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The Adleta Perpetual Calendar reveals time. It reduces a year to a single sheet of paper.
It uses a decoder to unlock eternal time. This precisely engineered typography allows the analog to overcome advance technology.

These investigations within the controlled environment of student research are a unique opportunity. It takes time to understand how to achieve a perfect harmony between design and concept. Practicing this method takes time. The student can fail or succeed during this school time. Time allows the student to strive to accomplish a satisfying result. My hypothesis is: if a student can taste a successful achievement in school, then they can more easily echo that success within their professional design practice. The time necessary for such research is often rare in professional practice.

Exhibitions are both an ending and a beginning.
Each exhibit features a body of work that is finished, however it asks the question,
“What is to come?”

Learning how to draw has taken me a lifetime to refine. The specific techniques incorporated in these drawings have been evolving ever since 1991, while on a yearlong, professional sabbatical in New Zealand. These more recent drawings incorporate a lifetime of observation, experimentation, and gratification from visually articulating those observations.  

Throughout Adleta’s career, he produced artifacts and identified collections with merit. This store identifies books, posters, and drawings by Don, his students, his colleagues, and his mentors for your consumption and acquisition. Some of the funds generated go to trust funds, some go to student organizations, some go to personal use. Each are identified.

As part of Nelsonville’s Month of the Book, Don Adleta told extended stories about how the books included in the show evolved into limited editions of these books.  These stories were from behind the scenes of content, editing, and production. The exhibit featured eight thesis books from Don’s Bookbinding classes at OU. These books were on loan from the Mahn Center at OU’s Alden Library Archives and Special Collections. This show also examined a wide range of books produced by artists, from self-published catalogs to handmade art books with sophisticated typography and graphic design. Each book challenged the idea of what a book is.

Adinkra
The deconstruction and reassembling of the book is similar to the struggle that the Adinkra communication system has endured. The ideographic representation of wise sayings, philosophies, beliefs, values, and historical events of the Akan people in Ghana was suppressed during the colonial era because of what it is not - phonetic. The construction of this device from its linear state to a complete structure reveals a six-page book of Adinkra symbols, telling a story of a survived culture. Daniel Opoku Asamoah, 2019

Not Game
Each page is a sheet of metal. The binding uses piano hinges. The book is heavy! "The message is heavy.” It needs to be taken apart to read it because the message also has to be taken apart to understand it. The message is about the abuse of women and children in the States. These stories are juxtaposed with excerpts from Famous NFL coaches referencing how hard players have to hit their opponents on the field. The images are of children playing in a schoolyard. Gavin Waites, 1997

Typography is the letter, the word image, the space in and around the word, the line of type, the idea, the story, the context, and how it all fits together in life.

How do you teach typography?  
It starts with mark-making, assembling those marks into a system of related forms, eventually creating letters, then designing letterforms. Placing those letterforms into a word or a word image. Placing those words of letterforms in a space. Reading those words in a sentence, a paragraph, a story, a book, a series of posters, a website, a video, UI, AI, and the list goes on.  

Micah
The magnitude of this venture is not often undertaken by students for a three-week project. Adam had his Bible with his marginalia already, so it was a labor of love, intensely transcribing. His concern was that the words of Jesus were often printed in red. Discussion with the professor and his classmates resolved the printing of his personal annotations in red based on Jesus being within him and these were therefore His words. Adam Marks, 2011

Bail of Sheep
Some of Rose's deepest secrets are bailed into this book. The author grew up caring for and raising sheep on a farm. The book documents her life growing up. She remains protective of the contents, nevertheless, she felt it was time to record them and was willing to share these events in a guarded format. This book is bound in wool from her family’s farm. The real wool and bailing cord bind the book in a way that reveals only a portion of her story. The reader would have to destroy the binding to investigate the story. This action of destroying the binding can be interpreted as an intrusion, echoing the point of her message. Rose Stouss, 2001

Recall
This book presents numbers meant to represent the number of abortions that have been performed within each month. The egg is the vehicle used as the page to carry the message. A commercial egg carton was used as the binding for the book. Caitlin Feller, 2012

