RISD Viewbook

This book is an overview of undergraduate life and study at Rhode Island School of Design intended for high school sophmores, juniors, and guidance counsellors.

Reflecting a museum and school that offers both a world-class arts education as well as rigorous liberal arts study, the conceptual framework for this book is “new collegiate”. Innovation, but steeped in history. Latest technology, but founded in 1877.  Additionally, the formal moves in this volume are meant to convey the idea that studying at RISD is like “sunshine on a cloudy day”. Several hidden rainbows are waiting to be discovered by readers: one on the foredge comprised by the “Programs of Study” section, the rainbow foil on the spine, and the colorful crystal photography by alum Maria Constanza Ferreira throught.

A modest proportion connotes an academic journal or novel, and is offset by the dramatic unfolding of oversized flaps covered in Ferreira’s fantastic microscopic crystal photography. Dimesional, blind embossed typography on the cover offer hands a soothing tactile experience— and yes, it feels good to hold this book.

The display typography is Canela by Miguel Reyes, a refined semi-serif that appears to reference the tool it was made by (and was influenced by his experience with stone carving). Canela seems to be in a dialogue with the RISD seal, drawn by John Howard Benton (1901-1956), also local stonecarver and RISD professor. From the Commercial Type website, “its forms are in an ambiguous space between sans and serif, both soft and sharp, modern yet with roots in the classical“ which made a lot of sense for this project. Canela is complimented by Maison Neue by Timo Gaessner—a grotesque sans serif that is sophisticated, confident, and comfortable to read.

Created for/with RISD MEDIA GROUP

Creative Director: Huy Vu
Creative Strategist: Lauren Maas
Design: Mary Banas and Jordan Gushwa; student designer: Utkan Dora Öncül

Illustrations: Suerynn Lee
Photograpy: George Gray, David O’Connor, Jo Sittenfeld; Bruce Damonte, Alexander Kern, Jocelyn Arruda, Pneuhaus, Acacia Johnson, RISD Museum, Tavares Strachan/Joe Vincent Grey, Brooks Hagan, ArTwerk/The Avenue Concept, Studio and NADAAA/John Horner, Kendra Xu, Matt Watson

All photography of the book itself (below) by Erik Gould.

contact: mary.banas (at)
1981–NOW © YES IS MORE, Mary Banas, specified rights holders. All Rights Reserved.