Hello! I’m Peter Bella, an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Graphic Design within the Visual Communication and Design department at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne.
I have earned a BFA in Graphic Design from Rochester Institute of Technology, College of Imaging Arts & Sciences, School of Design; a MS in Professional Studies focused in Communication, Business Marketing, and Information Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology, Professional Studies; and a MFA in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design. I’ve come to Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne by way of West Virginia Shepherd University, the State University of New York at Buffalo State College, and the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology. I have taught a variety of design curriculum ranging from Branding and Advertising to Typography as well as Packaging and Publication Design to Graphic Design History. My professional design background encompasses public relations, advertising, marketing, and publications as well as freelance experience.
I have enjoyed an enthusiastic and dynamic career as a graphic designer. With my professional design work primarily encompassing clients in academia I have had an opportunity to appreciate the higher education learning environment. This same opportunity gave me the incentive to continue to learn and to pursue my education further. Through my experiences, I’ve built upon my beliefs that the students’ academic endeavors should—first and foremost—follow the students’ aspirations and passions. When it comes to the relationship between form and content in current graphic design perspectives, I feel strongly that we once lived in a world where graphic design was about the form of communication—meaning, what form does it take?—as in form follows function. As that is still true I also feel that today it is much more. In current graphic design the designer needs to consider not only the form and the content, but also the context in which we are designing. Factors such as socioeconomics, education, psychographics, etc. are just as meaningful in design, if not more, as typography, grid structure, imagery, color, and so on. Simply, design can create a purposeful creation of value in a society.
My past work and research is focused on the human experience with visual communication design and the responsibilities it carries within society resulting in my self-published book Design’s Social Responsible Manifesto Re-imagined. My latest research, typology of typography, suggests there is an un-attachable universal synthesis connecting societal influences to the design and application of typography in visual communication presenting an ideology that typographic form can exist, and more importantly communicate, in three-dimensional space signifying typography can be articulated and understood as sculptural form. My current research branches into design teaching and methodologies. These ideology has lead me to research the humanistic revolution that’s upon us. The handmade movement is one sign of this revolution which has slowly gained popularity over the last decade. Fueling this emergence are designers, clients, and customers who are returning to the roots of craft. This humanistic revolution promotes aesthetics that values the spirit of human touch and human design with a fusion of phenomenology and experiential purpose at its core. For clarity, phenomenology focuses on sensory qualities from the first-person point of view—such as seeing, hearing, etc.—in the pursuit of meaning. These experiences empower and give value to human connections.
I’ve fallen in love with teaching—Now is my time to give back. The energy I find in instructing young designers is unexplainable and I strive from it. In closing, a message of my own conception that I always share with students; “I’d rather shoot for the stars and land on the moon than reach for the mountain tops and settle in the foothills.”
Imagine the possibilities…