Untitled (ceramic tool tray)
This student book was designed by a student majoring in ceramics. The pages are ceramic objects. The binding is a simple wood toolbox tray. The pages are loose and the chronology of the story is therefore aleatory. Benjie Heu 1998

You've Got Strong Hands
The book cloth used to bind the book was made from one of the author’s grandmother's blouses. The book documents a visit with the grandmother living in an assisted care facility. The typography reflects the sounds in the room as Elise talks to her grandmother and trims her fingernails. Elise Glick, 2003

Designers are the scientists of communication. Teaching the following design topics to my students gave them a way to visually interpret the complexities of a message and place it into a visual language that speaks to a set audience.

Designers are the scientists of communication. Teaching the following design topics to my students gave them a way to visually interpret the complexities of a message and place it into a visual language that speaks to a set audience.

My research is a rigorous visual and theoretical search for coincidences that expose the core of a quest. It combines rational and intuitive thinking. Logic is always active, but logic does not make me blind to the happy accident.

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enge

Finding a venue for selling drawings, books, posters, photos, and to be able to fulfill the orders without having to attend to emails, invoices, and to ship the items.  

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ion

Therefore, I have decided to direct those interested in items listed to a third-party that will fulfill the purchase and deliver the items directly to the individual purchasing or to the purchaser’s intended recipient of the item as a gift.  

All the experiences associated with the printed word are meant to grow creative minds, realize how the printed word played a significant role in our heritage, and initiate innovative thinking for the future.

PRAGMATIC CONSIDERATIONS

The Don E Adleta TypeShop and Bindery in conjunction with Ohio University’s School of Art+Design, the College of Fine Arts, Education Abroad, Recruitment, Entrepreneurial Programs, etc would assess the logistics of this porposal. The Letterpress Trail Head is proposed to be a part of a future Letterpress Museum.

There will be Day trips to:

Dard Hunter III’s Paper and Papermaking Downtown Chillicothe and his Mountain House

Paper Circle, Nelsonville to make origami paper  

Extended one to two-week-long Excursions  

Oaxaca Paper and Bookbinding to participate in workshops outside of Oaxaca, Mexico
Taller de Arte Papel Oaxaca

Tipoteca, Italy Letterpress Printing Museum   

Basel PaperMill Museum, history of paper, making paper, executing calligraphy, designing letterforms, typecasting metal type, and binding books!

Hamilton Wood Type Museum to print using 3 foot tall wood type!  

Type casting the American Type Foundry type with the Printing Stewards, Piqua, Ohio

The Upjohn Company

In 1988 I became an Art-Director at The Upjohn Company. My lifetime career quest of doing graphic design for the good of humanity became a reality. The legibility of typography was of utmost importance during my tenure at The Upjohn Company. Upjohn, a pharmaceutical manufacturing firm, was founded in 1886 by William E. Upjohn. I followed the legacy of the designer, Will Burtin, who created Upjohn’s first trade dress packaging system. It was not uncommon to have 115 design projects at any one time.  

The product brand identities I art directed were XanaxXR ®, Halcion,® Eminase,® Zefazon,®plus numerous others. They used clear typefaces, legible character spacing, and registered the product indication.  These traits became my trademark as one of the Upjohn art directors, which caused the internal product managers to seek me out to work for them.

The Don E. Adleta TypeShop and Bindery at Ohio University is a place and a plan. Initially, it served a curriculum need but is evolving into a vehicle to bring together knowledge, community, and commerce.  

Specifically, the vision is to provide hands-on education, and research, and to explore ways to inspire Ohio University students. This facility and its associate regional and global partners will present how the  PRINTED WORD came about right here in our backyard. Techniques of paper-making, calligraphy, type-design, letterpress printing, bookbinding, and fulfillment will be featured in this and adjacent spaces on campus. It will enable innovative visitors to take their knowledge further. When visiting this facility and taking advantage of opportunities to visit points of interest in the region and elsewhere, patrons will see how dynamic this world of letterpress printing is. The experiences associated with the PRINTED WORD are meant to grow creative minds, realize how the printed word played an important role in our heritage, and initiate innovative thinking for the future.


