by Clayton Hoyle
Gail Anderson is a New York-based designer, writer, and educator. After looking through work on her website, to find inspiration for a graphic design project It doesn’t take long to see that Anderson has an amazing history, ranging from designing spreads for Rolling Stone to teaching at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Anderson visited Professor Rachel Guthrie’s graphic Design class last semester (virtually, via Zoom). She presented her work, and fielded questions from students. The presentation was recorded and details about her work history and stories behind each project surfaced; it made watching the recording more like watching a documentary. Students interested in graphic design were able to really appreciate hearing about her process and what she learned along the way.
Guthrie started having guest designers visit her class many years ago. Throughout the years she noticed that most all of the guests were white males. This might not come as a surprise as the field of design has been flooded and bogged up by a dominantly caucasian male population for decades. Guthrie searched for a more unique and interesting guest, Anderson fit this description perfectly. Anderson being a black woman in the field had a different outlook on both the industry of design and design itself.
After interviewing Guthrie about Anderson I learned that a former student of Guthrie is now a student of Anderson at SVA. Guthrie was both surprised and happy to hear that her class was “a great precursor to Andersons”, according to the former student. Anderson’s class is about the same as Guthries only the class has more projects, and meets more often.
Guthrie is hoping to have Gail Anderson visit her current design class later on this semester. She welcomes any students to listen in on the conversation. We will post any updates on this as they come on The SMCC Beacon’s Calendar.