Mary Banas,
Design Education

An ongoing record of teaching & related activities, 2007–now.

Graphic Design 1: The Studio

Fall 2020
California College of the Arts
Co-taught with Ana Llorente
Chair: Jon Sueda
Course website
⟶ Final course exhibition website: Anthropositivisms
First core studio course for students pursing an MFA in graphic design in the three-year program. Three projects: image-making, methodologies exploration resulting in a typographic poster, and a speculative journey (open form) project. 

This class hosted a typography workshop with Martin Venezky, images below by Katie and Tracy.

This course was taught online using Zoom, Google Docs, Moodle,, Mural, and Padlet. 
Above poster images: Andrew Roque (Lee Harvey Oswald), Katie Harper (Earthquake), Rosie Simose (Mt. Saint Helens), Tracy Leeds (Challenger), Saleem M’boge (Castro), Shijia/Bella Luo (Casablanca)

⟶ Student work & process from this course:

Advanced Studio: Personal Publishing

Fall 2020
California College of the Arts
Chair: Rachel Berger
⟶ Course website: Personal Publishing

An advanced studio cross listed in graphic design and illustration focused on publishing. Students generate their own content for this course. 

Course Goals:
1. Survey methods of contemporary and historical publishing to inform your creative practice.
2. Generate content as a writer, editor, visual maker.
3. Develop, design/visualize and produce your content for the public in the form of a digital publication. 4. Collaborate with other creative people.

Visiting lecturers included:
Lukaza Branfman Verissimo who gave a talk and led a workshop called OUR VOICES ARE IMPORTANT! on Sept 23

renald Louissaint who shared his undergraduate thesis work The Process and Scrutiny of the Color Pink on Oct. 7

Breanne Trammell who shared work with their talk 1-800-ONLY-DO-WHAT-YOU-WANNA-DO-OTHERWISE-ITS-NOT-WORTH-IT on Oct. 14

Somnath Bhatt who shared his process and conducted a workshop titled
The Idea of work / Publishing Chaos on Oct. 21

Draw Down Books (Kathleen Sleboda and Christopher Sleboda) who shared work in a talk called The Urge to Publish: Looking Back with Fresh Perspectives on Nov. 11

*Due to COVID-19 this class was online.

Work by: Alia Moussa, Keston Hinds Cruz, Darian Newman, Malik Sapp, Aashi Jhaveri, Ruiyi Liu, Bueli Pert, Menaja Ganesh, Karina Kristensen, Hollis Panelli.

⟶ Learn more on the final project student work here: Personal Space

Virtual Critic, Boston University

MFA, Graduate Studio
Fall 2020
Boston University 
Chair: Nick Rock
Critics: Yael Ort-Dinoor, Kristen Malia, Mary Banas
Students: Ari Epstein, Yike Chen, Claire Bula, Byori Hwang
I was the external critic for final review conversations on December 10th at 12pm-2pm EST for four candidates in MFA graphic design.

Virtual Critic,
University of Utah

December 2020
University of Utah
Course: “Identity Systems & Brand”
Professor: Zak Jensen
Senior graphic design students created identity systems, and I was a guest for their final critique. “Each student was asked to create a brand identity for something of their choosing—anything, real or not, that doesn't already have a brand identity. They had two weeks to think, research and develop a brief—what is the thing, how's it unique, who's the audience, what are the goals of the identity? Followed by a few weeks of design and guidelines development. The final product was in the form of guidelines, including example applications of the identity.” — Zak

Virtual Critic, Kansas City Art Institute

Fall 2020
Kansas City Art Institute
Course: “Design Systems”
Professor: Lisa Maione

Students: Jesslyn, Haley, Katherine, Sherry, Fiona, Katie, Ipek, Rylie, Drake, Josh, Krystina, and Anthony

Oct 26 12:15p–2:50p CST
An in-progress crit for senior-level undergrad students in “Design Systems” 

“Each student has been working on a proposal for a set of components to support a design system. The way each student has taken this prompt varies from student to student. Each student should have a set of slides to share their idea and process so far, with some progress/options of design directions for their project.” — Lisa


For speaking engagements, workshops and critic appoinments, drop me a line here.

Currently teaching at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, California. 

Mary Banas has taught graphic design since 2009, notably as Visiting Assistant Professor in Residence at the University of Connecticut, Rhode Island School of Design, University of Bridgeport, and California College of the Arts.

She has led design workshops for the Center for Creative Solutions (Vermont), Dolby Labs (San Francisco), OTIS College of Art and Design (Los Angeles), the Berkeley Art Museum + Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley) and Cranbrook Academy of Art (Michigan). She has been a visiting critic at MICA, Pratt Institute, and San Jose State University.

Mary has been invited to talk about her creative practice at California Institute of the Arts (Valencia, CA), Cranbrook Academy of Art (Michigan), and University of Georgia (GA). 

Mary develops conceptual and informed designs for brands, institutions, and artists with her independent creative practice YES IS MORE.

Rhode Island School of Design
MFA Graphic Design, with Honors
May 2009

University of Connecticut
BFA Communication Design
May 2003

Original photo: Hunter Kelly. Image manipulation: Derrick Schultz