The Upjohn Company’s worldwide trade dress packaging redesign was a project that had to be carefully designed to comply with USDA regulations. It had to be legible as well as aesthetically smart. Don established a standards manual for the more than 2,500 various shapes and configurations with color coding for patient registration. There were more than 30 international subsidiaries and seven different languages that needed to become one visual voice. Legibility on packaging for ethical pharmaceutical products is essential and could save lives in critical situations.

The Chugai/Upjohn joint venture was highly recognized by the pharmaceutical industry. It was based on a product called Eminase®, which assisted in the replication of red blood cells. The animation (above) translates that process into a graphic treatment of the joint venture.

It was part of what secured my Great Performer Award.  

Ohio University

In 1994 Don was invited to be the Chair of the OU Graphic Design Program. In addition to his role coordinating the curriculum, scheduling of classes, advising, and teaching, he was also expected to maintain work in the practice, publish, and lecture at conferences.  

Many of the products of these design ventures are featured on the website such as the Adleta Perpetual Calendar, the focus book series, student research, conference summits and events, and the development of a typeshop. The posters shown here were all a part of Don’s tenure at OU.  

In addition, paper, letterpress, and bookbinding specialists, volunteering enthusiasts, students, and staff will be asked to join the initiative. Our goal would be to organize a variety of educational experiences, tours, and events that can happen in the OU facility or to a variety of paper, type, or book-specific partners around the world. Our base team could arrange one-day to two-week adventures to visit our facility or satellite collaborative organizations, facilities, or destinations.

This rational research enhanced my ability to inform my audience with an awareness that is often lost when simply photocopying the shape as a quicker way of generating the visual form. This gave me the knowledge to further understand the topic I was translating. Both in a graphic way as well as in a contextual way. Seeing how the leaf develops over time from a bud to a mature leaf allowed for extensions into a metaphoric or meaningful interpretation. This rational research enhanced my ability to inform my audience with an awareness that is often lost when simply photocopying the shape as a quicker way of generating the visual form.  

Rigorous observation, experimentation, and gratification from within the research.

This process, although opposite to that experienced in the practice of design, allows the designer to taste the harmonic condition of a visual quality without being inhibited by preconceived notions and visual results outside parameters often experienced in the practice. It provides the goal of total innovative quality first in the visual result and second in the perfect placement of that result in an appropriate conceptual context.  These investigations within the controlled environment of graduate research are a unique opportunity and are rare within the practice. That balance of design and concept in perfect harmony will be a quality the student will strive to echo again within their work in their remaining studies and in their design practice.

Students’ entries in their books:

These grids along with the student's observations are taken from the books they produced to document their research. These books are available in the STORE.

Further reflections on this drawing process: 

When I draw, I understand how to innovate and mediate ideas into metaphoric visual results. The drawing can invite the audience through an implied line or an implied idea. It gives a sense of gratification and accomplishment to the viewer who is invited into the drawing to finish the implied line with the perfect line that only that viewer can envision. The viewer, therefore, takes ownership of the image through the experience. What a gift a drawing gives when it invites the viewer to participate in finishing it! 

There is a certain quality a person recognizes, appreciates, and develops associated with making a visual mark that can interpret a complex idea. This sense of completion matches what other individuals realize when they read a text, play music, or calculate a mathematical formula. At some point, I personally felt that creating something visual was a natural way to express myself.  

