Corzo Center Presents Online Marketing Strategies Talk – Apr 11 @ UArts

Whether you work for a tiny non-profit arts organization, a large museum, a comprehensive design firm, small business… really any place that is building a brand and communicating a message to an audience, you probably feel like online marketing can seem a bit mysterious. It is difficult to navigate your options and know what is truly worth your time and investment to yield the greatest return.  Learn how to run email marketing, digital marketing,and SEO campaigns on a limited budget at this presentation by Aaron McLean, co-founder and COO of Eight Eleven Inc., a leading Philadelphia marketing technology agency.

Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 pm – 211 S. Broad Street, Room 511-13, Philadelphia.  Free and open to the public.  RSVP at
The Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at the University of the Arts links creative arts, business and innovation.  The Center was formed to keep art where it belongs — at the center of a society and an economy that requires ideas and imagination. Guided by the belief that entrepreneurship is both a form of business innovation and a form of public and social action, its programs provide artists, performers and media makers the tools they need to control their economic lives. 

We Love Our Certificate Students

Students in our certificate programs enter for so many reasons. Some are new to the work force and are already eager to build more skills to remain competitive, some are seasoned professionals who realize they need to target areas that will improve their work options. Some seek a career change or a new adventure. Others are deeply passionate artists who seek to be amongst a community of creators rather than struggling on their own to build their body of work.

Sarbani Majumder, Communication Design Certificate

Keang Hok, Web Development Certificate; Maureen Roche and Beverly Pittman, Portfolio Development Certificates

Everyone’s story is unique and personal – but all are remarkable and engaging individuals who are making a real commitment to their own improvement as designers, developers, creators, photographers and more. They are re-defining themselves in new ways.

Anne Kazak, Digital Photography Certificate, at the Capstone Exhibition. Her work consisted of a series of paired images with personal connections.

Guests enjoy the work at the Capstone Exhibition

The highlight for our students – and all of us who work here at the University of the Arts – is that we get to see how this work progresses and how these experiences change lives. We love seeing the successes of our certificate students. We know about the long sessions spent writing code, the photo shoots with the light fading all too quickly, the time of the misplaced  flash drive, the evening (again) of takeout food, the frustrating critique. It isn’t easy, but it is meaningful and brave to envision a new path and go for it.

Joe Kagan, Digital Photography Certificate, developed a portfolio focused on wedding photography.

We are so proud to celebrate each term as another group of capstone students complete their culminating thematic body of professional work and begin their next chapter. We know that the piece of paper isn’t what a certificate program is about…it is about recognizing all the steps along the way and reflecting back to see how skills have grown, friendships have formed and how new ideas go forward. We welcome these students into our alumni community.

Congratulations to all of you!

Listen to David Carson's TED Talk on Design + Discovery

Newsweek magazine said David Carson “changed the public face of graphic design.”  Known for his innovative,  ground-breaking and often controversial approach to typography, sometimes called “grunge typography,” Carson states, “Don’t mistake legibility for communication.”

David Carson

Sociologist and surfer-turned-designer, David Carson walks through a gorgeous (and often quite funny) slide deck of his work and found images in this TED talk.  Listen Here: TED talk on Design and Discovery.

David Carson’s typography rose to prominence in the 1990s, in Ray Gun magazine and other pop-cult books, and ushered in a new vision of type and page design – breaking the traditional mold of type on a page.

Squishing, smashing, slanting and enchanting the words on a layout, Carson made the point, over and over, that letters on a page are art. You can see the repercussions of his work to this day, on a million Flash intro pages (and probably as many skateboards and T-shirts).

The End of Print is the book that provides the definitive statement of Caron’s work.  This classic book by Lewis Blackwell has itself become part of the history of graphic design. It features work from the magazines where Carson first made his mark including Transworld Skateboarding, Surfer, Beach Culture and Ray Gun – as well as his instantly recognizable advertisements for clients such as Nike, Pepsi, MTV and Sony. Lewis Blackwell’s text includes an interview in which Carson examines the origins of his approach and discusses the extreme reactions to his work.

Let us know what you think of Carson’s work?  Does it still stand up today?  What has been his influence?

Technically Philly

A better Philadelphia through technology.  That is the motto of Technically Philly, a great resource for our forward-thinking digital creators to connect and share innovative ideas and stay informed.

Technically Philly is a news organization that has covered technology issues in the Philadelphia region since February 2009.  Their focus is on building community through technology in the following ways:

  • attracting and retaining jobs through entrepreneurship, business and the creative economy
  • increasing access and education for low-income and marginalized residents
  • making government more transparent and efficient

They connect a broad and diverse technology community that works together to organize the annual Philly Tech Week, an open calendar of events celebrating innovation in Philadelphia. They publish hourly at (or for those power users) and on Twitter and Facebook with news about startups, venture capital, social media, web design and development, digital access, technology-related government policy and anything having to do with technology in the Philadelphia region.

