CEDC (CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL DESIGN AND COMMUNICATION)
Beth Ponticello has been a leader in graphic design, cultivating relationships with and elevating the missions of numerous nonprofit organizations throughout her 27 years at CEDC, a nonprofit that provides high-quality, affordable graphic design services to community and social justice organizations primarily in Washington, D.C., as well as nationally and internationally. CEDC is a sponsored ministry of the Society of the Sacred Heart, an international community of Catholic women religious engaged in the service of education.
Beth’s approach to design echoes that of CEDC, which emphasizes partnership in mission and working with groups dedicated to social justice topics such as the environment, anti-racism, and education. She has designed and produced work for a wide-range of nonprofits and groups including: Catholic Climate Covenant, Catholic Mobilizing Network, Weissberg Foundation, NASPAA, NAMI Montgomery County, Society of the Sacred Heart, Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Friendship Public Charter School, AVAAZ.org, YMCA, and LCWR. Among her extensive body of work, she excels in logo/organizational branding, publication design, and event/marketing collateral.
Over the course of her career, several of Beth’s designs have won GDUSA awards, been included in juried alumni shows at the Corcoran Museum of Art, and a selection of her photos were included in Virginia 24/7. In addition to her work at CEDC, Beth has freelanced with for-profit clients such as Kodak, Caterpillar, U.S. News & World Report and DC.gov. She holds a BFA in graphic design from the Corcoran School of the Arts + Design.
Looking forward to 2023, are you optimistic about the role and impact of Graphic Design and Visual Communication in Business? Culture? Causes? Have the events and disruptions of the past few years changed the role or trajectory of Graphic Design?
The CEDC tagline says it all, “social justice by design.” In general, I feel that graphic design and visual communication play a vital and impactful role in society. Unfortunately, it can have both a good and bad impact. With the current state of social media, the rise of faked news, faked websites, faked videos, etc. we are seeing how design can be weaponized and have a huge, negative effect on society. I am optimistic that “designing for good” shall triumph. It is my daily mission to design for good, to get my clients mission-oriented messages out to the world.
Most influential graphic designer(s) or art directors(s) of the past 60 years? Of today?
Recently I watched David Carson’s Master Class and it really influenced/inspired me to be more experimental and push things.
Most influential graphic design firm(s), ad agency(s), or inhouse department(s) of the past 60 years? Of today?
Hoefler & Co., Pentagram, TBWA\Chiat\Day — late 90s work with Apple.
Favorite or most influential logo or branding project of the past 60 years?
- Apple’s icon is very flexible and has not changed “shape” since its introduction. Its changed color, texture, etc. but the shape remains.
- FedEx because it really makes you think of how to make something simple like a logotype be more … be more complex, be more interesting, be more meaningful.
Favorite or most influential design project or campaign in any medium for the past 60 years?
Apple “To the crazy ones” commercial and Think Different posters — love this campaign.