The process revealed 

Most of these drawings are on recycled or found paper primed with a gesso or flat, latex house paint to stabilize whatever substrate is used. Oil pastels was the first medium. I used them on the house paint after it dried. I then began to draw on the oil pastels with graphite. The oil pastels enhanced the graphite marks and allowed the making of the mark to flow effortlessly. It was a joy to let the graphite skate over the surface of the drawing. I could see the graphite become more expressive as the mark was revealed. Subsequently, I applied a thin coat of mineral spirits over the dry house paint. The mineral spirits also allowed the 2b pencil or the various softer graphite sticks (2-9b) to melt thus the resulting mark was alive with expression.  The very act of visualizing ideas or interpreting the subject began to go beyond the mark and the process. In a sense, the drawings became a complex process of visually translating the subject. It all evolved into an interpretation of ideas. It is through the marks used in the drawing that an observer is able to read my visual language embedded in the drawing.  

History

The Adleta Perpetual Calendar was conceived in 1981 during post-graduate studies in Typography and Graphic Systems at the Allgemeine Kunstgewerbeschule, in Basel, Switzerland. The professors were Wolfgang Weingart and Max Schmidt, respectively. Visual research resumed in 1992, resulting in a limited edition of FRONT 5 that received a Silver Award for most innovative from the World Calendar Marketing Association. Graphic and industrial design details were refined in 1993, during an appointment at the Wellington Polytechnic in New Zealand. The prototypes created in New Zealand were presented to the MoMA Department of Sales and Marketing in 1994. Production refinements were executed during the summer of 1995 at Ohio University. The first limited edition in 1995 consisted of 1000 units.

This Adleta Perpetual Calendar has been recognized internationally and has received multiple design awards worldwide. The calendar is in the permanent collection of Zurich’s Museum für Gestaltung, along with the original visual research required to evolve the design. It is in the permanent collections at the Novi Sad Museum of Art and Design, Serbia. It was available at the Museum of Modern Art Bookstore, NY, and sold out immediately. In 2014, the calendar was featured in the Weingart Typography exhibition at the Zurich Museum of Design. It was one of 14 typographic studies that evolved in Wolfgang Weingart’s typography classes at the Basel School of Design and exhibited in the retrospective of Wolfgang Weingart. All the sketches for the Adleta Perpetual Calendar were in the exhibition and placed in the archives. In 2016 this exhibit traveled to Hong Kong and was installed at the Hong Kong Design Institute.

Visually interpreting or translating the modes, their warmth, their thoughts, their center, their space and even the blood flowing through their bodies is all being channeled through this medium. The medium inspires and even motivates the mark being made.   Priming the paper with house paint creates a relief of the brush strokes which interacts with the graphite sticks used to make the marks, therefore, the house paint often presents another (drawn) mark within the drawing. A cloth can be used to create volume or directional definitions of the body. The desire to touch the subject via the drawing is part of the seductive and passionate form of the drawing.  The inventiveness in this process was where these drawings began. It fostered the recognition that this is where the real fun in mark-making begins!  

Drawing the Masculine Form: Studies interpreting the human form

Learning how to draw has taken me a lifetime to refine. This book documents several years of that process. The specific technique incorporated in these drawings has been evolving since 1991 while on a yearlong, professional sabbatical in New Zealand.


Click to Bookstore

Drawing the Feminine Form: Studies interpreting the human form



The more recent drawings incorporate a lifetime of observation, experimentation, and a gratification from visually articulating those observations.

Click to Bookstore

Dedication of the Don E. Adleta Typeshop & Bindery

There is now a space set aside specifically for the preservation of the printed word. Fred Toner and I created a trust fund as a sustaining resource for the type shop. Ohio University named this space in honor of this donation.

By bringing to life centuries of letterpress ideas and accomplishments, we will be able to conduct interactive teambuilding workshops for areas such as Creative Writing, Classics, Linguistics, Entrepreneurship Groups from the Business College, the Ohio Art Education Teachers Association, and many others.  These workshops will investigate the basics of communication through letterform design, calligraphy, letterpress printing, and designing, along with matching basics in papermaking and various forms of bookbinding. This exposure amplifies the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of its disparate parts.

Beyond this facility, The Letterpress Trails excursions can offer opportunities to visit points of interest in the region and elsewhere. This broader world of letterpress printing will be revealed to the participants.