Creating with Constraints Lecture Series – Begins Feb 19

Creating with Contraints

Join the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy and DesignPhiladelphia, in partnership with the University of the Arts, for our annual spring lecture series, Creating with Constraints.  The first lecture begins on February 19 at 7:30 pm at the Unviersity of the Arts.

In an affluent society like ours, we seem to have lost the ability to invent with limited resources. After all, when you’ve got money, natural resources and the authority that comes from being a world power — perhaps “the” world power — we assume that muscle and resources will be enough to buy us out of a problem or solve a crisis. Since the Second World War, we have not had to live with constraints — the limit of resource, money and authority. We’ve begun to forget, and we are not teaching our young how to create using limited resources. In fact, we’ve too often built on the principle that only the “great” was worth doing and the merely “doable” was not good enough.

That’s the theory we will explore in Creating with Constraints. It seems, in fact, that the new energy for creation and invention is now often found in developing countries and emerging economies where Robinson Crusoe-like, those inventing and creating take the fragments of the past and repurpose and reshape them to build something new.

We are now entering a resource weak economy. The generosity of resources that fueled our economy over the last 70 years is rapidly fading. If we are to regain our purpose and renew our ability to invent our future, we’ll need to relearn how to work with limited resources, often building a model that illustrates the idea before attempting to build the “grand” version of it.

February 19 – Diana Lind
The Resourceful City: How Cities Flourish Despite Constraints
Next City executive director and editor-in-chief looks at cities that have developed unusual responses to their financial, spatial or social constraints, becoming paragons of design, culture and creativity.

March 5 – Medard Gabel
Designing for the Planet
Author and co-founder of The World Game Institute with Buckminster Fuller, Medard Gabel discusses an interactive program that transforms audience into problem solvers. You are in charge of a very large spacecraft. And something very serious has gone wrong. What are you going to do?

April 16 – Leah Murphy and Aaron Goldblatt
The Making of a Viaduct Green
Urban designer and exhibition designer examine how two former railway lines — a stretch of fifty city blocks — can become a future garden, a civic project that can enhance the quality of life, cultural landscape and economic vitality of Philadelphia. For information about a tour of the proposed VIADUCTgreene project, visit


Creating a Personal Brand: Lecture @ UArts — Feb 7

Creating a personal brand: self-promotion know-how

As part of a continuing series of talks and workshops coordinated by the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy, learn how celebrities, designers, writers, artists, musicians, performers and others use personal self-promotion to brand themselves.

Presented by Rakia Reynolds, Founder of Skai Blue Media, a full-service lifestyle PR agency with clients including local politicians, restaurants, boutiques and business improvement districts.

Free and open to the public. RSVP at


Thursday, February 7, 2013, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
The University of the Arts, 211 S Broad St, Room 511-13, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Double Portrait – Design Exhibition at the Perelman Building

Double Portrait: Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast, Graphic Designers
December 2, 2012 – April 14, 2013

The Perelman building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art never fails to disappoint.  Sure, the riches of the collections on the hill are outstanding, but there is something so incredibly appealing about the scale and space of the Perelman as I enjoy their changing exhibitions of design, photography, fashion and more.  It is a true gem and the place I love to bring visiting guests to Philadelphia and it brings me tremendous happiness to check it out often.  It provides an important opportunity for new designers entering the field to build a richer understanding of the history of their field.

The latest exhibit is a celebration of the design couple Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast, and it looks at how they have transformed their fields of practice.

Honoring the achievements of this remarkably creative couple, whose work is being shown together for the first time, this exhibition includes images in a wide range of formats, selected and installed by Chwast (American, born 1931) and Scher (American, born 1948).

The exhibition demonstrates Chwast’s deeply personal vision, inspired by sources as diverse as German Expressionist woodcuts, Victorian typography, children’s art, primitive art, folk art and comic books.

On view is one of Chwast’s most iconic works of the 1960s, his antiwar poster “End Bad Breath” (1968), designed in protest of the U.S. bombing of Hanoi, Vietnam. Both cartoon and illustration, the poster features Uncle Sam centered like the sun against a background of thick rays, his hugely open mouth filled with bombs and bombers. In his poster “War is Good Business: Invest Your Son” (1967), Chwast used a collage style to create a dense, visually busy surface that activates his ironic text message.

