Artist and CE faculty member, Amanda Benton, will be giving an artist’s talk sponsored by the MFA Book Arts/Printmaking program at the University of the Arts.

Amanda will be discussing the Bazaaro World project and gender images in the media, and will answer any questions from the audience to open up the conversation to YOU the viewers.

Please come join us at The University of the Arts, CBS room, Monday, January 30 at 6:30 pm.

Photographer for TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year: The Protester

In this nine-minute documentary, the making of TIME magazines “The Protester” is chronicled.  The Protester, which was included in TIME’s Person of The Year issue, is a series of photographers taken by TIME staff photographer, Peter Hapak, which showcases protesters involved with the Occupy movement across seven countries.  You can see the video here.

Hapak briefly touches on techniques he used to capture the portraits, including a humorous account of bribing one particular subject with breakfast sausages. The behind the scenes look is narrated by the photographer himself and shows viewers clips of the photo shoots conducted throughout the course of the project.

Go to full article: Photographer for TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year: The Protester

ATA Needs Your Input!

ATA is working to compile, disseminate, and promote practices for Teaching Artists with the goal of improving the practice of teaching artistry. We are compiling the information from Teaching Artists with the goal of supporting Teaching Artists in their work in both schools and in the community. ATA is asking for your input, as a practitioners, to share from your knowledge and experience.

Please go to and share your knowledge and experience.

Top 10 CSS Websites of 2011

With 2011 done and gone, it is time to break out some reviews of what the year had to offer. To pay homage to the 2012 election process, I thought it would be interesting to see the the difference between popular designs and (albeit subjectively) good designs — because we all know there’s often very little correlation.

To my surprise, the sites which allowed ranking of CSS designs did a good job of pushing solid design to the top. While I had to sift through a lot of generic designs, I came across a number of themes that I believe were somewhat new to 2011.

Illustrations Are Back!

As you scroll through the list below, notice how many of the sites have custom illustrations as part of the theme or centerpiece. I LOVE this because I love illustration. In most cases, the illustrations are of characters or people, but some sites have beatifully crafted typography and banner elements as well.

Parallax Scrolling

You can’t tell from the images below, but a number of the most highly rated sites are Parallax Scrolling websites. These are the sites that have layers of images that scroll at different speeds, creating a unique 3D effect. I enjoy this type of site as it’s still somewhat novel and provides an easy opportunity to tell a story through design.

Grid Systems

The grid is finding its way into just about every one of these designs. I’m not talking about the standard heading, navigation bar, body layout. I’m referring to the actual use of a grid system to separate design elements, such as copy elements. I’m a fan of the grid, but I wonder if 2012 will be the year that designers intentially break out of it.

Better Typography

Whether it’s in the banner or the body text, I love the improvements that CSS have brought to typography on the web. These top rated sites of 2011 show off the power of CSS in improved readability and style. I hope this trend continues!


I found it interesting that designers were usually at the top of the list. At least 40% of the below websites are actually websites for designers. This shows just how important it is for designers to put their best foot forward with their own sites.

So, without further ado, the most highly rated CSS websites of 2011, in no particular order:











Visibly Invisible Lecture Series @ UArts – Begins Feb 7

The four-part ‘Visibly Invisible’ lecture series addresses the mash-up of history, design and technology

Four cultural provocateurs challenge us to look with fresh eyes at the  possibilities all around in a free public lecture series at the University of the Arts presented by DesignPhiladelphia and the University’s Corzo Center for the Creative Economy.

When we stop seeing and experiencing what we live with and become blind to familiar things, systems and surroundings, design thinking can shift our vision, literally making what is right in front of us visible again. The “Visibly Invisible” speakers encourage us to look at the world from a refreshed angle.

The four speakers – who teach, write, invent and curate – are recognized intellects who share their passions in remarkably user-friendly ways.

“There’s a growing and palpable creative energy in Philadelphia,” says Christopher Sharrock, Dean of the College of Art, Media and Design at the University of the Arts. “Through programs like this, we want to foster discussions that bring together the University’s design community and the creative and business innovators throughout the region.”

All lectures take place Tuesday evenings, 6 – 7:30 p.m. in Hamilton Hall’s CBS Auditorium (320 South Broad St., Philadelphia).
COST : Free. Seating is limited.
REGISTER : Click here to register.

February 7
Regina Lee Blaszczyk

“From Parlor to iPhone: Our Gadgets, Our Identities”
An award-winning design historian, Blaszczyk explores the hidden meanings of the things we use every day. Her whirlwind tour of 150 years of consumer culture highlights the invisible links between the Victorian parlor and the I-want-it-now culture of Apple, Facebook and Twitter. Our ancestors used “cultural hardware” like furniture and bric-a-brac to express themselves, while we use “cultural software” like eBooks, videogames and apps to create personal space. The technology is different, but the impulse to personalize one’s surroundings is the same.

February 21
Thaddeus Squire
“Hide and Seek”

Founder of Hidden City Philadelphia – festival, online magazine, tour company – Squire will address the yearning for history in pop culture: from the prison fantasies of Piranesi to Mayan expedition drawings, Indiana Jones, “National Treasure” and “Tomb Raider”; from the retro-chic of Restoration Hardware and Anthroplogie to online gaming and the emerging photo genre of “ruin porn.”