We are currently establishing letterpress associates regionally and globally. An eventual PAPER, PRINT, BOOK museum may include a partnership with the Paper Circle from Nelsonville, Ohio, and could combine the university’s services of bookbinding, restoration, and preservation. It could also begin to offer these services to outside clients, like Printing Services or the OU Press. A PAPER, PRINT, BOOK museum would be dedicated to the rich history of these disciplines throughout Ohio, the region, and the world. It will create a space for creativity to manifest itself and create opportunities for excursions to other creative and educational destinations within the network.

TYPESHOP History

It took sixty years of protecting, preserving, and expanding our collection of type and letterpress equipment. It was all started by Professor Emeritus Karen Nulf, continued by Professor Arlyn Simon, and over the past thirty years Professor Darren Baker and I have been the stewards. We have received donations that are now in the type shop from Anita Marks, Reid McBride, Lawhead Press, Sheppard Black, Richardson Printing, Sunbury Press, Linda Donaldson, Gregory Bond, Marietta Hospital, Bobby Rosenstock, and ourselves.  

Our current role is to defend, enhance, and realize the type shop’s role in the curriculum and community. We are forever growing into our greater potential. Letterpress type, equipment, and donations are welcome. Contact me through the link at the bottom of this page.

Letterpress type and associated donations are welcome.  

This aerial image of the type shop has white boxes with arrows. Select the arrow and a description will pop up to provide additional information on some of the treasures of our shop.

Future Timeline:
During the 28th anniversary of the original printing of The Adleta Perpetual Calendar, it will be reprinted. This is a significant year as it is when the entire pattern of the years first starts to repeat. The 2024 limited edition of 1000 will be distributed internationally during the 28th anniversary of its first year of use. There are ongoing discussions about creating a Chinese edition, a planting guide, and other design variations on this theme.

Each side of the disc represents six months of the year. Rigorous attention was given to the visual placement of each number within a grid structure to allow optimum readability when placed in the decoder. There are seven discs for non-leap years and seven discs for leap years. All fourteen discs are provided to allow for the perpetual use of the calendar.




Our continued research was done with the methodology of taking away. We were asked to remove black or white, but not a combination of the two. Restricting our visual research to only two potential options forced me to think more creatively within the set parameters. I think that this helped to create more dynamic explorations.




We exhaustively explored the options within our grids—continuing within the taking-away parameters.  I found that my grid became most interesting when I was rotating the grid and overlapping it with the existing shapes. To me, the grids began to take on an almost shattered appearance.




I found that my grid became most interesting when I was rotating the grid and overlapping it with the existing shapes. To me, the grids began to take on an almost shattered appearance.





We were asked to narrow our research to only one of the resulting grids. I felt that the triangular grid had a broader, and more extensive breadth of options for me to explore.




We were asked to narrow our research to only one of the resulting grids. I felt that the triangular grid had a broader, and more extensive breadth of options for me to explore.   We exhaustively explored the options within our grids—continuing within the taking-away parameters.  


Text coming soon

HISTORY

Each mentor had their own method of sharing their knowledge. Individuals such as Rob Roy Kelly, or Massimo Vignelli had admirable ways to entice the viewer into their designs. There are so many and I have only a short list below of those that come to mind as I am writing this entry. I will try to add others as they drift through my consciousness.  Influences that come from my Basel family Hamish Muir, Hamish Thompson, Avi Dunklemen, Franz Werner, Jerry Kuyper, Steff Geisbühler, Inge Druckrey, Hans-U. Allemann, Ken Hiebert, Gregory Vines, Kate Wolff, Tricia Hennessy, Larry Bach,  Joe Finocchiaro, Dean Alexander, Nadine Bitterli, Dorothea Hofmann, Kristie Williams, and Manfred Maier.

