School of Art, Media, and Technology

BFA CD '13 Alum on her new job at MESH!

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Joelle Riffle, just out of the Communication Design program at Parsons, has recently been brought on board as the newest designer for MESH, a design and development company. Her bold, bright design work, including her BFA thesis, Clio: a toolkit for change, caught their eyes and won her the position.

Read more about how Parsons helped her get there, below!

Clio: a toolkit for change - Joelle Riffle's BFA CD Thesis 2013

Clio: A toolkit for change / Senior Thesis, BFA Communication Design
Parsons the New School for Design / June 2012 – May 2013

AMT: Congrats on your new job! Tell us what excites you most about it. 

Joelle Riffle: I really love my new job and everything post-grad. We’re working on a lot of really interesting projects, and as I’m the only full-time designer working with my creative director/senior designer, I can get my hands on everything and have a say in a lot of what leaves the studio. What excites me most about working at MESH specifically is that, as a small studio, we have the opportunity to work directly with the clients and get to know the people we are designing for–the client and the audience. MESH is located in Brooklyn and Charleston, WV where the two co-founders grew up. We do a lot of work with non-profits and small businesses in both cities. Most of our clients are very small but are doing big work, like our studio. You can really see the impact that your work is making. I have been able to participate in quite a few meetings, conference calls, and workshops since I started working here in early June, and it is great to work with people who are so invested in what they are doing and are excited to have our work in front of them. It is a really collaborative, holistic process that is really satisfying and exciting for me.

AMT: How do you feel that CD prepared you for your job now?

JR: Since we do such varied work, from branding and logo design to web design and development, even some illustration for a variety of clients (we are working with a fashion ecommerce brand, hospital organization, and neighborhood association all at the same time), the diversity of classes and area of study has prepared me to handle it all at once. Within the span of an eight hour work day, I’m using skills that I first started developing in editorial design, display lettering, interaction classes… Everything is always fluctuating between different kinds of thought processes and CD helped me prepare for that.

AMT: Did you take courses outside CD that also contributed?

JR: The most significant set of skills that I am grateful for having developed while in school is a command of typography. Being able to set typography classically, work on a grid, develop a type system, understand composition and all those little type rules–I use that everyday. My last year at Parsons I took Editorial Design with Alma Phipps and Publication Design with Kevin Brainard, and I’m so glad that I did, because the way I learned to think about typography and the page in that class is a way of thinking I use every day.

AMT: Where do you see yourself in five years?

JR: The dreaded “five years” question! I hope to be able to continue doing the kind of work that I am doing now, honestly. I’m learning so much, not only about being a designer but about working with clients, running a small business, and managing people. In time, I might consider opening up my own shop. But for now, I’m just appreciating this great place I get to go to work to every day and meeting new people through our work!

AMT: Thanks Joelle. And I hope we can get you and MESH a great intern…hint-hint! Click here for the posting.

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