Douglass Scott was, until January 2010, Creative Director at the WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston – a producer and broadcaster of public television and radio programs, where he had worked since 1974. His major projects at WGBH include: Masterpiece Theatre, This Old House, Nova, Evening at Symphony, The Victory Garden, Evening at Pops, The Caption Center and WGBH Radio. He currently runs a design practice doing book and identity design, and is consulting Art Director of Davis Publications, an art education publisher in Worcester, Massachusetts. Before coming to WGBH, Scott worked for Schmidtke & Layer Architects in Elgin, Illinois; was a principal of two architecture/graphic design ﬁrms in Lincoln, Nebraska – Art Coalition and Rainbow Studio; and has maintained a freelance practice since 1968. From 1971–1977, Scott was a draftsman/cartographer and Operations & Intelligence Sergeant in the United States Army Reserve.
He has designed books for many publishers including Little, Brown; Houghton Mifﬂin; Addison-Wesley; Beacon Press; Alfred A. Knopf; Prentice-Hall and Harper & Row. Other clients include Suffolk University, Emmanuel College, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, Boston Design Museum, Harvard University’s School of Public Health and John F. Kennedy School of Government, Abt Associates and Boston Musica Viva. He has designed exhibitions for the Boston Public Library, Museum of African American History, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Nebraska State Historical Society and the National Park Service.
Scott teaches graphic design, exhibition design, typography and graphic design history at the Rhode Island School of Design (since 1980) and teaches graphic design and design history at the Yale University School of Art (since 1984). He has also taught at University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth, Northeastern University, Rhode Island College and Connecticut College, as well as the Boston Architectural Center, Harvard University, Maine College of Art and at both RISD and Maine Summer Institutes of Graphic Design Studies. He is a recipient of RISD's John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching. Since 1989, Scott has been actively constructing and exhibiting paper collages and assemblages.
Since 1978, Scott has given over 150 lectures on the history of design and printing, as well as his own work, at various colleges, universities and symposia. He was a curator of the history of American typography section of the 1989 exhibition Graphic Design In America,which opened at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and traveled to Phoenix, New York City and London. Scott also curated The Roots of Modern American Graphic Design, a 1987 exhibition at the Art Institute of Boston which included 400 works by 21 American designers from the 1930s–50s. He has been a visiting critic at over 35 colleges and art schools.
Scott’s design work has won awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Society of Typographic Arts, Boston Hatch Awards, New York Art Directors Club, Boston Art Directors Club, Broadcast Designers Association and Bookbuilders of Boston. He has been a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts since 1974 and served on its national board of directors from 1989–1992. He has been a member of the board of directors of DesignInquiry.
Scott holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Nebraska, a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University and studied the history of graphic design with Louis Danziger at Harvard University.
Fall 2023 Courses
HISTORY OF GRAPHIC DESIGN
Chronological survey of graphic design through slide lectures. The course will study how graphic design responded to (and affected) international, social, political, and technological developments since 1450. Emphasis will be on printed work from 1880 to 1970 and the relationship of that work to other visual arts and design disciplines. In addition to the lectures, the course will schedule a studio section in which design projects are integrated with research.
Students are pre-registered for this course by the department; registration is not available in Workday. Enrollment is limited to Graphic Design Students. Please contact the instructor to be added to the waitlist.
Major Requirement | BFA Graphic Design, MFA Graphic Design (3yr)
GRADUATE TYPOGRAPHY STUDIO III
Typography III is the culmination of RISD's typography sequence, with an emphasis on typography and contemporary display platforms. Advances in software and hardware have created new opportunities for how language is written, sequenced and accessed. Projects in this semester depend on altered states, where the content, composition, and context all are potentially at play. Students will continue to develop proficiency in designing for static compositions while extending the meaning and voice of that work across multiple platforms. Students will have ample opportunity to further shape their perspective and individual voice in relation to contemporary typography. This is a studio course, so some class time will be used for discussions, most of the time we will be working in class, often on a computer. There is an expectation that students work both individually and in groups and be prepared to speak about their own work and the work of their peers in supportive and respectful ways. A laptop and relevant software are required.
Please contact the department for permission to register; registration is not available in Workday.
Major Requirement | MFA Graphic Design (3yr)
Spring 2024 Courses
This course will study the presentation of information in a designed environment: the exhibit. The theme, context, and conditions of this exhibit will be assigned. Study emphasis will be on integrative communication activity of all elements involved, e.g., time, space, movement, color, graphics, 3-D forms, objects, instructions, text, and constructions.
Open to Junior, Senior or Graduate Graphic Design Students.
The visualizing of information into graphic form is one of the oldest forms of graphic design, and is one of the essential areas of professional design engagement. This course deals with the organization and analyzation of data, and the concepts and methods of visualizing information. Using information structure and visual systems of form, color, and typography, students will work projects which communicate complex information through the use of maps, graphs, charts, and diagrams. These projects will explore issues of mapping, hierarchy, location, time, comparison, motion, format, and the use of symbolic visual language.
Open to Junior, Senior or Graduate Graphic Design Students.