Only three years out and Sabri Akin, Class of 2016, has been working with medium to large scale design and branding firms as a freelance graphic designer in NYC. As well, he independently works on smaller and occasionally pro-bono projects in the fields of arts and culture for his friends/clients in Istanbul. Besides his design practice, he also curates and directs a project called Poster Union — an initiative dedicated to celebrating contemporary poster design.
What are some of your recent, favorite, most challenging, or most interesting projects?
Currently, I’m working on a very exciting rebranding project for a brand that has a great impact. Sadly, that’s all I can say for now, due to NDA 🙂
Which designers do you admire most nowadays?
There are some masters and many younger designers that I follow and admire. But nowadays I’m into work of following studios and designers: Balmer Hählen, Futurneue, Lennarts & De Brujin, Tony Brook, Natasha Jen.
How do you stay inspired?
I am not only interested in practicing but also researching and curating graphic design; Curating for Poster Union helps me keep up with the graphic design community globally. I also believe my interest in architecture, film, contemporary art, as well as history and philosophy, is helpful.
What design trends do you love? Which trends make you cringe?
Of course, spending time with design publications/media gets me exposed to trends but I don’t implement trends in my design practice. Therefore, I don’t have a deep connection with trends in terms of love or hate.
We asked Sabri to share some insights on his time spent during the program.
What advice would you give incoming students?
Take advantage one of the best design faculties and the best city to study graphic design; attend as many as design lectures outside the school, meet with practicing designers. See your assignments in the first year as an opportunity to create an enhanced portfolio. Have a cause or problem you are passionate about and build up your thesis around that in the second year.
What is your favorite part of the MFA Design program?
How has the program’s multidisciplinary approach helped you?
Pitching, presenting and understanding non-design related aspects of the design was an essential part of the program. Later in my design practice, I benefited from those learnings.
What if you could choose a thesis topic today, what would you pick?
I’d focus on designing and creating an independent publishing company for graphic designers.