Cathy Nguyen (USD ’14) is a MFA candidate in Graphic Design at San Diego State University (SDSU). She designs work for private clientele, academic/cultural institutions, and nonprofit organizations, such as the San Diego Asian Film Festival, while her artwork has been exhibited in local galleries at SDSU, the SDSU Downtown Gallery, the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, and the Franco Moragrega gallery. In her personal practice, she creates artist’s books that merge literary theory, typographic explorations, and experimental processes of printing.

With a background in literature and graphic design, Cathy Nguyen has come to question what merits the worth of being represented in design pedagogy and the literary canon. Interested in crossovers between disparate areas of study, Nguyen received a Student Success Fee Grant in 2017 from San Diego State University to organize Design Week, a week-long series of workshops and lectures by graphic designers that explore what it means to be a designer today, where fields are becoming increasingly collaborative, experimental, and interdisciplinary.

Through explorations in book structures, typography, and printing processes in her personal work, Nguyen is interested in utilizing, and subverting, the book as a material space for critical self-reflection and exchange, meditating on authorship, storytelling, and personal voice in a world where communication is always in flux and susceptible to breakdown.

Contemplating her label as a “graphic designer,” a profession synonymously known as the “master communicator” or “problem solver,” Nguyen’s current work addresses this tension she feels, touching upon personal, and repressed, aspects of her life that have been difficult to address and communicate, such as emotions, relationships, and identity.

CV can be viewed here.