Then there is my extended design family Michael Beruit, Herbert Matter, György Kepes, Sewell Silmann, Tom Ockerse, Noel Martin, Wim Crouwel, Paul Rand, Michael Kroeger, Saul Bass, Grant Monroe, Bradbury Thompson, Yoon Soo Lee, Nathan Davis, and Matty Nowheimer. When looking at the students, I tried to make sure they were aware of design and a variety of methods of design to make sure they became thought leaders. In observing their path and their ever-expanding knowledge these individuals become my mentors as well. These mentors include Daniel Opoku Asamoah, Michael Jung, Nisiqi, Mohammad Farhung, Dan Walsh, Criag Gebhart, Jenna Verhof, Kendall Markley, Darren Baker, Russell Banks, Joanne Kaliontzis, Michael Rock, Jennifer Cole Phillips, Bobby Matza, Vic Hewitt, and the list goes on and on.



Text coming soon



I chose to create a set of five studies overlapping the original grid structure six times and practically removing all recognition of the original grid as the series progressed. The fragmentation was most interesting.




The manipulation, deconstruction, and resurfacing of new elements within a grid reveal many exploratory outlets. After many alterations, the grid has formed as outcome far more dynamic than it’s origins as simple triangular shapes. After applying color, I found that I was starting the associate the forms within my grid to kaleidoscopic imagery. This association is what led me to my final application.



We were again limited when applying colors to the exploratory grids—only three colors. Of the three colors, one color was used to replace the black, one color to replace the white, and a third color that maximized the interaction and activity within the grids.

Front of the decoder:
On the front of the decoder the initial for each day of the week appears at the top of the seven columns, there are circular windows for the numeric dates, and at the bottom three windows reveal the first three letters of the month. The back of decoder, shown above, lists the years that run from 1996 to 2099. The list of years is followed by the number of the disc that is to be inserted into the decoder for that corresponding year.

Although the reality of the design practice shows that this process is opposite to the way designs evolve in our industry, discussions in retrospective critiques reveal the merit of this process objectives. An observation targeted during this discourse focuses on why the priority was on the visual aesthetics of the form rather than the content in the first phase of the time-based research. That focus not only builds confidence, it allows the design student to taste a visual quality often ignored or overwhelmed when outside preconceived factors interfere with innovative and uninhibited visual design processing. In addition, this research refines a students consciousness of formal conditions and evolves their understanding of freedom in sketching. It is important to note that in the first phase of this research we only focus on the formal conditions of visual aesthetics, however our ultimate priority at Ohio University is to contextualize both the form and the content.

LEGACY: KENNEDY MUSEUM OF ART

REACH: TRISOLINI GALLERY

FIGURE DRAWING: SCOTT GALLERY

STORYTIME: MAJESTIC GALLERIES

I am humbled to realize I have throughout my lifetime been exposed to and aligned with a dynamic team of design thought-leaders throughout my career. The direct interactions and tertiary encounters have allowed me to develop my philosophy on design education. My deep respect goes out to all those who contributed to the accomplishments and observations revealed in my visual research. It has been an extremely fortunate path. I am humbled and thankful for all those open hearts and minds that have fostered me and my way of thinking and teaching. MENTORS

These drawings incorporate a lifetime of observation, experimentation, and gratification.  When I draw, I innovate and mediate ideas into metaphoric visual essays. I understand how the drawing can invite the audience through an implied line or an implied idea. It gives a sense of gratification and accomplishment to the viewer who is invited into the drawing to finish the implied line with the perfect line that only that viewer can envision. The viewer, therefore, takes ownership of the image through the experience. What a gift a drawing gives when it invites the viewer to participate in finishing it! 

REACH is an exhibition featuring 50+ years of work by Ohio University Graphic Design alumni for clients around the globe.

The exhibition of typography, complex communication systems, and the diversity of graphic design in contemporary culture was done by 20+ alumni of the Graphic Design program at Ohio University's College of Fine Arts. This was the area’s first-ever exhibition to celebrate the careers and work of OHIO’s alumni graphic designers.

