School of Visual Arts has promoted Gail Anderson to Creative Director of the Visual Arts Press (VAP), SVA’s inhouse design studio. Anderson, an award-winning designer, writer and educator, was formerly Director of Design and Digital Media at the VAP since September 2016, working under Anthony Rhodes, who had been the VAP’s creative director since 2010. In her new role, Anderson leads creative strategy for the College, working within traditional and new media to promote the diversity and creativity of its undergraduate and graduate degree programs, students and alumni.
“Anderson’s promotion recognizes her thoughtful leadership and the instantaneous impact of her signature designs executed during her first year at SVA,” says Rhodes, who will now assume the role of Executive Creative Director. “As a longtime member of the SVA community, Gail is the perfect choice to lead the VAP and she’s a lot of fun to work with.”
In her first year, Anderson produced a new video series highlighting prominent design figures honored by SVA, pioneered Spots, an insider-guide to eateries, retail stores, musical venues and other places recommended by in-the-know SVA students, and art directed two new subway poster campaigns as part of SVA’s longest-running series displayed in New York City subway stations. Believing in a holistic approach to design, she has also begun designing the graphics for the new admission and financial aid offices, redesigned the uniforms for campus security officers and the exteriors of the College’s shuttle buses, which are now effectively moving billboards for the College, utilizing SVA’s annually renewed branding as they make the loop between the College’s Gramercy and Chelsea campus buildings.
Over the course of her 30-plus year career, Anderson has established herself as a leading figure in graphic design and typography. Her high-profile projects include a bestselling stamp for the United States Postal Service honoring the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation; book jackets for musician Ahmir Khalib Thompson (aka Questlove) and playwright Glen Berger; and a 14-year tenure as senior art director for Rolling Stone magazine. SShe has crafted the look and direction of Broadway campaigns for Avenue Q and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, as well as several seasons of productions at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theatre. A leading expert on typography, Anderson has authored and co-authored over a dozen books on type, design and illustration; recent titles include Type Tells Tales (Yale University Press, 2017), co-authored with Steven Heller, co-chair of SVA’s MFA Design Department.
Anderson has received numerous honors for her work, including an AIGA Medal, one of the design industry’s most distinguished awards; and the Society of Illustrators’ Richard Gangel Art Director Award in 2009. She was a GDUSA 2010 Person To Watch and appeared on the magazine cover of the GDUSA January 2010 edition. She chairs the design subcommittee for the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee for U.S. Postal and has lectured about design at organizations and conferences around the world.