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UC s Oscar Fernandez Elected to Board of Graphic Design Professional Organization

The University of Cincinnati’s Oscar Fernandez, associate professor in the university’s graphic deign program within the

internationally ranked

School of Design, was recently selected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Society of Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD).

In his role on the board, Fernandez will also serve on the higher education and research committee.

It is an exciting time to be part of the leadership of the leading professional design organization in his field, according to Fernandez.

He says, “Even in this economy, environmental graphic design – with its 3-D and digital components – is a growing career field. It’s an exciting time in that the field is linking with other specialties, like anthropology, in order to make new strides and provide for more positive user experiences.”

Fernandez adds, “By serving, I also feel I have a new vantage point to glimpse the future of the profession and of society as a whole. We are always asking ourselves in this field: How will we access and understand information in the future? How will we comprehend a light-speed world around us through our designed user experiences? By my involvement in the SEGD, I will be meeting with a greater array of young, upcoming designers. I’ll be meeting more with other educators addressing the challenges facing design education. I’m confident that this will give me a view into our future.”

During his three-year term, Fernandez has interest in advocating for the study and promotion of usability issues within the field. He explains, “Within graphic design education and professional practice, there has been some tardiness in integrating consideration for universal usability into the design process for both the digital and physical environment.”

One such universal usability project, involving both Fernandez and the SEGD, that could serve as a case study was a 2009-2010

national design project

to create symbols that will guide users in health-care settings – no matter a user’s language or reading level. Fernandez led UC students in creating some of that signage, which has since been tested in hospital and health-care setting around the nation. In addition, Fernandez has since presented on that project at national conferences.