Danielle Hall is a Brooklyn-based Graphic Designer from Toronto. After graduating from Parsons with honors in 2012, she went on to work for Michael Bierut at Pentagram on projects such as DOT, Luminato Festival and the Museum of the City of New York, and then on to Interbrand, on projects such as Google and Heifer International. She currently works as a Senior Designer at MoMA where two of her most recent exhibitions, A Japanese Constellation and Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015 were awarded Typographic Excellence by the TDC. Previously, she was chosen as ‘Student to Watch’ by Graphic Design USA in 2012.
What were your favorite classes at Parsons?
This is a tough one. I would probably have to say Thesis—but only since you’ve asked me years later! I decided to make my first ever film about a topic that I was very passionate about at the time—font piracy in design schools. I let that project take over my life—it was that good kind of intense. I suppose the takeaway for me now is that I realized I am most inspired and motivated by a subject matter that I care deeply about.
What did you wish you knew as a student that you know now?
I wish I had known about ‘paste remember layers’ in inDesign. Changed. My. Life.
Who do you look up to in the design community?
I have always looked up to Michael Bierut. I admire him for many reasons, but most of all for his outlook about the world, and where design fits in it. I had the pleasure of working as an intern on his team after I graduated and it felt like an extension of my degree. I learned so many tangible and intangibles that will always stay with me.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My time at MoMA overall has been a highlight. Each new exhibition is fascinating, and I especially enjoy the research part of my job. For a couple months at a time, I can delve into a new topic—from the new technologies of contemporary Japanese architecture, to the kaleidoscopic artwork of bourgeois party animal Francis Picabia. Understanding the thesis of each exhibition gives me clarity when I’m designing. And it’s incredibly rewarding to ultimately see your work in use by the public. Also I did get to ride the elevator with Bjork at MoMA a couple years ago.