I'm passionate about learning

A little bit about me (a brief cv)

I am a creative, an artist, a designer, and a design educator. Currently I am an Associate Professor of Art and Design at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA), creator and host of the DESIGN DEDUX™ Podcast, and founder of Twist Creative Studio ™. I have earned my MFA in Design from Savannah College of Art and Design , an MS in Marketing, Communication, and Information Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology, and I have taught a variety of design curriculum ranging from branding and advertising to typography as well as packaging to graphic design history. My work advocates the application of humanistic experience and typographic form and visual communication with an ideology that design can exist and communicate in multi-dimensionalities signifying a ‘user-experience’ that is articulated, understood, sensed, and embodied. Beyond my academic career I have accrued more than twenty-five years as a professional designer with design experience encompassing freelance design, public relations, advertising, marketing, publications design, and more.

What is my mind thinking (my research interests)

I believe the humanistic revolution is upon us. I identify the emergence of the handmade movement as it has slowly gained popularity over the last decade, which is fueled by designers, clients, and customers 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.

As a People of Print member my latest endeavors embody design thinking alongside the human experience within visual communication design and the responsibilities it carries within society focusing on how it personifies the humanistic aesthetic, the human experience, and the virtues and obligation design carries within society. My aspirations are to expose audiences to new ideas and perspectives within design and typography while questioning established conventions in a historical, technological, social, and cultural context. In doing so I hope to suggests opportunities for emergent practices within design and typography through its application and relation to these principles.

I like to make things (my creative activity)

My creative endeavor, ‘Typology of Typography: typographic communication in sculptural form,’ 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. Thus, signifying typography can be articulated and understood as sculptural form. ‘Grimm & Grotesk: a theoretical connotation of the grotesque,’ suggests an expressive bond of the bizarre between the written word and the typographic manifestation. Likewise, ‘Humanistic Experiential Methodologies as Design Mechanism’ suggests a universal synthesis connecting humanism and societal influences through design.

When it comes to the relationship between form and content in current communication design perspectives, I feel strongly that we once lived in a world where communication design was about the form of communication — meaning, what form does it take? — as in form follows function. As that is still true; he also feels it has become much more. I feel that in communication 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 integrating innovation, the experience, socioeconomics, psychographics, etc. are just as meaningful — if not more than — as typography, composition, structure, imagery, color, and so on within design. Simply, design can be a purposeful creation of value in a society.


Peter Bella
Assistant Professor of Art
Graphic Design
Department of Art & Design
University of Central Arkansas

News & Articles

Roberts Review: From It to Thou 12.18
NPR News: From It to Thou 11.18
Journal Gazette: From It to Thou 11.18
IN Fort Wayne: From It to Thou 11.18
POP MEMBER Spotlight 07.18
Slanted: TypeCon Boston 09.17
Typograph.Her: Grimm & Grotesk 04.17
Slanted: TypeCon Seattle 09.16

Exhibitions & Presentations
(abbreviated Titles)

From It to Thou; Allen County, IN
From It to Thou
; Conway, AR
Typology of Typography; Conway, AR
From It to Thou; Garrett, IN
Making the Machine Human; Chicago, IL
Making the Machine Human;
New Paltz, NY
Making the Machine Human;
Boston, MA
Grimm & Grotesk
; Huntington, IN
Typographic Form; Chicago, IL
Humanistic Methodologies; Toronto, Ont.
Gestural Explorations; Seattle, WA
Dearly Discarded; Chicago, IL
Typology of Typography; Fort Wayne, IN
American StereoTypeFaces; Fort Wayne, IN

Invited Lecturer & Speaker

University of South Alabama
Huntington University
RIT School of Design
SUNY Buffalo State College