AMES, Iowa — The Iowa State University graphic design class of 2024 will host its senior show on Thursday, May 9, at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines.

The free, public event will run from 5–7 p.m., with a program at 6:30 p.m. Business attire is encouraged.

“72 UNDEFINED” will feature work by 72 graduating seniors developed in the graphic design capstone courses taught by associate professors Bernard Canniffe and Lisa Fontaine and assistant teaching professor Julius Finley, as well as four interdisciplinary studios and several independent studies.

“Some of the students’ final pieces are inspired by their heritage, music and social causes,” Canniffe said. “I’m looking forward to seeing students share their work with their families and professionals that will come in from Des Moines, Minneapolis, Kansas City and Omaha.”

Highlighting public education

Natalie Lang, from Cedar Falls, created “SOS! – Save Our Schools” “as an informational campaign aiming to bring attention to how Iowa public schools are deteriorating without proper funding and resources,” she said.

With her display, which will include photos and stickers, “I want to help Iowans understand how specific policies and decisions affect them in a digestible manner,” Lang said.

Thoughts from Italy

The sights, sounds and people of Italy inspired Clay Spahn’s final project. Spahn, from Dubuque, says “Untitled No. 01” is a manifestation of his thoughts, journals, feelings and photographs from his study abroad experience with the College of Design’s  Rome Program last fall.

“I learned to crochet for this project,” said Spahn. “I filmed every step of the process of making my city representations (of Milan, Venice and Rome), I wrote a book and held photoshoots for the book, I produced an EP, and I designed packaging and a brand identity to bring it together as one experience.”

Faculty recognition

Fontaine and professor Sunghyun Kang, both of whom will retire at the end of this academic year, will be recognized at Thursday’s event for their many years of service and impact on generations of students.

Fontaine joined the graphic design department in 1987. She has taught courses from first year to graduate level and served as the director of the Graphic Design in Europe summer program for 13 years. She has practiced, taught and researched exhibit design, logo design, wayfinding and graphic identity systems, and she led the development of the master of arts in environmental (now experiential) graphic design — the first of its kind in the nation. Fontaine will be in attendance at the senior show.

Kang has taught at all levels of the undergraduate and graduate graphic design programs since 2000. She joined the faculty as an assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2006 and achieved the rank of full professor in 2013. Her specialty areas are web design and usability, graphic design and human computer interaction, user experience design, evaluation of visual information and design for diverse users. She served as the graphic design department’s director of graduate education from 2010–2014 and as the College of Design’s interim associate dean for academic programs from 2017–2018. Kang is unable to attend the event and will be recognized in absentia.


Bernard Canniffe, Associate Professor, Graphic Design,
Natalie Lang, Graduating Senior, Graphic Design,
Clay Spahn, Graduating Senior, Graphic Design,
Lauren Johnson, Communications Specialist, College of Design,