An entrance banner to the exhibition displayed hundreds of logos representing organizations and companies OU design students found as employers or clients. Our more than 750 alumni from the graphic design program are all over the world. Most remain as designers, many have design-related positions.  Regardless of the roles they fill, they are thought leaders. Those alumni who have remained in contact indicate that their experiences at OU have taken them to fulfill their life’s ventures.  REACH was a part of the College of Fine Arts and Ohio University’s spring 2021 celebration of graphic design at Ohio University. The School of Art + Design’s Graphic Design area opens REACH: 50+ years of works by OHIO Graphic Design, the area’s first-ever exhibition to celebrate the careers and work of OHIO’s alumni graphic designers.  

Nasra Mohamed is a graphic designer, artist, and cinephile based in New York City. Originally from East Africa, she brings a cross-cultural approach to her design work. She appreciates the techniques behind film photography, letterpress printing and video art.  Nasra graduated from Ohio University in 2016 with a BFA in graphic design.  
Nasra currently works for BET.com as a motion graphics artist. After watching how dynamic Nasra’s work is, I honestly get coughed up with pride for her.

Craig Gephart became a senior designer for the new Yankee Stadium project two years after completing his BFA in graphic design at OU, 2005. This Yankee Stadium venture alone took over 4 years of his early career. He excels in type and letterforms. He is rigorous in every task he takes on. He even took a year off to clog professionally for The Lord of the Dance troop! They loved him too.

Dan Walsh, what can I say? He is a born leader. Typography and Dan were one and the same. His work for Google, YouTube, and AOL has won him awards of merit and his promotional matrix for the Pixel we see every day. He kept his class of 1998 together and really was another graphic design student who knew how to dance! I still see him doing the sprinkler moves.  

Stuart Auld was able to live life to the fullest. He was Katen’s idea of a solid-state designer. Karen and I visited him in their home / bed ‘n’ breakfast in New Orleans where he hand-painted faux marble and extraordinary foliage murals based on different themes in each guest room.

Dejan Mraovic, MFA 2012, truly has a conviction for historic and innovative ideation. His attention to detail is stellar. His ability to entertain and narrate a story is spellbinding. His Serbian heritage will be his legacy. His design expertise is complimented by his ability to make comic relief short films and teaching design.

Laura Lipuma is a full-of-life designer and human being that is the posterchild of the OU design program, 1977. Her career uses the best of the design program’s credentials officially and unofficially. Karen developed her design skills but helped her enjoy life by also developing her social skills!  She prides herself on the ability to not only work hard but play hard as well!

Deborah Cavanaugh was one of my first students. But this did not stop her from climbing to the top position in the design world at Vouge, Talbots, and Lane Bryant. The typography displayed here is a poetic homage to the letter form, and inside each counter form. She started her own business and remains in the highest regard in the NYC design scene. She also paints, her visual translations are as vibrant as her elegant typography.  

Elliot Strunk is one in a million. His ability to design is matched by his ability to articulate complex concepts and ways of moving forward. Recently Elliot has been the inspiration of a Designer in Residence program at OU. His contributions to this vision match his knowledge of the bigger picture of design and design education. He speaks with confidence in the way he provides a visual roadmap for his clients to advance their businesses. Elliot has harnessed his business classes with his typography research in 1995 to create an extraordinarily successful design firm in Winston-Salem, one that represents design quality at its best.

Ocean Eiler, forever young! In 2010 secured a BFA in Design and a BS in Communications. He was able to combine his love of design to his passion for contemporary culture. Being the top designer at PBS Kids he quickly achieved a lifelong dream most of us designers seek in our entire careers. His brightly enticing animated vignettes bring everyone to a creative level of our imagination. Still DJ’ing he somehow found the fountain of youth in his life.

Josh Bodman is now doing full-time design in Columbus after taking time being the chair of graphic design and guiding the CCAD design program for several years. His passion and knowledge of visual translation amazed me, especially during his senior thesis for his BFA, 1999, in which he visually interpreted personal emotions felt during his formative years. His five kinetic sculptures secured his place in the National Stutterers Association’s conference immediately after his senior show. This research turned into the Stuttering is No Joke campaign featured in REACH.  

