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

Graphic Design 2

Spring 2020
California College of the Arts
Teaching Assistant: Juan Pablo Rahal 💫

Chair: Rachel Berger

Some activities were in collaboration with other GD2 sections taught by Ana Llorente & Jeremy Mende—the charette, Valentine’s Day workshop, and final presentations, for example. 

Guest Critics, both in person and remote:
Mark Buenafe, Silas Reeves, Josh Silverman, Drianne LaLiberte, Denise Kan, Renald Louissaint, Kyle Davis, Tim Belonax, Ana Llorente, Lisa Maione, Darian Newman, Kaming Lee, David William
A core studio for sophmore graphic design students focused on the process and methods of design. Students work with different content each semester to create identities, posters, typographic animations, process books, and independent projects. 

This semester started off with a charrette IF YOU THINK SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING for which all 3 sections of Graphic Design 2 responded to the “Stuff We’re Not Talking About” flyer and conversation and then designed, produced and installed a bumper sticker with a personal message from that conversation. 

• Shannon Finnegan “Accessibility Dreams” Lecture hosted by CCA Design Division

• Ordinary People Lecture coordinated by chris hamamoto & offered by MFA Design program

“Around Seoul” Graphic Design Exhibit curated by chris hamamoto

• Field Trip to SFMOMA hosted by David Senior in the archives

Visiting designer presentations:
Divya Das
Mark Buenefe

*Due to COVID-19 this class adopted a “distance learning” format after March and class took place over Zoom.

Graphic Design 1: The Studio

Fall 2019
California College of the Arts
Co-taught with Ana Llorente
Chair: Jon Sueda
First year core studio for graduate students in the 3-year MFA design program. Students conceptualize and produce a group exhibition at the end of the semester, this one was called “Evidence” and held in the Graduate Studio lecture room.

Research trip to Letterform Archive.

*This course was previously called “Year Zero Studio”

Open Publication Studio: Form(ing) Ideas

MFA Writing
Fall 2019
California College of the Arts

Chair: Leslie Roberts

MFA Writing & cross listed as a general elective for all MFA students
⟶ Take a closer look at the syllabus
This class offered a framework to explore different ways to shape, contain, and distribute content. Students brought their thesis material to the course and through a series of prompts, exercises, and structures, formed it into printed publications which were produced in multiples on a risograph.

This course was cross-listed as a general elective for all MFA students. The class makeup was a mix of writers, designers and artists. 

Oct. 5 offsite at 2727 California Street in Berkeley with Lexi Visco of Publication Studio SF & P.E. (Print Experimentation) Area.


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