Rough Cut BFA Graphic Design Senior Show

Rough Cut: BFA Graphic Design 2015 Senior Show

Dec. 7–12 

SJSU Student Union Ballroom, Second Floor 
One Washington Square San José CA 95192 
Open to the public

Google Robinson


written by Raquel Coelho

photos provided by Raquel Coelho

Most people believe Google only hires programmers, computer scientists or engineers. Well, that perception may be wrong. Fiona Herse Woo, Robinson Wood and Susie Sahim, graduates from the SJSU Animation/Illustration program, were all recently hired by Google to work as visual artists. How did they get there? Well, their stories are truly inspiring: 

Fiona Herse Woo was contacted by Google a couple months after graduating with a BFA in Animation/Illustration. Google wanted her to work on their upcoming project Pearl, a VR animation directed by Oscar-winning animator Patrick Osborne, currently in production in the Spotlight Stories group at the tech company in Mountain View. Fiona’s academic focus was in Concept Design, and at Google she works helping design props and sets for the film. She also supports other artists on the team by doing research in the visual imagery used as reference in the film.

 “The Animation Illustration program at San Jose State was instrumental in preparing me for this job, both in educating and training me in technical skills, and in helping me get the job itself. The advanced course work, the ability to draw and have an eye for design, coupled from advice from industry mentors that come every semester to SJSU to talk to Animation and Illustration have left me with a very practical understanding of what it takes to be a professional artist in the entertainment industry,”Fiona said.

Another lucky artist was Susie Sahim: “I was first hired at Google as a graphic design intern. I must have done something right because my internship turned into a full-time position!”After that things only got better for Susie:  “I started out doing graphic design, creating icons and graphics. Then I became a "Doodler," creating over 100 Google Doodles which appear on Google's homepage for various holidays. Today I'm a senior web developer and lead the development of a javascript component library used by many teams across Google. I enjoy the technical challenges of my job as well as leading and training others.” Susie also reflects that technical skills alone are not enough to do well in today's marketplace. “I feel the Animation and Illustration program at SJSU has taught me essential skills around receiving critique, work ethic, collaboration, and research that I have been able to apply to my web development role here at Google. SJSU's AI program is unique. Not only does the program teach essential animation and illustration skills, students work together to help each other as part of a community. It's a great way to learn soft skills and team work. Google isn't just looking for candidates who have skills. They must also be able to work well with others as a part of a team.”


Robinson Wood was another Animation and Illustration student who is starting his career at  Google. “ I was first hired last year as a contractor to work with the Google Spotlight Stories team (part of Google's prestigious Advanced Technology and Projects division). Getting a job offer to work on an interactive short film project at Google was exciting - but when I learned that the short film was being directed by the legendary Glen Keane, I was ecstatic! A few months later, I rode one of the multi-colored Google bikes down the street to the Doodles office, and I’ve been there ever since! Now, I’m drawing and painting every day, pushing my abilities to the limit, and essentially picking up where my studies at San Jose State left off. The Animation/Illustration program taught me how to think like an artist, and gave me the fundamental skills and tools I needed to start building a career. I count myself extremely lucky to have had the chance to work with amazing teams like Spotlight Stories and Google Doodles, but even luckier to have attended such a powerful and life-changing artistic education program.


blue and beyond

A/I Student Youri Dekker Premieres Film “The Blue and The Beyond” at SJSU

Written by Raquel Coelho

photo provided by Raquel Coelho

October 2015

SJSU Animation/Illustration student - and now director - Youri Dekker spent the last 8 months hard at work on an ambitious animation project: an eight and a half minute film, telling the story of a young, imaginative man named Charlie going through many obstacles trying to connect with someone with a similar artistic soul.

“It certainly was no easy feat, and the only reason this film was able to get finished was because I was fortunate enough to have an incredibly dedicated group of talented artists  willing to sacrifice their time, energy, and talent into helping me make this story come to life, and for that I will be forever grateful,” Youri said.

