Battling Visual Plagiarism

Illustration by Adam Quinones

As a graphic design educator or practitioner, battling against visual plagiarism can be frustrating and daunting.

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Incorporating Earth Day into our every day practice


3 x 3 foot display created by Graphic Design student Cristina Torres, made entirely from recycled products

Happy Earth Day 2016! As scientists offer dire predictions of doom due to global warming, it’s inspiring to see how some global citizens are making changes.

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Teach our Girls to Code!

Poster design by Mariah Salter

Poster design by Graphic Design student Mariah Salter

Historically, women are woefully under-represented in computing and technology fields.

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The Devil We Live (and Die) With

Cape Mongo, a film by Francois Knoetz, was featured at the 2016 Design Indaba conference last week. 

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White lies—unethical, or an act of kindness?

kind man with devil shadowVisual persuasion is at the heart of a graphic designer’s job. Taking information and ideas and forming them into communication that engages and invokes is what we do.

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Branding the Olympics—“worst practices” in design

While the Olympic games themselves are steeped in excellence and “best practices” in athletics—the design of the 2020 Olympic logo has spiraled into an example “worst practices” in graphic design.

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Black Friday—Alternative Options for Designers


Black Friday is not an official holiday in the U.S., but California and some other states observe “The Day After Thanksgiving” as a holiday—substituting it for another official holiday, like Columbus Day. In America, it’s gotten to be almost as big as Thanksgiving Day itself.

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Un-branding Columbus Day


For decades, communities and cities have been un-branding Columbus Day. Whether they are appalled at the atrocities committed by Christopher Columbus in his quest to conquer the Americas, or indignant at the idea that their community was “discovered,” the call for the un-branding of Columbus Day has been an angry voice pitted against many passionate supporters.

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Fashion Week: It’s Complicated


New York Fashion Week kicked off this past Thursday, and with it some complicated topics graphic designers are very familiar with:

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Consumed by Consumerism

“Decorum” by Margeaux Walter

“Decorum” by Margeaux Walter

Most graphic designers associate Photoshop wizardry with making visual magic to engage consumers. One of my favorite digital artists, Erik Almas, is a master at this. His campaigns for Absolut and other products are amazing and award-winning, and his work epitomizes the power of digital imaging tools to make people and places flawless, and products larger than life.

It’s a much rarer occasion when we see these tools being used for anti-consumerism, which is exactly the point with the image “Decorum,” by visual artist Margeaux Walter. A visually stunning image, at first glance “Decorum” wows the viewer with the sheer abundance of luxurious leopard fur. Yet upon further inspection, we realize the irony of the photo as the leopard gazes back out on a of scene conspicuous consumption and total suffocation.

Walter says about her work, “I’m interested in how ads, technology, and consumerism are changing our lives. We are becoming products of our products, being suffocated by our materials.”


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