Loving the Golden Life
“Graphic design in its most basic form is a visual medium for communication. It is multi-facetted; it has the power to tell stories, to delight viewers, to bring a smile to someone’s face, to sell a product, to establishing a brand. It is ever changing and universal,” said Academy of Art University MFA Graphic Design Cum Laude graduate Jenny Pan.
Born in Shanghai, Jenny grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, drawing, painting and making fun creations from scraps of paper. She completed her BFA in San Diego, and then returned to the Bay Area to pursue an MFA in Graphic Design at Academy of Art University. Because of her advanced degree in Graphic Design from Academy of Art University, Jenny has worked at several firms including Weymouth Design, Office and Meta Design where she designed branding, collateral and packaging for AIGA SF, NetGear, Coca-Cola, Sesame Workshop, eBay, Carlsberg, Williams-Sonoma, and McAfee.
Jenny was recently featured in Graphic Design USA June 2012 issue and in 2011 was named a student to watch in People to Watch issue, and received 2011 GD USA’s American Packaging Award for select projects. Her work has also been published in books, magazines, and featured on design and packaging blogs such as The Dieline, Lovely Package, and Invitation Crush.
“The rigorous curriculum and top notch instructors at Academy of Art University train you to develop a keen sense to detail, refine your craft and exercise your creative thinking through applicable real world projects,” explained Jenny.
School of Graphic Design's Executive Director Mary Scott was one of Jenny's first Graphic Design instructors at the Academy and a predominant mentor that stands out in her mind. "Mary always said that you have to know the rules before you break them. And this set me off on the right foot with the formal foundations I needed to grow as a designer,” said Jenny.
The Academy has taught Jenny how to look for inspiration. Going through old design books of the forties through sixties and collecting things that catch her eye, is how Jenny gets inspired. “I like to hunt and rummage for gems at flea markets, thrift stores, salvage yards, and garage sales....At the same time I also like to open my eyes to things outside of the world of art and design.”
Currently Jenny is a designer at Hatch Design, a creative firm in San Francisco that focuses on a humanistic approach to design. During her spare time she enjoys collecting inspiration and teaching her dog Cookie new tricks.
“My work at Hatch is top secret. So please be on the lookout around downtown San Francisco and stay tuned for more,” said Jenny.
To make your mark in the Graphic Design world, Jenny encourages Graphic Design students to use the resources available at Academy of Art University and “find your voice and what it is that makes you unique. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, get out of your comfort zone and expose yourself to all kinds of inspiration outside of art and design. Take advantage of the resources around you and let your personality shine. At the end of the day, if you can say to yourself that you still love what you do and you have fun doing it then life is golden."