Hannah Reiter’s Thesis Show

Not all students who come to SFUAD begin their degrees focused on art. Senior Graphic Design major Hannah Reiter initially embarked on her BFA with the sole desire of gaining skills that she would need as a professional. After taking an internship with Local IQ, a magazine in Albuquerque, Reiter became interested in the production and design aspects that went into creating the publication. After working for this magazine for free for a while, she decided to go back to school so that she could do more than production design. However, after beginning her education, Reiter said that she felt her world “opened up,” and that her current focus is something she’s still trying to figure out.

“I think I discovered art when I got to this school,” Reiter said. “It has really become a lot more about art.”

Reiter credits much of her new interest to former Graphic Design Chairman David Gray, who she says introduced her to mindfulness and contemplative design, which changed both her work and her life.

Hannah Reiter hangs up her work in Flogelson Library. Photo by Jason Stilgebouer.

Hannah Reiter hangs up her work in Flogelson Library. Photo by Jason Stilgebouer.

Although Reiter doesn’t necessarily see any recurring themes in her work, she noted that she tends to focus on mindfulness and minimalism. Additionally, she is drawn to “beautiful, minimal design,” as opposed to work she described as “full of chaos.” She said she is fond of typography and print design in particular.

Reiter has done a fair amount of professional design already. She has worked on several magazines, both as an assistant and as the main/sole designer. She said she is looking forward to moving into more client-based design work, and that she feels Jack Sprague, the current chairman of the Graphic Design department, has been helpful in preparing students for professional work.

Reiter’s thesis has changed substantially over the course of the semester. Initially, because of her interest in book design, she was going to create a branding for a fictional publishing house. However, after realizing the extensive research the project would require, she decided to shift focus. Instead, she attempted to marry two of her interests: books and craft beer.

“My project is branding a beer and book club called ‘First Draft,’” said Reiter. “Essentially, you would sign up and answer some questions about what books you’re interested in, what beer you’re interested in, then you’d get a box sent to you at the beginning of every month with a six-pack of beer and a book that very subjectively pairs with the beer. It’s a subscription service.”

Reiter said that putting together the design for this project has been intensive, due to the nature of the program. She spent several weeks researching before doing hundreds of concept drawings. The last couple of weeks have been focused on getting everything fine-tuned.

Hannah Reiter“The branding system that I arrived at is pretty playful and pokes fun at itself,” Reiter said. “The color system is supposed to be engaging and inviting. I wanted to respect the crafts of writing and brewing but subvert some of the pretension that can be associated with beer snobs and literary snobs and make those two worlds accessible to all.”

Although Reiter admitted she is nervous for her thesis defense which will take place on Friday, May 6, she said she is excited for this project to be seen by her peers, and that she is very proud of her work.

As for Reiter’s post graduation plans, she will continue working professionally as a designer, using connections she has already made. Additionally, she also said she would like to design books professionally someday.

“I’d be happy just getting to make art,” Said Reiter. “To make beautiful things.”

Reiter’s senior show will be on display in the upper levels of Fogelson library beginning on Friday, May 13.