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SVA Subway Series: Pablo Delcan Wants You To "Decode" The Message [Video]
September 12, 2018
SVA Features: SVA Subway Series: Pablo Delcan
SVA Features asset

Pablo Delcan left Spain for New York just ten years ago to study at SVA, and his career has moved rapidly since. A 2012 graduate of BFA Graphic Design, Delcan currently teaches typography in that department, and he recently landed the enviable assignment of illustrating the fall 2018 edition of the College's legendary and longstanding SVA Subway Series posters.

"The idea of—ten years later, I'm creating the poster that represents the school—was really exciting for me," Delcan says in our latest SVA Subway Series video. "I immediately went into the subway and started sketching on my sketchbook. The whole story came full circle."

Since the mid-1950s, SVA has featured the work of practicing faculty members as part of a promotional initiative staged on NYC’s subway platforms. The Subway Series posters promote the College and showcase the individual artist’s vision, offering a thought-provoking and visually exciting appeal to potential students and fellow New Yorkers as part of their everyday lives. Featured artists have included Louise Fili, Steven Heller, Stefan Sagmeister and Paula Scher, among many others. SVA Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes has served as creative director for the posters since 2007. In 2016, the Visual Arts Press began producing short video profiles of each artist to accompany their posters’ launch and give a behind-the-scenes look at their making.

Debuting last month, Delcan's poster—which reads "Art Is," a little elusively—is a little bit of a reaction to previous SVA Subway posters and their history, he says. But it's also a response to the generic ads in the New York subways he doesn't notice. Delcan wanted to move away from information over-saturation and play against the ideas of instant legibility. "What if, at first, you find the form and then words within it?" he asks. "People would need a second with it to decode the message."

Named one of Forbes' bests artists under 30 in 2017 (their 30 Under 30 series), Delcan founded Delcan & Company, a design and animation studio based in NYC in 2014. He frequently contributes illustrations to The New York Times, and his work has been awarded and recognized by the Type Directors Club, Art Directors Club & AI-AP. Some of his clients include Esquire, Best Made Company, Google Play, Marni, Atlantic Records, DDB, SolarCity and Penguin Random House, for which he has designed book covers. He has also directed animated music videos.

Check out the latest SVA Subway Series video and stay tuned for more editions later this year. For more SVA videos, visit sva.edu/videos.

An image of SVA's 2018 Subway Poster by Pablo Delcan.
"Art Is!" The 2018 Subway Poster for SVA designed by Pablo Delcan. Photo courtesy of Delcan & Company.