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Graphic Design Alumni Provide Creative Spark for Architecture Firm Gensler

Alumni of the Academy’s graphic design school is helping to shape the future of communicating about architecture at the global design firm Gensler. Rika Putri and Yng Yng Marshall, working alongside a team of designers, editors and strategists, are two of the creative minds responsible for the striking design of the world-renowned firm’s in-house magazine Dialogue.

‘Cool’ Collaboration

“We work in both digital and print platforms, and we design campaign publications and publications like the Dialogue magazine and the Design Forecast,” reports Putri, who first joined Gensler in 2011 as a contract designer before becoming a full-time employee the following year. “We oversee a lot of branding and collaborate with the brand design team here at Gensler, which is pretty cool. People call us the brand police, but basically we take good care of the Gensler brand and how we put ourselves in the world, and how we market ourselves as a company.”

gensler dialogue magazine cover

Putri and Marshall, with Ngoc Ngo (who pursued an MFA at the Academy in Graphic Design), recently teamed up to design Dialogue’s 34th issue, titled “How Workplace Is Shaping the Future of Cities.” According to Putri, this issue was “especially special,” as the team worked with four other Gensler designers on the project.

rika putri portrait
School of Graphic Design graduates Rika Putri (above) and Yng Yng Marshall (below)
yng yng marshall portrait

Exploring the Trends

“We usually have only one or two designers working on Dialogue, so I think each designer gets to design one or two articles and they are mostly very photo-heavy and data-driven,” she says of the biannual publication. Marshall adds that each designer had a part to explore, “and then, of course, it has to look [cohesive] with the Gensler branding. So even though each designer might have a different vision of [how] the article should look, at the end they all have to exist in the same theme.”

From the pages of Gensler’s Dialogue magazine

Putri, who received her graphic design degree (BFA) in 2010, was responsible for two articles in the issue: “The New Shape of Building Design” and “A Workplace Renewed.” Of the former, she explained, “It’s about…what our building trend is going towards. We have all these architectural lines going on and opening traditionally with a headline, and a subhead that will capture the main idea of the story.”

dialogue page data 1
From Dialogue magazine

Sharing and Configuring

Putri shares that the designers usually work directly with the writers, “which is great because they share their ideas on the content to us.” It helps the designers determine which photos would pair best with the content as they configure the layout. “Because sometimes if you don’t put two busy photographs together, you [can] kind of do a little contrast,” says Putri. “We have very quick chunks or bites of information, so it’s easy for readers to digest.”

gensler dialogue spread
From Dialogue magazine

Marshall, who received her BFA in 2013, also helped with redesigning the layout of the annual publication Design Forecast. She shared that the experience felt similar to a classroom setting, in that she went through similar processes for arriving at a finished product while studying at the Academy.

Academy Influencers

Both Putri and Marshall took their Senior Portfolio (GR 460) course with Graphic Design Director Emerita Mary Scott to prepare for their post-Academy careers. “Just the standard that Mary Scott expects out of your portfolio is really good and really high,” says Putri.

Scott has high praise for the work done by her former students on Dialogue. “Beautiful renderings, photography and articles fill the publication with a documentary quality and experience for both architects and clients of the firm, as well as prospective clients,” she says. “We are proud of these very accomplished graphic designers who are enjoying successful careers and doing what they love.”

School of Graphic Design Director Phil Hamlett adds, “It is interesting to note that these former students are helping to shape the future through the lens of the built environment—a very forward-leaning application of the skills they learned here at the Academy. We are very happy to have students applying their skills in an adjacent discipline—using their abilities as designers and communicators to shape peoples’ understanding of architecture.”

Images courtesy of Rika Putri and Yng Yng Marshall

Original article by Caroline Andrade of Academy Art U News,

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