The Blue and the Beyond premiered on Friday, September 4th, at the Morris Daily Auditorium, for an audience of over 500 students, where it was warmly received by a standing ovation. The crew of over a hundred students, from juniors to seniors, also attended a “family and friends” screening the next day. The film was produced by students Kimberly Mucha and Samia Khalaf, and the trailer can be seen here.

We wish Youri Dekker and his crew good luck in the festival circuit, and hope that many well deserved awards will crown this marvelous production.



Alumni Reunion

Animation/Illustration Celebrates 20 Years of Firing it Up!

photo provided by Raquel Coelho

September 2015

The SJSU Animation/Illustration (A/I) student organization, The Shrunkenheadman Club, celebrated its 20th year anniversary with a reunion bash over the August 29-30 weekend. The festivities lasted two days, kicking off on Saturday at the Historic Dolce Hayes Mansion and concluding Sunday with brunch at San Jose State’s Art Quad with tours of the A/I facilities in the Art building. Over 250 alumni returned to celebrate with faculty and students, reconnect with former classmates, and update each other about the many great accomplishments they have been making. Attendees represented companies including Disney, DreamWorks, Industrial Light and Magic, LucasFilm, Pixar, Sony Pictures Animation, Electronic Arts, Blizzard Entertainment, Sony Play Station, Zynga, Google, Storm 8, Double Fine Productions, Film Roman (Simpsons), Fox Animation (American Dad), Ghostbot, Bardel Entertainment (Rick and Morty), Nickelodeon, and Brazen Animation.

On Saturday, club members past and present gathered at the Dolce Hayes Mansion to enjoy everything from student-made music videos, speeches, raffle prizes, and late evening dancing. Alum Jeff Biancalana, who has worked at Dreamworks, Blue Sky Studios, ReelFX, and Warner Brothers gave a speech honoring the program founders, Bunny Carter and Courtney Granner. In recognition of their dedication and hard work, he spoke of the program as being “the house that Bunny and Courtney built”, and presented them with a collection of alumni testimonials and artwork showing how the program helped generations of students realize their dreams of becoming artists. In true Shrunkenheadman style, the festivities continued long after the venue closed, with the group moving to the patio entrance area of the mansion to reminisce late into the evening. 

On Sunday, alumni returned home to meet current students and see the latest work of the program, as well as tour the 2-D and 3-D animation labs and A/I rooms. Many brought their spouses and children to show their families where they spent many late nights working on projects.

The 20th anniversary exemplified the unique spirit and camaraderie found every day in the program. Students volunteering their time to help out with the reunion, alumni interested in what the latest generation of Shrunkenheads are doing. Alumni regularly return to teach classes, mentor, give talks to the students and alert them of internship and job opportunities—it is this generosity and passion that has fueled the A/I program for twenty years and counting. Keeping with the club motto club “fire it up”, the reunion attendees are definitely keeping the fire burning strong.



Industrial Design Foundation Exhibition

Industrial Design Foundation Exhibition

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
September 21-October 2, 2015
Art 214 Design Gallery

The study of Industrial Design is a patina of learning how to draw, how to give forms beauty and usability, and how to deliver technical information about products to others who will be responsible for manufacturing. The ID Foundation courses at SJSU strive to teach students to “see” objects in their minds’ eye and then formalize them into drawings, physical modes, and 2D visual stories that communicate the experience of interacting with the object.

This exhibit is a snippet of some of the great work that our students produce through their first year at SJSU. Learn and enjoy!



AIGA SF + City Studio Youth Design Workshop

National exposure on AIGA SF + City Studio Youth Design Workshop led by our faculty member—Julio Martínez with BFA GD teaching assistants—Glenn Cardenas, Jonathan Heath, Lorenz Ortiz, and Rachel Poage.

mcpeakAIGA Enrichment Scholarship 2015 Awards

Our BFA Graphic Design student Preston McPeak is awarded the AIGA Enrichment Scholarship 2015 Awards. You can see his work at

Star Light

The 2015 International Interior Design Association’s Educator of the Year Award recipient is Virginia San Fratello, IIDA, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator at San Jose State University.

Virginia has more than a decade of experience educating young designers and making them think outside of the box,” said Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP. “Through her years of professional experience, Virginia has been a part of some of the most innovative and interesting research projects in the world. She has actively shared her love of materials and inventing with her students – opening them to a new way of thinking and transcending traditional interior design thought. She is looking to the future and teaching her students to go out and change the world. At her core, Virginia is an educator and has a love of learning and teaching. She is the ideal recipient of the IIDA Educator of the Year Award. 

Senior Show at The Glass House

The Interior Design Students will be having their Senior Show at The Glass House on Wednesday, May 20 from 6 to 10 PM. Please join us for a celebration of their work!

linkedin ranking

SJSU Department of Design is ranked #2 best universities for designers.


Please mark your calendars!  The Design Department Graduation Ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 2015 from 11:00-12:30 PM in the New Student Union Ballroom. Students who graduated in Summer 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, and Spring 2015 are invited to participate.  You must RSVP on the sign-up sheet in ART 120 by May 1st.  This will give us ample time to include your name in the program.  There is no fee to attend, but there will be a limited number of tickets per graduate.  The ticket limit is yet to be determined and details of the event will be provided in a follow-up email after the May 1st deadline.  

The graduates should wear full regalia (cap, gown, and tassel). You may rent the regalia at the Campus Bookstore.  Please contact the Campus Bookstore directly to make an appointment to place your order.

Thanks for your cooperation.

first place winnersecond place winnerAdrianna HamzelueFrances SinAll winners

April 2015

Congratulations to our SJSU Interior Design students who won big at the 2015 International Interior Design Association Awards for Northern California.

1st Place - Sylvia Wong
2nd Place - Diana Rodriguez
Honorable Mention - Adrianna Hamzelue
Honorable Mention - Frances Sin

Amaranta Hernandez

Amaranta Hernandez is Selected as the 2015 SJSU IDSA Student Merit Award Winner

The Student Merit Award (SMA) is sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America and recognizes talented student designers in their senior year with exceptional academic records. This year's finalists included Samuel Backes, Eric Chen, Amaranta Hernandez,Hassib Jordan and Nic Matsuda. The students portfolios were evaluated by a jury of professionals in the design field representing the IDSA.

Amaranta Hernandez will now be presenting at the 2015 IDSA Western District Design Conference, which is being held here in San Jose, CA on April 11th. She will be competing against SMA winners from others schools for a chance to present at IDSA's 2015 International Design Conference.

The IDSA Merit Award is highly regarded in the design community and represents an extraordinary level of rigor and professionalism recognized across the industry.

DsGD 120 Exhibition Design (part 3)
9AM–6PM, April 6–9, 2015
Art 214

Design is our passion and our work shows it. Our process is full of blood, sweat, and tears...fueled by the compassion we have for our audience. We work so damn hard because we care.

We are ten designers from the San José State University BFA Graphic Design program coming together to show that the final product is only the surface. The process, influenced by each person's personality, is where the heart lies.


DsGD 120 Exhibition Design (part 2)
9AM–6PM, April 1–3, 2015
Art 214

dis/ORDER is a compilation of the work of 9 graphic design students which stands as a representation of our thinking, creativity, and struggle. With these works we would like to showcase the two sides of design: structure and creativity. Come see how we bring focus to confusion as we tie creativity and structure together to create what we call dis/ORDER.


Zynga Visits SJSUAIMarch 2015

Zynga Visits SJSUAI

Photo courtesy of Ariana Barton

Zynga recruiters Tiffany Feeney, Jon Shih, and Concept Art Director Mike Mattesi called on SJSUAI in March. They gave a presentation on Zynga’s various studio locations and projects as well as the company culture. Mike discussed Zynga’s emphasis on building a community of artists, the importance of collaboration in the workplace in order to build better ideas, and how artists find inspiration from a variety of places. He also spoke about Zynga’s structure and history. Tiffany answered questions about the company’s hiring process and how artists can shift roles within departments in order to further their artistic development. The visitors provided an informative glimpse inside a studio which employs several A/I grads.

Blue Sky StudiosFebruary 2015

Blue Sky Studios Visits SJSUAI

Photo courtesy of Ariana Barton

In February, Blue Sky recruiter Deb Stone and artist Matt Munn visited SJSUAI to present internship opportunities and talk about life at the studio. Matt shared his work, his animation process, and his inspiring journey from studying computer science to falling in love with 3D animation and becoming an animator at Blue Sky. He stressed to the students the importance of never giving up in the face of roadblocks.


Hallmark At SJSUAI

Photo courtesy of Ariana Barton

Hallmark recruiters and artists visited SJSUAI in February. Erin Roebuck, Jake Angell, and Jeff Bisch discussed internship opportunities and the diverse types of work done at Hallmark. Perhaps primarily known for their greeting cards, Hallmark also makes a popular line of keepsake ornaments, produces television and online content, as well as calendars, gifts, and other merchandise.  Because of their many product lines, Hallmark seeks high caliber artists from a variety of disciplines, including illustrators, animators, 3d modelers, sculptors, letterers, and industrial designers. During their visit, the Hallmark recruiters reviewed portfolios and conducted interviews with A/I students.


REFIND: What Will You Find?
DsGD 120 Exhibition Design (part 1)
9AM–6PM, March 16–19, 2015
Art 214

REFIND is about exploring the methodology of design and following a cycle of reiteration to advance our understanding. We are ten students from the San Jose State University BFA Graphic Design program who wish to reveal the nuances of the design process and invite public curiosity. Every project we have completed has been a lesson in making mistakes, experimenting,and practicing continuously.

Fresh Meat BFA Graphic Design Senior Show

BFA Graphic Design Senior Show
Monday–Friday, Dec. 8–12 
Saturday, Dec. 13 
Open to the public 

Thesis Presentation 
Thursday–Friday, Dec. 11–12 
Open to the public 

Professional Night 
Friday, Dec. 12
Invitation only


August 22, 2014

Industrial Design student wins Student Thermoforming Competition

Jerrold Ancheta of San Jose State University took first place in Freetech Plastics Inc.'s annual Student Thermoformed Part Competition for his child-sized prosthetic arm. Read more

designweek2014June 19: 7:00–9:00 PM

SF Design Week Silicon Valley Night
Works, 265 S Market St, San José
Open to public, free admission

Seventeen SJSU advanced graphic design students developed 5 dramatic rebrand concepts for public transportation in Silicon Valley. See the design process through to comple and detailed proposals of these renamed and reimagined systems. This exhibition is presented as part of SF Design Week in collaboration with AIGA SF, the professional organization for design.

Design in Transit designers are Kendra Biggs, Brandon Boswell, Jordan Brady, Glenn Cardenas, Hoyin Chan, Kayla Clarot, Maya Ealey, Cindy Fu, Stefanie Galvan, Donghoh Han, Jonathan Heath, Michael Mirchandani, Tommy Pham, Rachel Poage, Kelsey Sutherland, Eloisa Tan, and Marya Yama.

Steffany TranJune 14, 2014
Industrial Design student wins prestigious internship

Steffany Tran, a first year Industrial Design student, just won a prestigious internship at FluidSolids through the Material Matters: Design Lab held on June 14, 2014 during SF Design Week. Steffany competed to get accepted into the Lab and then once there, competed against 19 other students and professionals from around the Bay Area and beyond (mostly seniors, graduate students and young professionals). Her concept for an office accessory product that could be manufactured using FluidSolids materials won her the $3000 travel grant and a 5 week internship at the FluidSolids headquarters in Zürich, Switzerland in winter 2014/15.

Please visit here for more info.

AIGA Enrichment Scholarship 2014 Awards

Our BFA Graphic Design student Kristina Le is awarded the AIGA Enrichment Scholarship 2014 Awards. You can see her work at

May 23: 11:00-1:00 PM

Design Department Graduation Ceremony

Please mark your calendars!  The Design Department Graduation Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, May 23, 2014 from 11:00-1:00 PM in Morris Daily Auditorium. Students who graduated in Summer 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, and Spring 2014 are invited to participate. You must RSVP on the sign-up sheet in ART 120 by May 9th.  This will give us ample time to include your name in the program.  There is no fee to attend, but there will be a limited number of tickets per graduate.  The ticket limit is yet to be determined.  

The graduates should wear full regalia (cap, gown, hood, and tassel). You may rent the regalia at the Campus Bookstore.  Please contact the Campus Bookstore directly to make an appointment to place your order.


Connect with us!

San José State University, Industrial Design

You are hereby invited to the San José State University, Industrial Design Junior Senior Show 2014. Come and see our work, and connect with students and faculty. Drinks and food will be served.

RSVP here and please feel free to pass this invite on to colleagues and industry professionals as you see fit.

Please also follow our updates on Twitter @SJSU_ID. The hashtag for the show is #SJSUIDxLUNAR.

DSGN 197
April 25–May 6

DsGN 197 Senior Show
Art 214

Boris KochanApril 16: 6:00–7:30PM

Design Lecture: Boris Kochan, CEO of Kochan & Partner
Art 133
Open to public, free admission

Design and Identity: The Different Faces of Type
Boris Kochan’s branding agency KOCHAN & PARTNER is engaged in many fields of typography. Amongst others KOCHAN & PARTNER founded the Munich Typoday and exhibits the TDC-Show in their venues annually since 2004. Boris Kochan himself is founder and CEO of the agency, president of the Typographic Society Munich (tgm) and board member of the German Liaison Committee of the TDC.

Dreamworks Visits SJSUAIApril 11, 2014

Dreamworks Visits SJSUAI
Photo by Olivia Asis

On Friday, April 11, DreamWorks University Relations Manager Tiffany Feeney spent the day at SJSU, reviewing portfolios, interviewing students, and giving a great presentation detailing the DreamWorks production process.

Dreamworks, the studio behind films such as How to Train your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, and most recently Mr. Peabody and Sherman, has worked with the SJSU Animation/Illustration program over the years to provide learning opportunities for A/I students. In addition to sending recruiters, Dreamworks has provided guest lecturers and helped set up Dreamcrits, distance learning sessions where A/I students have the chance to have their work reviewed by professionals.


Marissa Everling Liane Chan & Kohei NonakaLarisa Yadegari & Victoria Nazloo

Marissa Everling


Liane Chan & Kohei Nonaka


Larisa Yadegari & Victoria Nazloo



April 2014
Congratulations to SJSU's Interior Design Students who won 5 awards at the 2014 Northern California International Interior Design Association's Annual Honor Awards Ceremony.

The Winners are:
FIRST PLACE - Marissa Everling, San Jose State University
SECOND PLACE - Victoria Nazloo & Larisa Yadegari San Jose State University
THIRD PLACE - Katie Chan, San Jose State University
Honorable Mention/Merit Award - Yuen Man Szto, San Jose State University
Honorable Mention/Merit Award - Lara Martinez & Daniela Amelunge, Academy of Art University
Honorable Mention/Merit Award- Liane Chan & Kohei Nonaka, San Jose State University

This year's jury included:

Antonio Caliz with Gensler
Edwin Walters with Weske Karr Design Group
Kaz Baba with NBBJ


Who Am I?
Call to Artists

Who: Any artist or designer who has taken at least one art class at SJSU.

What: Museum and Gallery Operations Class Exhibit.

When: Submit work Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 11:00-12:00pm.

Where: Art Building 141.

Why: To express your concept of identity and personal roles in a curated exhibiton.

Details: Work of all media accepted; must be ready-to-display. No larger than 8X8X8”, 25 pounds. No more than 3 submissions per person. Artist must bring a resume and statement indicating how work addresses the theme.

Jurying will take place 4/8 from 12:00-2:30pm. Artists will need to retrieve their works between 2:45 and 3:15pm that same day. Accepted artists will bring work back on 4/24 for installation in Art 116. Exhibition dates are 4/28-5/2; opening reception is 4/29 6-7:30pm.

