BFACD Student Spotlight: Maurann Stein
Parsons Communication Design senior Maurann Stein explores the world of screen based fonts in her project Anti-Alias. For this multi-platform investigation, Stein used the pixelation of low-resolution type to her advantage by incorporating the fuzzy edges of the letterforms in the design itself, thus creating a new variation of a font. Learn more about the project and experiment with the text yourself by visiting the Anti-Alias website.
What sparked your interest in experimental type design?
In Junior year CD/DT students choose a topics class to focus on for the semester. I chose Topics: Typography because I wanted to construct my own typeface. We spent the first two-three classes ideating and discussing what roles should typography fulfill, what responsibilities we have as designers, and we read the famous Crystal Goblet essay by Beatrice Warde. I realized that typography can communicate so much more than just the text itself; type can have a message in and of itself. And that’s when I stopped worrying about legibility and began thinking about what I’d like to experiment with, conceptually, in type design.
How has Parsons and the New School shaped you as a designer?
I especially appreciate the fact that most of my professors at Parsons incorporate readings in their teaching. I think that the exposure to other designers’ and thinkers’ approaches and philosophies is super important in shaping my own.
What have your favorite classes been here?
The classes that really opened my eyes (and brain) were Core Type (with Andrew Shurtz and Neil Donnelly) and Core Interaction (with Brian Watterson and Brendan Griffiths). These professors helped me push my ideas and not be afraid to fail. I also realized that “beautiful” and “ugly” is irrelevant.
I read that you speak Hebrew along with English – do you think your bilinguality has an influence on how you approach language?
Definitely. I actually had a conversation about this with my friends from work who speak Korean – I think that people who speak more than one language have a richer understanding of communication. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are better at design though! Toggling between languages is like flexing the brain, and as a by product I’m realizing that I make very precise decisions in the words I choose to describe my thought and ideas.