Sarah MacDowell is the essence of creativity. Her uninhibited ability to dive into whatever design task is in front of her is profound! Her design position in Mexico City proves this. This position was secured as her first design position after she graduated with BFAs in both graphic design and photography areas in 2002. She has the knowledge to bring the content to a medium that allows the message to have center stage. This is shown in the covers she created for Fahrenheit, a bimonthly contemporary art and culture magazine. Her respect for whatever design task she takes on is both generous and selfless. She is always advancing her audiences with contemporary ways of thinking, a rare trait to find in a designer. Thank you, Sarah, for your design gifts!!!  

Richard Woolacott is the kind of guy who is thorough, professional, and honest about every venture he pursues. Whether it is in the classroom, on a board of directors, one-on-one in client meetings, or in a social event, he is a no-nonsense person. He compliments that efficiency with humor, caring, and time sensitivity always in his vision. Karen loved this 1977 BFA graduate in graphic design.

Tricia Hennessy also lives life to the fullest in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She not only studied art education, but she also took design animation classes with Karen, 1975. Recently retired from being the Director of the School of Art and Design, she spent most of her time establishing and developing a working design center at WMU. This design education program is unique in that the placement of her design students is close to 99%. Fun, rigorous, professional, and she has a beating heart of gold.

Nisiqi, BFA 2017, MFA 2020 There has been no other designer from our program who can meld aesthetics with political content as well as she does. Her advanced appreciation of multicultural political nuances gives her an introspective advantage in her visual solutions. From crafting Chinese characters so they interpolate and reflect the essence of a distinct style to building an identity or campaign has been her way of thinking ever since I met her.

Robin Smith is a dynamic filmmaker and designer. Both areas of her BFA degrees, 1972. The sensitive topics and the strong voices she provide for her clients empower them to action! Her firm, Video Action, echoes the force she can harness in the visual results for all her clients. Come Walk in My Shoes details a turbulent decade of the EQUAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. Featuring the Honorable John Lewis and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.    

Nasra Mohamed is a graphic designer, artist, and cinephile based in New York City. Originally from East Africa, she brings a cross-cultural approach to her design work. She appreciates the techniques behind film photography, letterpress printing and video art.  Nasra graduated from Ohio University in 2016 with a BFA in graphic design.  
Nasra currently works for BET.com as a motion graphics artist. After watching how dynamic Nasra’s work is, I honestly get coughed up with pride for her.

Ongoing Research

My path through academic institutions and all my work experiences have provided me with the ability to continue to learn. The following projects will continue to teach me. Reprinting the Adleta Perpetual Calendar, creating a Chinese version of this calendar, and evolving a lunar planting guide with a case for filing seed packs according to the lunar cycle. Designing a joint book with Nelson Hippolyte that will feature Nelson’s reimaged erotic content from social media using aesthetically framed images juxtaposed to my drawing translating the same media. Then there is the continued research of the Romanesque mason marks on the Basel Cathedral. It has been sitting dormant in my flat file for close to 45 years. Research makes you forever young!  

This video shows Don instructing his students by hand painting letterforms in white and black flat paint, putting emphasis on their optical relationships. His students then created their own letterforms by hand and remade them in Adobe Illustrator. A few examples are shown next to the videos.

Adleta Perpetual Calendar
By Don E. Adleta
Fulfilled by Amazon (Not Available Yet)

Focus, Visual Translation and
Seeing Harmony

By Don E. Adleta
Published By OU Press

Saatchi Art Gallery is an online store
for Don Adleta's drawing.

Drawing the Masculine Form:
Studies interpreting the human form

By Don E. Adleta
Published by Lulu Press on Jan 13, 2021

Drawing the Feminine Form:
Studies interpreting the human form

By Don E. Adleta
Published by Lulu Press on Jan 13, 2021

Focus drawing
By Don E. Adleta
Published by Ohio University Printing Services

Focus BookBinding
By Don E. Adleta
Published by Ohio University printing Services

Weingarts Posters
Fulfilled by Amazon (Not Available Yet)

Focus Grid Studies books By Don Adleta and Students

(Our work)
(Our work)