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I was honored to receive tenure this year from the University of Bridgeport. This is the second time I have been so honored by a fine school of design. I am poud and very pleased to become a solid part of the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at UB.
I received tenure in 1991 at the University of Hartford’s Hartford Art School (medal designed by the wonderful sculptor Lloyd Glasson). Life interrupted the continuity of my residence at that fine school in 2000. I anticipate going for a third tenure decision in another 25 years, which will be 2041.
My newest book, Listening to Type: Making Language Visible, is being printed and will be available in August. It is a partner volume with The Elements of Graphic Design, 2nd Edition, which continues as a widely-adopted text and resource for working designers.
The back cover copy reads:
An Expansive Array of Visuals, Sparkling Writing, and Thorough Research on the Evolution of Typography With this visually stunning primer, designers will develop the skills and vision to produce truly innovative, insightful type design. All the basics of type design are covered, and in-depth information is provided on more advanced topics such as the differences between type applications, how typography creates identity, and what best inspires readers. Chapters cover:
Designer Alex W. White packs the pages with fifteen hundred images, current and ancient, specially created and found, that illustrate typographic concepts and continue to yield depth, understanding, and connectivity with each viewing. Listening to Type proves that type is much more than groups of letterforms on a page; it is a language with the ability to convey meaning and evoke emotions that represent the spoken words it symbolizes.
Blubs on the back read:
“My colleague, Alex W. White, has done it again. Even if you’ve read other books by Alex, particularly his Elements of Graphic Design, Listening to Type is a revelation. This book represents his clearest and most perceptive explanation of the building blocks of effective graphic design: space, image and, above all, type.” Brian D. Miller, Partner, Executive Creative Director, MillerSmith; author of Above the Fold, 2nd ed
“Maybe Alex White should be called the type whisperer. Examples of outstanding work are abundant throughout this volume. Typography, space, image, and color are the building blocks of graphic design and are beautifully represented. Splendidly arranged and easy to understand, this book is indispensible whether you are a relative novice or seasoned professional.” Graham Clifford, Independent Design Director and Chairman of the Type Directors Club
“My library has hundreds of books about typography and graphic design. Each provides a vantage point for seeing design differently. This is the first that challenges the reader to listen to the visuals. Strange though that concept may be, there’s deep truth there, and a plethora of beauty to hear.” Charles Nix, Senior Type Designer, Monotype; Chairman Emeritus, Type Directors Club; Former Chairman of Communication Design at Parsons the New School for Design
A new updated softcover edition of Advertising Design & Typography was published in July 2015. This is the addition to the Preface:
“Since writing this book in 2007, I have developed a wider evaluation of the role of design in business. This is a result of having served as the chairman of a graduate program in Design Management. I lead one of a dozen graduate programs in the country that share a common goal: to help designers – advertising designers, graphic designers, industrial designers, architectural designers, and all other flavors of designers – learn how to apply their onboard design talents to business problems. This is a relatively new field of practice, but the fundamentals are that design thinking, a specific way of solving problems that in essence leaves no stone unturned, is applied to business problems in order to develop innovative solutions. This is accomplished by researching and applying inspiring and successful examples from outside the specific area being worked on. Design management proposals are judged on three criteria: economic viability, social and cultural contribution, and sustainability (which primarily addresses ecological sustainability, but also considers economic, political, and cultural sustainabilities).”
“In today’s business environment, advertising designers must consider new aspects of increasing sales for their clients because their audience expects it. Design management is the best way I know to approach deeper thinking. I have been teaching design for the user’s benefit since 1983. It wasn’t called design thinking then, but I have always promoted an exploration of the most potent expression of an idea. This book is filled with examples of the most potent expression of ideas. Blandness can’t possibly sell because it can’t be seen. An ad must be seen to produce a reaction, which is an ad’s truest task: to make the viewer do something.”
A completely organic surprise: I didn’t promote this in the slightest. What a lovely thing to be told. Thank you to everyone who endorsed me.
I have joined the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design (SASD) at the University of Bridgeport as the Chairman of the MPS program in Design Management. Besides encouraging insightful work from an international group of smart, talented, highly-motivated graduate students, I get to enjoy this beautiful view from the seventh floor of a magnificent facility directly on Long Island Sound.
I was invited to return to teach for a second time in the graphic design program at Ludong University in Yantai, Shandong Province, China this past May (scroll down for a description of my first visit). Instead of three classes in two weeks, I was able to work a bit more in depth by teaching two courses in three weeks. It was a sheer delight to reconvene with the faculty and school leadership, who have become good friends.
Though I have been told southern China has a much more varied and challenging menu, I had my first “sea rabbit” (on Chang Dao, or “Long Island” above). Back on the mainland I had pig’s head and, completely by coincidence, my first duck’s head later that same day. That was The Day of The Head. I was struck by how removed we Americans tend to be from the source of our protein: it is cut into pieces that are presented on foam plastic trays under plastic wrap in beautifully-lit supermarkets. That it ever came from any living creature is thoroughly disguised. It is a quite different eating experience when the creature’s eye is staring at you in situ. But there is nothing to be done but dig in – and both times I went for the cheek meat, which is approximately as far away from any namable face part as possible. The pig’s head was delicious. But you may be assured that eating duck’s head properly is a much more active process than merely picking at its comparatively-tiny cheek. We’ll leave it at that.