Nolen Strals and Bruce Willen of Post Typography, Yulia Brodskaya, Jessica Hische and Brian Stauffer are the artists who, in 2011, visually interpreted the University's official slogan, Knowledge That Works.
Originally conceived as an avant-garde anti-design movement by Nolen Strals and Bruce Willen, Post Typography specializes in graphic design, conceptual typography and custom lettering/illustration with additional forays into art, apparel, music, curatorial work, design theory and vandalism. In 2007, Strals and Willen incorporated Post Typography as a full-time design studio, where they continue to work for a variety of clients including The New York Times, the U.S. Green Building Council and Random House. Their work has received numerous fancy design awards and has been featured in such books as Ellen Lupton's Graphic Design: The New Basics, Phaidon's Area 2, and Taschen's Contemporary Graphic Design, as well as a monograph of the studio's work by European publisher Pyramyd Editions. Post Typography have appeared in multiple design and art exhibitions, and their posters are collected by high school punk rockers and prominent designers (whom they consider equally important). Strals and Willen teach classes in design and typography at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and have lectured at the Cooper Union, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, and Harvard University among others. The studio recently wrote and designed Lettering & Type, a book on lettering and typeface design published by Princeton Architectural Press.
"We created each letter of this typographic illustration as a different type of chart, graph, or other visual representation of information," the duo says. "The diverse group of graph styles and forms embodies the breadth of academic pursuits at University of Baltimore."
Yulia Brodskaya was born in Moscow. Prior to moving to the UK in 2004, she was interested in diverse creative practices ranging from textile painting, origami and collage to more traditional fine art practices. After receiving an M.A. in graphic communication from the University of Hertfordshire in 2006, Brodskaya continued to experiment and explore ways of bringing together the things she likes most: typography, paper and highly detailed handmade craft objects. She has earned an international reputation for her innovative paper illustrations and continues to create beautifully detailed paper designs for clients all around the world.
"I believe that one of the main reasons I enjoy the paper craft is due to my love of the material: paper," she says. "I've always had a special fascination for paper, but it has taken me a while to find my own way of working with it. I'd like to explore the material and the quilling technique that I now use because I believe there is the potential to contain thoughts and ideas in unique ways so that the medium can become a significant part of the message."
Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator and self-described "avid internetter." After graduating with a degree in graphic and interactive design from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in 2006, she worked for Headcase Design in Philadelphia before taking a position as senior designer at Louise Fili Ltd. While working for Louise, she learned most of her skills as a letterer. After two and a half years, Hische left to further her freelance career and embark on several fun personal projects. She began Daily Drop Cap, a project in which every day she created a new illustrative letter, working through the alphabet a total of 12 times. At its peak, the site had more than 100,000 visitors per month. It culminated with a 13th alphabet, each letter crafted by a guest contributor.
Hische used her knowledge and love of vintage lettering as inspiration for her UB poster, using calligraphic ornaments to represent the knowledge spilling from the pages of books. The little owl brings a touch of whimsy and an additional reference to the wisdom gained during university study.
Through a unique combination of hand-drawn sketches, painted elements, and scanned found objects, Brian Stauffer's work bridges both the traditional and digital realms. His images are in the permanent collections of The Wolfsonian, The Museum of The Society Of Illustrators in New York, The American Institute of Graphics Artists, The Newseum of Washington D.C. and The Art Directors Club of New York. Stauffer was born and raised in Arizona and graduated from the University of Arizona in 1989 with a B.F.A. emphasizing graphic design.
As a contributing artist to publications including The New York Times, TIME, The New Yorker, The Nation, The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Esquire, GQ and more than 300 others worldwide, Stauffer's illustrations are best known for their conceptual take on social issues.
"I always associate education, at its best, to be a way for individuals to become a more informed and truer version of themselves," Stauffer says. "When asked to interpret the line 'Knowledge That Works' for this poster series, an image of a swan came to mind. During the sketch phase I began to see the form of one side of an open book in the feather patterns on the swan. As I thought more about what it takes for people to change and grow, the notion of reflection seemed like a perfect way to bring the complete book to form within the swan."