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School of Visual Art and Design

  • Banner image with photo of Donna Smith and her Fall 2022 course offerings

New faculty spotlight: Donna Smith

Donna Smith is a professional graphic designer and illustrator. She received an M.F.A. in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2005. Donna has done work for a variety of clients including Johnston & Murphy, Clayton Homes, and Anchor Hocking. She collaborates with Toggle Design Collective on a variety of design and illustration projects. Donna taught and developed online design courses for Tulane University’s School of Professional Advancement for several years. During that time, her students won local, district, and national ADDY® Awards. She received the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2022. 

Why did you choose to come to the School of Visual Art and Design at the University of South Carolina? 

The faculty and staff at SVAD are great and the GD+I program is growing. I’m excited to be a part of that growth. 

How do you approach teaching? 

I approach teaching from an industry perspective. I’ve been a professional designer and illustrator for 20 years, so I have a solid understanding of design firms, clients, and what young designers need to be successful right out of school. 

What can students expect to learn from your classes this fall?  

Students in ARTS 102 will be introduced to graphic design. They’ll learn the basic principles, how to approach a design project, and they get to play with the big three: Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. 

Students in ARTS 245 will learn about typography. We’ll delve into the history of type and hopefully gain a new appreciation for letterforms, and how they come together to form the printed word. 

The most rewarding part of your job is…. 

Watching students take a (sometime vague) project sheet and turn it into amazing work.  

What is an interesting or surprising fact about you? 

I am a huge sci-fi geek. May the Force be with you! 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.