Designing the Future: Graphic Design & Professional Success

Design Thinking, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
March 21, 2018

Whether we notice it or not, graphic design plays a large role in our lives. If something is packaged nicely, has a fun logo, or is visually appealing in any way, it is more apt to catch our eye.

This guiding principle of advertising and design can be applied to the everyday lives of Denison students as well. Graphic design can play a major role in making compelling presentations and getting a point across in a unique and interesting way. Denison’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Robert Abbott, brings Denison students that aesthetic in his series of lectures on graphic design, Making Stuff Look Good, in the Red Frame Lab.

A Denison entrepreneur-in-residence since September 2017, Abbott’s helps build students’ understanding of entrepreneurship by sharing his experience and ideas via presentations and individual coaching.

“Entrepreneurship builds on a lot of the skills that students gain through their education at Denison and I focus on helping them connect what they know to the challenges in front of them,” Abbott said.

Abbott’s own background is in graphic design. He began working in print design with various industries and companies around the world, then he transitioned to digital in the early 90’s. “Communication is at the core of success in any career, and helping students gain a better understanding of foundational design skills can help them take their work further. Great ideas only reach their potential when they are communicated effectively,” he said.

The lectures give students a better understanding of the basic principles, and even curiosity for developing their visual communication skills further, focusing on some more basic graphic design topics, such as, branding, typography, information design, and presentations.

“Simply put, great communication is something that is carefully crafted,” said Abbott. “With the right skills, you can take it further. We hope to share some ideas and provoke interesting questions.”

Communication major, Bennett Kushnick ‘18, attended all of Abbott’s lectures. “Robert gives us a lot of information and general tips about these topics and then shows us how he implemented these ideas through real world examples.”

“I’m always on the hunt to connect my two academic interests in tangible ways,” said Shanti Basu ‘20, a communication and studio art major. “The graphic design series is great for any student looking to improve their skills, but really specifically ties into my career aspirations of advertising, journalism and design.”

“Anyone can benefit from a design rundown, whether you spend your days in a chemistry lab or the ceramics studio. At some point, we’ll all have to pitch our skills to a future employer or need to put together a presentation that people pay attention to. This series has a little something for everyone.”

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