March 20
Dan Marcolina
“Revealing the Obvious”

Mad App alchemist and internationally recognized designer and photographer, Marcolina is author of the critically acclaimed book and iPad series “iPhone Obsessed.” He will expose how the combination of picture choice and multiple app processing can transform everyday snapshots into remarkable statements. Images will be on display. Book signing follows the lecture.

April 3
Cynthia E. Smith
“Design With the Other 90%: Cities”

With her recent exhibitions at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the United Nations, Smith helped spark international dialogue on utilizing technology and design to help poorer communities “leapfrog” into the 21st century. As Cooper-Hewitt’s Curator of Socially Responsible Design, Smith combines experience as an industrial designer with graduate training at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Traditionally designers had focused on the 10 percent of the population that could afford their goods and services. Now, a new wave of designers, architects and engineers is working to solve the world’s most critical problems as urban populations in the developing world grow at unprecedented rates. Book signing follows the lecture.

RSVP Now! – Less than two days until Photoshop Philly! | Jan. 19th

Register For This FREE Event Now-iPhoneography: iPhone Obsessed – Philadelphia 1/19/12

The Photoshop Philadelphia User Group has a treat for you! Join them Thursday, January 19th at 7:15 pm at their headquarters on the campus of Philadelphia University for an amazing presentation. Register Now or Get Directions

January Featured Speaker: Dan Marcolina

Renowned author of iPhone Obsessed and publisher of the iObessed companion iPad application, Dan Marcolina will join the January 19th meeting to deliver a presentation on the book and app combo that Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski say “takes iPhone photography to the next level.”

Dan, a local Philly guy out of Ambler, PA, will share information on his incredible new book and iPad app combination that explore artful photo editing experiments with apps. The book and app are truly a publishing first, blending four technologies from Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and vmware (sliderocket), the readers learning experience is enhanced and extended.

Check out Dan on Twitter and follow him!

iPhone Obsessed Photo Editing Experiments with Apps

This Peachpit Press book raises the typical expectation of iPhone photography to show how the combination of picture choice and multiple app processing can make a simple snapshot into a statement.

iPhone Obsessed Microsite

GET THE APP iObsessed Companion iTunes Link

More Mad Experiments With Photo Apps This iPad AppBook enhances and extends the readers book experience produced using the New Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. Edition One expands on the book and shows many new image concoctions including detailed formulas for some of the unexplained images in the book.
Read More…

Networking and Free Food

Great food from their sponsor Caputo’s Pizzeria, prizes from their established sponsors Adobe, O’Reilly and Peach Pit and most importantly, a chance to meet with and learn from your Photoshop community.

Click here to RSVP! It’s free!

Digital Photo I Students Submit End of Semester Projects

Students in Rosi Dispensa‘s CE 2708 02, Digital Photography I course, submitted their end-of-semester projects last week, and I thought I would share the results. I think you will agree, the hard work really shows!

Dan: Reading Terminal Market at Christmas time.

Sati: Steve Power’s love letter murals

Jenna: The making of Rudy the reindeer

Martina:  New York City subways

Donna: Philadelphia fashion

Mel: Portraits lit by cellphones

Patty: Italian Market, Posted in the class Flickr page

Jeffrey: Chicago in lights

Bravo to a well done group of projects, enjoy!

New book published on designer Saul Bass

Vertigo Poster by Saul Bass

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I’ve often referred to one of my favorite designers Saul Bass for his work creating classic movie titles, film posters, corporate logos and advertisements.  I am thrilled that a new book Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design published by Laurence King was recently released in late 2011. Written by Jennifer Bass (his daughter) and Pat Kirkham, with a foreword by Martin Scorsese, this collection is gratifyingly complete. Check out the glowing New York Times Book Review.  This is a great read for film lovers and designers alike.

Saul Bass, who died in 1996 at age 75, was one of America’s most prodigious mid-century modern graphic designers. He was the creative force behind movie titles, posters, logos and advertisements as well as being a filmmaker shooting shorts. His film Why Man Creates, commissioned by Kaiser Aluminum, won the 1968 Oscar for best documentary short.

His work spanned more than 50 years and included title sequences for films such as North by Northwest, The Man With the Golden Arm, Psycho, Ocean’s Eleven and Spartacus; movie posters for Exodus, Vertigo, The Shining and Schindler’s List; corporate identities for Exxon, Minolta, the Girl Scouts and the Bell System; as well as scores of packages, advertisements and more.

For more on this book, check out Print Mag‘s review and the Wall Street Journal article .

CE Student Success Stories | Christopher Boetticher

Many University of the Arts Continuing Education students and alums have won prestigious awards or have had their work exhibited in galleries. Other UArts CE students are building careers or have received professional recognition for their work. Whatever CE students accomplish, we love to hear about how they applied what they learned in the classroom to the real world.

In this, our second “Success Stories” posting, we look to congratulate Chris Boetticher, Web Design Dual Certificate student, who recently completed designs for the King Taco Photography website and Penn Jersey Roller Derby website, while a student in Continuing Education, Web I, Summer 2011.

Chris enrolled in the certificate program during the summer of 2010 because he wants to change careers and become a full time web designer. “I’ve been working for eleven years in various technical departments,” Chris wrote in his application statement, “but I’ve always been interested in pursuing more artistic and creative opportunities.”

I invite you to watch Chris’s video and learn a bit about his design process. Also, visit the site he created as these screen captures do little to convey the impact of his design aesthetic. I think you will agree, Chris is a talented designer whom clients will want to hire.

Do you have a UArts Continuing Education Success Story to tell? Email us at and let us know!