Scher is best known for her innovative reimagining of typography as a communicative medium, her work divided largely between the fields of graphic identity and environmental graphics. The exhibition features her identity program and posters for New York’s Public Theater. Her poster for the theater’s production of Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk (1995) sets the play’s title and theater logos around the silhouetted image of the tap artist in different visual rhythms that convey the sound of the performance. Scher’s environmental graphics for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Lucent Technologies Center for Arts Education (2000), utilizes large, brightly colored “supergraphics” to redraw the exterior of the sixty-year-old school building with painted words announcing the school’s program as “Theater, Music, Dance.”

Let us know what you think of their work!

UArts Continuing Education Semester – Begins Feb 4!

Join our community of creators!

Even with the cold weather and flakes of snow outside your window, the promise of spring is bursting as we kick off a great spring semester in Continuing Education.

Classes begin the week of February 4th, and we have courses to engage you in music, dance, writing, digital design, drawing, photography and more.  Our certificate programs offer you thoughtfully sequenced courses in our curriculum to provide opportunities to jump-start your career and develop deeper understanding.

Anne Kazak, Digital Photography Certificate Alumna, photo by Steve Belkowitz

We serve a diverse population of adult learners; including credit and non-credit courses, workshops and certificate programs designed to anticipate and meet the changing professional, academic and lifelong learning needs of individuals in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area.

Why We Design — Jan 24 @ UArts

A talk with Ken Carbone + Leslie Smolan, moderated by Alina Wheeler

Thursday, January 24, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
The University of the Arts Caplan Theater (211 South Broad Street)
Register Here (Free!)

You’re just starting your career in design. You’re 21, or maybe you’re 41 years old. Do you start your own agency, or do you freelance? Do you hire a finance guy, or are you all creatives? Do you do it alone or with a friend? How do you make sure you have all your bases covered so that you can make groundbreaking work for a roster of top clients? As 25-year-olds, Ken Carbone UArts BFA ’73 (Graphic Design) and Leslie Smolan UArts BFA ’75 (Graphic Design) had just started their own firm and were figuring it all out. Thirty-five years later, the founding partners of the Carbone Smolan Agency boast a portfolio of international clients and big work.

They attribute their success to their partnership, a  union of two diametrically opposed personalities that has resulted in design that’s both beautiful and strategic. And they’ve lived to tell the tale. Ken and Leslie share their joint pursuit of “Fame, Fortune, Fun and Freedom” in their newly released book Dialog: What Makes A Great Design Partnership. In this talk, moderated by Alina Wheeler BFA ’70 (Illustration) and hosted by the University of the Arts Alumni Association, DesignPhiladelphia, and the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy, Ken and Leslie will reveal a behind-the-scenes look at their process, their favorite projects and the defining moments in the development of the firm.

Register Here (Free!)

100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design

Check out this useful and engaging book… perhaps a last-minute gift?!

The latest in the “100 Ideas that Changed…” book series, this reference guide, now in paperback, demonstrates how ideas influenced and defined graphic design, and how those ideas have manifested themselves in objects of design.  This is exactly the type of book I love to flip through to get a sense of design history and various approaches.

The 100 entries, arranged broadly in chronological order, range from technical (overprinting, rub-on designs, split fountain); to stylistic (swashes on caps, loud typography, and white space); to objects (dust jackets, design handbooks); and methods (paper cut-outs, pixelation).  It provides a great overview to the history and the innovations i


"100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design" By Steven Heller


To give you a taste of the book, below are a few examples of the types of entries.  For anyone who knows me, my favorite entry is likely “white space” as I am a vocal proponent of thoughtful use of negative space.

Here is an example of an image for “dust jackets,” bringing graphic communication to the book industry.  A lovely type treatment for one of the great modern novels:

Dust Jackets

Found Typography

Public Service Campaigns

Steven Heller has written and edited over 135 books on graphic design, satiric art and popular culture and is the co-founder and co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts, New York. He is also co-founder of the MFA in Design Criticism, MFA in Interaction Design, MFA Social Documentary Film and MPS Branding programs. Although he does not hold an undergraduate or graduate degree he has devoted much of his career to fostering design education venues, opportunities and environments.  He has been an art director for various underground and mainstream periodicals. For 33 years he was an art director at The New York Times (28 of them as senior art director New York Times Book Review). He currently writes the “Visuals” column for the Book Review and “Graphic Content” for the T-Style/The Moment blog. 

He is editor of AIGA VOICE: Online Journal of Design, a contributing editor to Print, EYE, and Baseline, and a frequent contributor to Metropolis and ID magazines. He contributes regularly to Design Observer and writes the DAILY HELLER blog for Print Magazine.

His 135 books include Design Literacy, Paul Rand, Graphic Style (with Seymour Chwast), Stylepedia (with Louise Fili), The Design Entrepreneur and Design School Confidential (both with Lita Talarico), Iron Fists: Branding the Twentieth Century Totalitarian State, and the most recent, Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig.