Visual Communication

Here, students, faculty and staff investigate the intersection of graphic, interaction and motion design to create engaging digital experiences. 

Scientific Storytelling

Four designers from RIT's School of Design used their creative abilities to educate the public about the upcoming Psyche mission, NASA’s effort to reach an asteroid orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter. Anne Elliott ’21 (New Media Design), Sam Hollasch ’21 (Industrial design), Brianna Young ’21 (Graphic Design) and Daniel Zepeda-Cuba ’22 (New Media Design) were among the 15 undergraduate students in the U.S. selected for NASA’s Psyche Inspired internship program in 2020-21. The chosen artists, engineers and scientists each prepared four works of art that promote and communicate the excitement and innovation of the mission.

The works included animated posters, logo designs, illustrations, informational videos, sculptures and more. A sample from each RIT designer is below (work, in order, by Elliott, Hollasch, Zepeda-Cuba and Young).

Designing Healthcare Solutions

Keli DiRisio, assistant professor of Graphic Design, is heavily involved in multiple research projects in the healthcare arena. She is using her design abilities to bring improved care, education and resources to domestic abuse victims and individuals dealing with chronic back pain.

Three screenshots from the Health-e Journey smartphone app.

Health-e Journey

A comprehensive app is being developed by DiRisio, RIT students and partner medical professionals to reduce a leading cause of workplace absenteeism. “Health-e Journey” is a smartphone app and companion website that serve as educational tools and a decision guide for people dealing with back pain. The project is sponsored by the NCMIC Foundation, which funds spine-related research and education. 

Health-e Journey provides evidence-based guidance in health decision-making for people with back pain. It features decision tools that help individuals decide if they need professional care, and tips on how to be a wise consumer when picking the right provider or care approach. Some can start with specific suggested self-care recommendations, including stretches, exercises and clinical resources and articles, instead of unnecessarily seeking professional care. These approaches are supported by general health recommendations that have been proven to help most back pain sufferers.

“It’s a lot of information that educates the user. It helps people take control of back pain and helps them along the journey,” said DiRisio, who added that the team’s research discovered back issues are the No. 1 reason for workplace absenteeism.

Dr. Brian Justice, a chiropractor and medical director at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Dr. Marcia Spoto, a chiropractor, physical therapist and professor emerita at Nazareth College, and the clinical team at Spine Care Partners, LLC. collaborated with RIT on the project. Student contributors on the design and functionality of the app are from the Graphic Design program and Game Design and Development and Web and Mobile Computing majors in the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Health-e Journey also has a gamification component where actively engaged users are rewarded with parts of a growing tree that represents a healthy lifestyle.

Students who have worked on the project:

  • Joe Aquiare
  • Karolina Berg
  • Janine Bushey 
  • Savannah Clemens
  • Trista Finch
  • Vladimir Martynenko
  • Justin Pallini

ADDY Awards

College of Art and Design students, alumni and faculty have a long history of being honored for their excellence in creative communications at Rochester Advertising Federation’s annual ADDY Awards. The Rochester ADDY Awards bring together local professionals and college students to celebrate and recognize success in marketing and advertising.

Alumni-run companies such as Myers Creative Imaging (John Myers ’83, Photography) and Optic Sky (Aaron Gordon ’13, Film and Animation) regularly earn ADDY Awards. Faculty have also been recognized for their professional work while students have won countless awards over the years for their individual and collaborative projects.

The 2019-20 iteration of Ellipse Magazine at the publication's launch party.

Ellipse Magazine

A notable RIT highlight almost every year at the ADDY Awards is Ellipse magazine. Previously titled Positive/Negative, Ellipse is a publication that’s long been created by graphic designers and photographers in the Editorial Photography and Design course.

Over the years, the class’ work has been regularly acknowledged with ADDY Awards. In 2020, the publication won gold in the magazine design category. Other RIT 2020 award recipients can be found here.