School of Art, Media, and Technology

BFACD Alumni Feature: Candice Ralph

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CD alumna Candice Ralph has worked for a variety of companies including Teen Vogue, Kate Spade, RoAndCo, Mother New York, and Droga5 since graduating from Parsons in 2008. — We checked in with Candice to see what she’s up to now and how her time at Parsons influenced her approach to design.

 

“I’ve recently joined Wolff Olins as Senior Designer. Here, we choose to work with brands that want to make meaningful change, and we tackle these challenges in radically different ways to innovate brands and businesses. As designers, we have a user-first approach—we partner closely with strategists to create design solutions that can have the biggest impact. Our process is collaborative, experimental, and fun. Most recently, we’ve launched The Met, ZocDoc, and GrubHub—rebranding user interactions across all media including print, digital, experience and product.”

 

What were your favorite classes at Parsons?

Experimental Typography,  Graphic Design & Silkscreen, Thesis, The History of Silent Film, and Sound Design

 

What did you wish you knew as a student that you know now?

Ideas are not precious. Sharing creates collaboration, and the best ideas come from listening and considering multiple perspectives.

 

  • Have a point of view.

It’s important to have a point of view in the real world and to share it. There are lots of opinionated voices in the world and  it’s easy to get drowned out, so it’s good to start practicing in school.

 

  • Understand the big picture. It’s important to spend time asking questions to understand the problem at hand, which will allow you to create clear design solutions that ladder up to the objectives of the project.

 

  • Design doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

One of my teachers at Parsons always used this expression. It helped me to understand that design is a powerful tool to communicate with people and not just oneself. Get to know the types of people that you want to talk to.

 

Who do you look up to in the design community?

Hort – consistently creating design that pushes boundaries

Candy Chang – environmental interruptions which make statements and create platforms for communities to share their voices

Wolff Olins – smart branding and business solutions that challenge paradigms

Herb Lubalin – craft and wit combined in the most elegant way

TED – consistently inspiring speakers

 

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I recently worked with a small team at MILK to launch their beauty brand Milk Makeup. Art directing and collaborating with a group of amazing people to create a brand that challenged the beauty industry in terms of product and marketing was really wonderful.

This project was important to me not just because I got to work with an awesome group of people and artists, but because the project challenged the beauty industry itself – a mammoth industry that hasn’t really been questioned up until now in terms of both product and marketing. I never felt like the homogenous, overly-airbrushed, and unrealistic portrayal of beauty spoke to me as a consumer. The success of the campaign is a testimony to the need for beauty brands to offer products which engage with  the smart, intelligent, creative women of today and not speak down to them.

 

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