Briar Levit // PSU Adjunct Professor

Posted on Sep 28th, 2008 by Command Save

Briar and some detail images of her work. Full size images below!

Please tell us a little about your education?
I studied undergraduate design at San Francisco State University, initially heading in the direction of museum exhibit graphics. During that time in interned at the SFMoMa Rental Gallery and the Smithsonian Office of Exhibits Central. However, I ultimately I fell in love with books and publishing in general and changed my focus to reflect that. I received my MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.

How did you break into the field?
Directly out of school I started as a production artist for Discovery Channel Stores. Not long after, I became a designer for the company. While the work wasn't super exciting, I learned loads about typesetting, page-layout, color correction and, of course, in-house design office politics.

Please tell us a little about your design work history?
Apart from working at Discovery Channel Store, I've focused primarily on design for publishing and print. I'm the art director for Bitch magazine currently, spent time designing at Weldon Owen Publishing in San Francisco and work on self-initiated walking book projects. I also do identity design and various print work, primarily with nonprofit organizations. I'm expanding my web knowledge slowly but surely.

Where have you taught design?

What is the focus of your creative research?
I'm most interested in representations of nature that are true to the region they cover.

What is your teaching philosophy?
I aim to help refine student's work, while allowing their unique style to emerge. I'm a firm believer that in school, after students have spent some time learning the fundamentals of design and typography, that they should work on projects focusing on their passions–this ideally results in powerful work if the interest remains strong. I also believe it's up to the student to continue to do self-initiated projects in addition to their school exercises in order to use the techniques of what they've learned in conjunction with topics they love.

What classes are you teaching this year?
470: Contemporary Design Projects

What are your influences?
In no particular order:
  • Nature–a clich