School of Art, Media, and Technology

BFA CD Alumni Spotlight: Olga Pavlova

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Olga Pavlova is an interdisciplinary graphic designer based in New York City. She received a BFA in Communication Design from Parsons School of Design. She strives to use various forms of design to engage an audience and encourage them to interact with and respond to a design. Her work is inspired by the world around her, and the constant questioning of what design is and its influence on the world. She observes and responds to it with visual narratives through motion and digital design. 
The project began with a personal interest in finding an answer to a question: how can we use design to identify political biases? The search for an answer started with identifying online news sources as the primary way the majority of the younger population receives their news today. This led to an analysis of over 200 hundred online news sources, 100 of which were included in the final books and they range from local, national and international sources. The next decision was to bring these sources from the web to print, from a screen to a newsprint paper, and overlay it with information printed on vellum, which was inspired by archival paper, used in library archives for newspaper preservation. Lastly, the navigation within the books is dictated by political biases, with a language familiar to an average American that refers to liberal and conservative biases, and colors commonly associated with both. All sources are split into three books, to first introduce the analysis and then, by continuing looking at sources repetitively, hopefully, help one to develop a visual instinct – a natural ability to see biases though visual analysis alone.
Project Description
Visual Instinct examines 100 web-based news sources, brings them to the physical world and uses analog archival methods to indicate similar design elements across all sources that help to establish credibility and trust. Through analyzing typefaces, colors, and the general layout of each home page, this collection identifies visual elements that are common to all sources and can be used to recognize biases across all news sources. The goal of this collection is to introduce newsreaders to a visual system which helps to recognize how news sources employ design elements to create trustworthiness and establish credibility.
Try everything. Challenge everything. Question everything. If you think you like the book and editorial design – try making an app. If you think you will be a great digital designer – print and bind a book, or three books, all on your own. If you think you think you want to be a graphic designer for the rest of your life – take a course in genetics or musical theory. You might discover your other strength or better understand your weaknesses. This is the only way to know what you truly like and want to do.


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