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Cabrini graphic design students at drafting tables

Don Dempsey

Associate Professor and Chair, Graphic Design

When given the opportunity to create a Graphic Design major, Don Dempsey eagerly joined Cabrini's faculty in 1993. He has stayed here because he believes in the type of education Cabrini provides.

"The Cabrini experience provides students with a unique blend of liberal arts education, professional studies and community engagement," says Dempsey. "Small class sizes, experienced faculty and the most current technology provide a professional environment for learning."

Staying up to date with the latest technology is important to Dempsey, but in his opinion a great designer first understands the theory and process of graphic design.

"Theory requires students to have a thorough understanding of the basic properties of Design," says Dempsey. "These properties include, but are not limited to: perception, composition, shape, line, contrast, color, harmony, and communication. Theory is then applied through practical problems."

With realistic assignments, Dempsey's students are able to implement their understanding. Some of his students designed exhibition materials for the 125th anniversary celebration for the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Also, his classes designed a conference brochure, website and T-shirt for the Emily Dickinson International Society.

"These problems are designed to challenge the student's ability to translate ideas into visual concepts," says Dempsey. "This is accomplished using a visual problem solving process. The process consist of three stages of development; thumbnails, roughs, and final comprehensives. This allows for experimentation and development of an idea in a creative but structured manner."

Dempsey earned an associate's degree in advertising design and production from Mohawk Valley Community College in New York, a bachelor of fine arts in Graphic Design from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a master's in graphic design from Kent State University.

Dempsey designed the 30th Anniversary event logo for the Boilermaker 15K Road Race in Utica, NY, and has been designing Boilermaker event logos for more than a decade. He is a charter member of Collegeville, PA, in the 250-year-old farmhouse they are renovating.

2020 ROADMAP:
Vision. Impact. Growth.

Discover Cabrini University's strategic plan for diversification, sustainable growth, and expanded outreach.