Sept 24, 2016.