The much-anticipated NEXT Thesis Exhibition, which kicks off on April 8th, showcases the dynamic, interactive, and innovative work by Corcoran’s graduating students. Each year, Design Lab, a graphics design course led by Francheska Guerrero, is charged with creating a design concept that best captures the identity of the graduating class—taking into consideration the exhibit’s various art themes to create a distinctiveness that will engage students, alumni, prospective employers and members of the arts and design community. The result as illustrated above is a design called “Expressive Discovery.”

Designing NEXT 2015 has been a unique experience in the sense that the Corcoran has been going through unprecedented changes, both the school and the gallery.  -Design Lab

Designed by graphic design students Nora Mosley BFA ’15, David Hodgson, BFA ’15, Grace Boyle, BFA ’16, Andersson, BFA ’16 and Lucien Liz-Lepiorz BFA ’16, “Expressive Discovery” is inspired by the layered aesthetic of topography. The concept is based on the idea that topography is the evidence of change over time, which parallels the Corcoran’s creative heritage and dynamic future.

In the design, merged components are meant to show the integration of two schools while emphasizing the artistic diversity of Corcoran’s programs and students. As noted by the design’s creators, when students find their place within the community, they experience a journey that exposes them to multiple perspectives. With that in mind, the final design incorporates organic lines to symbolize a variety of individual paths that unite to form one community. The idea of individuality is further enhanced the by the design’s resemblance to a fingerprint.

Amidst these changes, we have found a confident, creative energy among the students and faculty involved in the exhibition, and we have worked constantly to maintain this energy in our work. Our focus has been to capture the past, present, and future of the Corcoran and its students. -D.L.

Creating the Design: A Visual Story

The Corcoran School’s Design lab developed the Expressive Discoveries concept after many weeks and long hours of considering this year’s changing student experience. The process began with a questionnaire that asked students their thoughts on their final year at the Corcoran, what inspires their work and how research advanced knowledge in their field. From the responses, Design Lab created messaging boards highlighting students’ top answers.

Three concepts were developed, each representing transition, evolution, movement or change. The final design seemed to best represent the evolution of the school experience.



Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 12.52.31 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 12.52.37 PM

Wordmark Process

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 12.47.37 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 12.46.57 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 12.46.42 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 12.53.18 PM
Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 12.48.13 PM

In the final wordmark, the relationship between the dense and open areas has been finessed to create visual movement within each letterform—movement that then expands to unite the entire wordmark through the use of connecting lines.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 12.53.35 PM

We feel that this year’s concept represents both the creative journeys taken and those yet to come . – D.L.