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Academy of Art University’s Graphic Design Program Highlighted in STEP Magazine

The School of Graphic Design at Academy of Art University received accolades from STEP magazine for their cutting-edge portfolio-as-a-book concept. Mary Scott, Executive Director of the School of Graphic Design came up with the notion to alter the traditional portfolio when Kay Stout, then with Landor Associates, came to Academy of Art University to review student portfolios.


Stout commented that she wanted to see how the concepts were developed in the portfolio, noting that it would give her a chance to see how the students’ ideas came into fruition.

“I could see it was time to make this more about the process of designing, of thinking and problem-solving,” she told STEP.

Phil Hamlett, Director of the Graduate School of Graphic Design, says that book portfolios enable students to go out into the field for interviews and leave valuable impressions as to who they are what they are about.

Presenting context in a portfolio is crucial, says Brian Breth, a creative recruiter for American Greetings. He says that the Academy’s portfolio development is “very professional because it articulates their creative process.” That in turn translates to employability, a word that Academy of Art University graduates embody.

STEP inside design explores the impact of design on all facets of life. The magazine takes readers behind the scenes to meet the creative problem-solvers. Each issue includes profiles of visionary creatives, thoughtful analysis on business issues, and essays and commentaries on design’s most relevant questions.

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