In the fall of 2019, twenty fledgling designers stepped into the studio at FAC316, ready to begin upper-division classes as official members of the UFGD program. We were twenty very different people, with incredibly diverse interests and backgrounds. What we had in common was a passion for graphic design, dedication to our craft and values, a strong sense of adventurousness. Over the course of two years here, we built a family.
While much of graphic design already occurs primarily in the digital space, the move to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic had an immense impact on our class. As we found ourselves staring off into Zoomlandia, connected only by screens, our ability to connect with each other—through visiting each others’ desks, late studio nights, 3am problem solving, watching each others’ projects develop in real time—was greatly impaired. In addition, we lost access to the space and equipment that helps breathe life into our projects, the production room, printers, risograph, etc.
As designers, we look at the world to find creative and innovative ways to tackle the issues in front of us. We sought out new ways to connect online and in distanced or outdoor spaces. We challenged ourselves to take advantage of the virtual setting to push digital mediums in our work and create connections with people far apart. We created opportunities to bring physical craft and tangibility back into projects.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given us a chance to showcase our resilience and flexibility as designers, and how we use those skills to design brightness into our current circumstances and into our futures.
Every semester, Vox Graphis, our student graphic design organization, tours a city in the Southeast to explore its design scene and provide students with the incredible opportunity to explore a city and spend time interacting with industry professionals.
In non-pandemic times, we’ve road-tripped to Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and more! This year, due to COVID-19, the “trip” was held over Zoom as a two-day virtual conference, and gave students the opportunity to connect with designers within our international alumni network.
This year, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Ligature, UF’s annual student-run design symposium! At Ligature, we feature a gallery of juried student work, as well as lectures and workshops by internationally recognized designers. In collaboration with Vox Graphis and AIGA Gainesville’s student group, our class created an experience where students, faculty, community members, and established designers can connect and learn.
Unlike in past years, Ligature 30 had to be hosted virtually this year. While this was a new experience for the program, we strove to make it as enriching an event as ever. Ligature 30 featured workshops and lectures by Antoinette Carroll, Alex Trouchut, and Andrea Gomez.
The official Ligature 30 website can be found at http://ligature30.ufdesigners.com/
Design & Professional Practice Studio
We owe so much to the Gainesville community that has housed us during our academic journey. Though many of us have worked out of town over the past year, Gainesville’s impact remains present in our work as a source of inspiration, joy, and community. Many of us have taken the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the Gainesville community through the MINT design studio, a course that allows students to connect with local organizations through design, get real world experience, and create work that gives back to the community.
The UFGD Class of 2021 has a very wide range of passions. Our different personal interests compliment and bolster our design work, teaching us to apply design thinking in new and varied spaces, and allowing us to surprise and delight each other in the best possible ways. We love sharing the things we love with each other, and seeing the amazingly different areas we can all touch with design. None of us are the same, and we wouldn’t want it any other way!
Our Class Pets :)
Thanks for visiting! | © UFGD Class of 2021