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UDA Webinar 2022 Vol. 6 of 6

The ABCs of impacts, lessons learned, and unexpected discoveries of collaboration

Brenda McManus

Associate Professor and Chair at Pace University–NYC, USA

Monday, November 21, 2022, 10 AM (EST)

“Tell me, and I forget, teach me, and I may remember, involve me, and I learn.”  – Anonymous

As professional designers, we intuitively rely upon our design skills to see and understand the visual world. Yet, as design educators, we must also find ways to help students build those same intuitive skills. Our collaboration on a limited-edition letterpress book of ABCs began with several integrated goals: the challenge of using our diverse collection of letterpress type and images; and creating an educational opportunity in both the process and product. 

This presentation focuses on the production of our letterpress book, a process in which we partnered with a cross-section of novice and advanced design students from two universities. 

Through this presentation, I will explore the educational value revealed in the project’s intersection of contemporary digital technologies with historic production methods of making. I will uncover and explain the various means of creative thinking (linear, lateral, spatial, compositional) and analytical and logistical problem-solving that became essential to resolve this complex design challenge. And finally, I will explore some of the unexpected benefits of engaging a broader community of creatives to work toward a time and labor-intensive shared goal.

Webinar Contents


Sarah A. Meyer
UDA Vice President of Design Education
Professor & Program Coordinator, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, USA


Brenda McManus
Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Chair of the Art Department at Pace University–NYC, USA

Discussion with all attendees

Final Remark by Mediator

About Presenter

Brenda McManus is a designer, author, and educator based in NYC. A founding partner of the award-winning studio BRED, the graphic design studio, research, and design education lab of Brenda McManus and Ned Drew. She is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design and current Chair of the Art Department at Pace University–NYC. Brenda is an ambassador for the Innovation Center for Design Excellence, and her research encompasses typography, integrating antiquated and contemporary technology and methods of making and collaborative design processes. 

Brenda received her MS and MFA from Pratt Institute’s Graduate Communication Design Program and has experience in design research, design management, art direction, design writing, and a passion for typography. 

McManus is the co-author, designer, and printer of the limited-edition letterpress book Drew’s ABCs and co-author of George Giusti: The Idea is the Heart of the Matter. Her work has been included in Graphic Design Solutions, 4th Ed, Typographic Design: Form and Communication, 6th edition, Color Management for Logos and Color Management: A Comprehensive Guide for Graphic Designers, and Pressing Matters issue 6. McManus’s work has also been recognized by the Society of Typographic Arts, AIGA, the TDC, the Art Directors Club, the FPO Awards, Creativity, the UCDA, IDA, and Graphis, Communication Arts, Print, and How magazines. 

In keeping with the UDA mission of celebrating global awareness and providing educational and professional opportunities in communication design, UDA offers webinars, one of many activities to develop our design awareness in society and culture.