School of the Art Institute of Chicago

During my five-year tenure at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), I developed a plethora of print, digital, and spacial projects while growing a coordinator position with one support staff into a four-person inhouse design group focused primarily on the Operations department, aka Instructional Resources & Facilities Management (IRFM). Here are some of my favs.

Interactive Campus Map

In 2014, the school rolled out two large touch screen televisions. Since no one at the time was making content specifically for this technology, I saw an opportunity to create an interactive map for our campus lobbies and enlisted Cristian Morales-Alvarez to help design and code. The end product was created with a combination of BrightSigns technology, Illustrator and After Effects.

The above video is a simulation of the interactions as well as footage of me interacting with it. Here’s a link to an early iteration in HTML5 and a homage to Roger Brown.

Marketing Materials

Instructional Fabrication BrochureInstructional Fabrication BrochureInstructional Fabrication Brochure

Sometimes, you just need to know where to borrow a lathe or weld a cage. I encouraged designer, Timme Lu, to use the laser cutter to make the lettering as well as the copier to achieve that realistic weathered look. As I like to say, “Don’t fake it, make it”.

Free Radio & EXtv FlyersFree Radio & EXtv FlyersFree Radio & EXtv FlyersFREERADIOSAIC

I hired a talented glitch artist to work on the design and logo for the new look, Jojo Sounthone. We then worked with Exal Iraheta, Media Manager, to flesh it all out and refine the copy. Following the collateral, we developed a new logo for FreeRadio SAIC.

Instructional Design

Select spreads over the years. 

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For each Instructional Fabrication guide (11 total), I would go through an authorization as any student would, except I would have a camera and the staff’s outline. I then photographed each step, turned those photos into illustrations and laid out the handbooks. I worked closely with the shop managers to refine their copy and hired design students to help with illustration, photo editing and layout. The Intro to Oxy-Acetylene Welding handbook and the Kansai Sewing Machine poster made it to the semi-finals of the Adobe Design Achievement Awards.

Admissions Space Video

I curated content for some silent eye candy in the newly designed Admissions space, specifically for a giant television screen, 6 maybe 8 feet long. I sifted through the Media Production Bureau’s archives to find the most compelling and representative footage of students making, learning and being artists at SAIC.

In the summer of 2014, I wanted to learn after effects, so I brought my team along with me. I prompted us to produce a 30-second video with any assets from our library. Above is my moving image study utilizing photography I shot previously for The School’s hand tool catalogs.

Falling Ice & Instagram Hit


The Falling Ice signage project came from a simple request to update the school’s falling ice signs. I used to walk by our neighbor’s vandalized signs every winter on Michigan Avenue, so I thought I’d thwart and celebrate those hoodlums.

Each winter since, these signs reemerge and become an instagram hit all over again! This project may not be the most attractive, but it’s in a high profile area and connects with people on a simple, humourous level. This project even warmed the heart of a Chicago Sun-Times columnist, despite the actual danger falling ice poses for pedestrians.

Above images courtesy of respective instagram accounts. 




Information Architecture


After the latest website redesign and removal of an internal web portal for SAIC, I migrated and organized the content for The School’s largest seven-division department, Instructional Resources & Facilities Management (IRFM). I even lead a good old fashioned design facilitation workshop. This section of the site has now become the go-to dashboard for IRFM staff and student employees.

TYPE: Branding, Marketing, Instructional Design, Interactive Design, Wayfinding
CLIENT: School of the Art Institute of Chicago
ROLE: Art Director, Designer, Editor, Writer, Project Manager
TEAM: Rosalynn Gingerich, William Newhouse, Brad Johns, David Nelson, Sue Frame, Cristian Morales-Alvarez, Brian Werle, Timme Lu, Jojo Sounthone, Darrin Higgins, Darren Gennetten, Exal Iraheta, Olga Arango, Tom Buchele, Sarah Hicks, Ron Kirkpatrick
GROUP: Instructional Resource and Facilities Management Department

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