Click here for more information or email

designApril 8: 5–6pm

Design Lecture: Ash Huang, designer at Pinterest
Art 133

Ash Huang is a designer at Pinterest, and is formerly of Twitter, Code and Theory, and Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design. In this evening’s presentation, Huang will weave a tale of expectations, recession, reading under the covers, and getting roasted by art directors. Come for the stories, she says, and stay for the gifs.

unfoldMarch 10–13

Unfold: The BFA Experience
DsGD 120 Exhibition Design (part 3)
Art 214

The Bachelor of Fine Arts Graphic Design program is a challenging yet rewarding experience that not many people are aware of or fully comprehend. This exhibition is meant to help highlight the unfolding of our ups and downs of survival through the semesters of the program. Learn and see how the BFA has helped us progress and grow over time.

Come take a look into how our story is unfolding.

designisMarch 3–6

Design is _________.
Reflections on design from nine BFA Graphic Design students
DsGD 120 Exhibition Design (part 2)
Art 214

This exhibition seeks to highlight the diversity of SJSU’s BFA Graphic Design program while reflecting on the personal struggles and successes of individual students. The variety of different mediums offers unique perspectives on what design can be, allowing viewers the opportunity to connect with the design process and engage with pieces from new perspectives.

insightFebruary 24–27

Insight: 9 Designers, 9 Processes
DsGD 120 Exhibition Design (part 1)
Art 214

This exhibition is a chance to look inside the minds of 9 graphic design students at San José State University. Learn how we move through the process of making a design, and the designs evolve even after leaving our control. We all approach the process in a similar way, but it is our personal quirks that allow our creative minds to make it real.

Although the creative process has potential to be a rough one, it is important for people to see what is happening in our minds, because in that moment when you finish something that you love, it becomes magic.

And that's something people can relate to.

February 2014

Professor Virginia San Fratello and her partner Ronald Rael, of Rael San Fratello, have been awarded the 2014 Emerging Voices award by The Architecture League of New York.

Each year the League selects eight emerging practitioners through a juried, invited portfolio competition. The Emerging Voices award spotlights individuals and firms based in the United States, Canada, or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism. Being named an Emerging Voice by The Architectural League is one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture, and the program is notable for its thirty-year history of identifying and nurturing firms that go on to have influential practices.

Click here for more information.



BFA Graphic Design Class of 2013 Thesis Presentations & Senior Portfolio Show

The event will be showcasing student work from a variety of disciplines, which include user experience, print, motion graphics, typeface, exhibition, and identity design. 

Please visit for more information.



November 2013

SJSU Interior Design Students Win First Place in the NEXT NEST Design Competition

Evangeline Diao and Jennifer del Rosario, Interior Design students at SJSU, are the First Place Winners in the Design Lab Santa Fe Next Nest Student Design Competition sponsored by SITE Santa Fe and the American Association of Interior Designers (ASID). The Student's design called "The Lettuce Wrap" is for a curtain that is based on the geometries and layers found in plants such as lettuce. Their design is 3D printed and engineered to mask the hot summer sun but permit the low summer sun to enter the interior of a building. The juror's for the award were Susan Szenacy from Metropolis Magazine, Matilda McQuaid, Deputy Curatorial Director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and Jason Pilarski, Professor at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Congratulations to Evangeline and Jenn! 

Jennifer del Rosario and Evangeline Diao
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA
1,000.00 Award by: Sandy Zane, Zane Bennett Contemporary Art

Please click here and here to download the PDFs.

AIGA Enrichment Scholarship 2013 Awards

Our BFA Graphic Design student Yvonne Ko is awarded the AIGA Enrichment Scholarship 2013 Awards. You can see her works at



IIDA Northern California Awards

SJSU Interior Design Students win awards at the 9th annual IIDA Northern California Awards Ceremony held at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA.


2013 EPA Awards

SJSU Interior Design students win over $100,000 in research funds from the EPA. San José State University Interior Design students are applying 3D printer technology to make sustainable building materials. Using saw dust instead of plastic, the team is making inexpensive window coverings and screens that can be tailored easily to local climates.

Click here for more information.

April 25–27

P3: People Prosperity and the Planet Design Expo

SJSU Interior Design Students to participate in the P3: People Prosperity and the Planet Design Expo to be held on the National Mall in Washington DC on April 25-27. The students are researching sustainable, inexpensive, recyclable building components for use on facades and as interior elements in windows using design methods appropriate for 3D printing technology.