Mary Scott

Mary Scott is the Chair of Graphic Design, at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco serving as its department chair and an instructor. To ensure that her students get outstanding jobs, Mary has developed a unique portfolio class for the BFA students and MFA candidates in the School of Graphic Design. (The university offers a total of 18 separate majors). Mary also serves on the President's Advisory Board of the Academy.


Higher Learning Peer Envy: My colleague is getting her Master's Degree and yes, I am a little jealous, but in a good way.

My good friend and colleague, Anitra Nottingham, has taken the plunge to earn a Master's from the University of Melbourne.

Topics: Design Reference, Professional Development

Higher Learning: How the love of type led to a transcontinental adventure.

Katie Freathy and Tomi Lahdesmaki, pictured above, met in an advanced Typography class at the Academy of Art University, and it was Katie who recounted "we liked each others type"—not a bad way to start a relationship that includes Blender and Bodoni.

Topics: Professional Development, Profiles, Studio Secrets, Type

Higher Learning: Two women, two children, two degrees, one relationship, big decisions, and two evolved careers.

Sounds a bit like the title of a reality TV show maybe, but it's a true story about passion, perseverance, dedication and love.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Layouts, Professional Development, Type

Higher Learning: What I tell people at parties about online design education.

I think it's because we have our own bus service that I am often asked about where I work when I am at parties.

Topics: Design Reference, Interactive Design, Professional Development, Random

Higher Learning: What makes a designer want to be a design teacher?

Ironically, most design teachers become teachers because they are practicing designers who've either been invited to teach or have sought out teaching as way of giving back to their profession.

Topics: Design Reference, Professional Development, Profiles

Higher Learning: A great idea that just might go up in smoke, which may not be so bad after all.

Important ideas, especially ones that invite social and cultural change, often ignite controversy.

Topics: Branding Identity, Design Reference, Professional Development, Random

Higher Learning: Where are they now?

Nine graduates from the Academy of Art University, of varying vintages, talk about being paid to do what they love—and how prepared they were to get hired.

Topics: Design Reference, Professional Development, Random, Studio Secrets

Higher Learning: The future of print (may well) begin with the iPad.

For someone who loves print as much as I do, the thought of this venerated form of our craft disappearing sends waves of nostalgia for press checks in the middle of the night, make-ready sheets, the smell of the ink, the whirring sound of the presses, and the feel of that first copy you just couldn't wait to get your hands on.

Topics: Interactive Design, Layouts, Type

Higher Learning: How Can Color Redefine an Object or Space?

In the early Spring of 2012, one of our design instructors at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Tom Sieu called and told me that Pantone® wanted to create a first-time challenge to a class of BFA and MFA graphic design students.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Environmental Design

Higher Learning: GETTING READY TO GET READY: Creating a smart portfolio and landing the job

It all occurred to me when I began teaching a class called *Senior Portfolio for the undergraduates and Portfolio Seminar for the graduate students, that it was really all about getting students ready to launch themselves into the professional firmament of design.

Topics: Branding Identity, Design Reference, Interactive Design, Self-Promotion, Type

Higher Learning: FROM JAMAICAN SAUCES TO SEX TOYS: Teamwork, tears and triumph.

For the students heading into designer Michael Osborne's Packaging 4 class, at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, there is a well-known understanding that something big is going to happen—they've heard the rumors about what goes on.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Layouts, Packaging, Professional Development, Type