Graphis Master Adrian Pulfer’s Tumultuous Teaching – Journal #365

Designer and Brigham Young University professor Adrian Pulfer redefines what it means to connect with students as a teacher. After graduating from BYU’s graphic design program, Pulfer went on to receive the Karl G. Maeser Research Award, as well as several platinum Graphis Awards for teaching. The Graphis Master has been featured in Print Magazine, Creativity, the Advertising Club of New York, and the Society of Publication Designers. He boasts several renowned companies on his resume, including Crate & Barrel, the International Olympic Committee, F. Shumacher, and even Graphis! 

Pulfer, featured in Journal #365 for his excellence in teaching, inspires his students, effectively setting them up for success in their future design careers. Former student Enoch Palmer (quoted in our Journal) says Pulfer “has never stopped working to make the world a better and more beautiful place through design and teaching.” Known as a professor who turns away from conventional methods and superficiality, Pulfer’s iconic design critiques truly make him an outstanding professor. 

Pulp Magazine” (above, left) by student Haley Stoneking and “Alessi Balsamic Vinegars” (above, right) by student Sam Wood showcase examples of Pulfer’s effective teaching methods. These pieces received, respectively, a platinum award in our 2018 New Talent Annual and a gold award in our 2014 New Talent Annual. 

More work from Adrian Pulfer’s past students can be found above. Both “Blueprint Magazine” (left, above) by Lauren Canizales (New Talent Annual 2020 gold-winning) and “Fader Magazine” (left, below) by Abby Carlson (New Talent Annual 2017 gold-winning) illustrate sharp, minimalist design. Tyson Cantrell’s New Talent Annual 2013 gold-winning “Space Magazine,” (right) features bold typography overlaying a striking portrait, mirroring similar portraiture to Carlson’s entry. 

Check out a preview of our Q&A with Pulfer from Journal #365 below:

With the semester ending, what kind of advice would you give to the class?

I suppose I was a little more philosophical at the end of the school year as our students are graduating. We do become good friends in that short two-year time span because of the intimacy of our program. I encourage them to stay true to the principles they have learned: to create beauty, disseminate truth and authenticity, and use their gifts to make the world a better place. Design has that power.

Do you present their work to the class so that everyone can participate in criticism?

Yes, because of the concentrated time that we have with our students (two years only), constructive critiquing is a major component of every classroom experience. I have found this to be one of the most valuable ways to teach the principles of design and have the students understand how to implement them in their work. This also prepares them quite well for the professional world.

Purchase Journal #365 here to read more about Adrian Pulfer. You can also pre-order Journal #367 to read about similar artists, like Carl Deichman.

Author: Graphis

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