When the opportunity to pimp your ride arrives, seize the moment. That's what SVA's Visual Arts Press (VAP) has been doing for the last few years. At the end of the spring semester, SVA's imaginative shuttle bus is stripped of its current exterior and taken out of commission until the fall. The VAP, the College's in-house design studio, then spends the summer deciding which new direction the bus will take creatively. The result for 2018 is a vibrant, collage-y, sticker-based shuttle that was unveiled at the end of August.
For this latest iteration—the fourth transport that the VAP has designed—the design studio's staff, most of them also SVA faculty, invited student interns to work on the project, under the supervision of the VAP's Creative Director Gail Anderson (BFA Media Arts) and Senior Art Director Brian Smith (MFA Design).
The idea became a simple and fun one: what one would naturally do when slapping stickers on your notebook. Peppered with words like "Imagine," "discover" and "create," the shuttle design is an eclectic mix of typography, slogans and buttons. "We love typography at VAP," Smith said. "So we like to work with inspirational words and phrases as well as little, fun, NYC-related spot illustrations."
The guiding principle for the vehicle design was born out of all the creatively designed swag the VAP has been creating for SVA Admissions and prospective students. "We've come to involve our interns not only in the design and creation of this swag but in the brainstorming and ideation of it because they understand the audience better than we do," Smith said.
Students interns already design some of the most well-received stickers, so they took the very best of what was left on the cutting-room floor and built on those ideas. Every student was assigned a sticker sheet to create, each with a unique theme, and then another was responsible for collecting them all into a design for the shuttle exterior. A mix of students, some of them now alumni, contributed to the project, including Carli Malec (BFA Advertising), Chaiun Oh (BFA Design), Matilda Seo (BFA Design), Matthew Iacovelli (BFA Design), Sunni Lee (BFA 2018 Design) and Ming Yu Tseng (MAT 2008 Art Education).
"I love the playfulness of the design," Lee said. "I love how it's designed by actual SVA students. It really helps bring us together as a community."
"My favorite part was to see my digital designs becoming real products," Oh said. "It was amazing to see one of them on the streets in New York City! How cool is that?"
"The most rewarding part was seeing my interns re-post the pictures of the shuttle bus [on Instagram] and tag their fellow interns in the post," Smith said. "Helping guide students toward executing and designing this challenging project is [more fulfilling] than designing it myself."
Traveling back and forth from SVA buildings on the east and west side of Manhattan each day, SVA shuttles run from 8:10am to 10:05pm, Monday through Friday, and are free to ride for all students, faculty, and staff. SVA ID required. For more information on the SVA shuttle, click here.