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GD USA Recognizes Academy’s Influential Graphic Designers

In its always-anticipated January/February 2013 issue, GD USA magazine featured a double salvo of design talents: the annual “Students to Watch” list and a special 50th anniversary survey of the most influential graphic designers working today in North America. Academy of Art University School of Graphic Design alumni and faculty were prominent in both.


MFA graduate Dara Weinberg and BFA graduate Vilmundur Sveinsson were named “Students to Watch” in 2013. Along with photos and bios, the students discussed personal details and design favorites that caused GD USA to take notice.

Above and below: Images from Dara Weinberg's MFA thesis, Dress Code

Dara Weinberg, School of Graphic Design MFA Graduate

Currently located in Los Angeles, CA and working as a designer at Ludlow Kingsley, Dana was granted an MFA Award for Design Excellence upon graduation in 2012. GD USA describes her master’s thesis project, Dress Code, as “an online resource to help pave the way for a widespread movement of conscious fashion consumerism.” Her favorite typeface is the crisp and bold Brandon Grotesque.

Above and below: Work by Vilmundur Sveinsson

Vilmundur Sveinsson, School of Graphic Design BFA Graduate

Vilmundur is a native of Iceland and was a recipient of the Hershey’s Award for Design Excellence at the Academy. Vimmi describes himself as, “an active, outdoor type who loves new experiences.” Who does he think is most influential designer in history? Paul Rand.

Phil Hamlett, Graduate Director of the School of Graphic Design at the Academy of Art University

Phil Hamlett, Graduate Director for the School of Graphic Design

In a national poll conducted for the magazine’s 50th anniversary, Phil Hamlett, the Graduate Director of the School of Graphic Design, was voted among the most influential graphic designers working today. In addition to preparing students for art and design careers for the 21st century at Academy of Art University, Hamlett sets the agenda for sustainable business practices within the design community in his roles as a founder of Compostmodern, a principal architect of the Living Principles and as a member of the Board of Directors of the AIGA. Prior to joining the Academy, Hamlett was Communications Director at Turner & Associates, where his clients included Yahoo!, Adaptec, Macromedia, Ariba, PeopleSoft, IBM, AT&T, The Coca-Cola Company, Clorox, Seagate Technology, Turner Broadcasting, Nabisco, Dickson’s Specialty Printing and Anderson Lithograph.


“It is not often that a designer like Phil Hamlett makes the decision to become an academic,” says Mary Scott the Executive Director of the School of Graphic Design. “I feel so fortunate that he did and that he brings his passion for showing others how to make design a sustainable practice each day he is in the classroom. There is no doubt in my mind that our graduates will leave here with a deep seated reverence for that mission.”


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