Webster's New World Dictionary describes a mentor as a
wise, loyal advisor, a teacher or coach. Sarah Moore, Associate
Professor of Art History at the University of Arizona has been and
is all of those. As my professor in several of my art history
classes, especially those in European Modernism, she took a student
with little knowledge and understanding of art history and
instilled a deep and abiding passion for scholarship in these
areas. She encouraged me to dig deep into all areas of art
historical research, but especially those that pertained to graphic
design and typography.
Professor Moore was a sympathetic ear and counselor to a
sometimes-overwhelmed “non-traditional” (re: older, as in his 40s)
graduate design student. But most importantly, she was my Rosetta
stone, the key to a new way, for me, of looking at and approaching
design, both as a practitioner and a future teacher.
Sarah Moore instilled in me the understanding and belief that
all art, but especially design and typography, is understood within
the societal, cultural and historical context in which it exists.
She also instilled in me the belief that theory must be relevant to
practice. This has sent me to further study historical and
contemporary design/typographic theory and explore how it can be an
effective tool to the practicing designer. I use my study and,
hopefully, understanding of semiotic theory, deconstruction theory,
Friedman's theory of legibility and unpredictability and others, to
help both my students and myself explore new avenues of creative
She believed in me, and my potential as a teacher and artist,
when I did not believe in myself. Where I had seemed to lose my
passion for design, she helped me find vision and renewed passion.
She knew when to cajole, when to encourage and when to kick me in
the posterior. She was always there and available to help and talk.
And she showed me, maybe somewhat unwittingly, that this is
applicable to all aspects of life, whether dealing with clients or
Sarah Moore. Mentor. Teacher. Friend. Colleague. And my gateway
to truly and passionately embracing an expanding future in design
and design education.
Assistant Professor Graphic Design
Department of Art & Art History
University of Missouri-Kansas City
& *PDG Design [*pretty darn good]
John Bielenberg on Don Bell and Michael Vanderbyl I have many design heroes. Some of them I know and some I just
know through their work published in books and presented in
lectures. They're the usual suspects, I guess, like Mockbee,
Kalman, Gehry, Sagmeister, Starck, Mabry...
Unfortunately, I have very few true
Section: Inspiration -
graphic design, mentoring, students
Despite a rich, fulfilling career, there are things that Bantjes wishes she’d done differently. But maybe that’s a good thing.
Section: Inspiration -
personal essay, graphic design, mentoring, students
A discussion between Allen Yee of Cloudred, Mia Rockel and James Walker.
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