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'The secret of success is constancy of purpose'; SOP for RISD MFA Graphic Design

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Dec 27, 2013   #1
This is a draft for application to RISD for the MFA Graphic Design. Criticism and comments welcome.

Written Quote - 'The secret of success is constancy of purpose.'

This quote by Benjamin Disraeli is well suited in the realm of Graphic Design. In my view, design should have a purpose and the success of any piece of graphic design work may be measured through the constancy with which it meets its purpose. Without the bedrock of reason, insight and intent to support the visual and aesthetic form, design work in any capacity - commercial, informational or social - would fail. This is the founding principle on which I base my work in the field of Communication Design.

As a graphic design major at Symbiosis Institute of Design, courses such as Typography, Advanced Graphic Design and Design Methodology helped me gain insight into the many facets of Graphic Design. One project in particular, under the mentorship of Prof. Mandar Rane, Faculty IIT IDC, has had a deep impact on my approach to design and it's problem solving ability. A simple problem, 'Describe the ailment Cancer to a child', unearthed questions on methods of effective communication. This creative writing exercise resulted in 'The Boy Who Had No Hair', a simple, engaging hand-illustrated book discussing Cancer within the realm of storytelling that children most identify with. With this work, I began to identify Design's true potential in the thoughtful, informed application of classroom basics and innovative approaches that stand to enhance and enrich human life and it is this potential that I strive to achieve in my work.

In a professional capacity, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of start-ups as well as mid-sized companies over the last year where I have played key roles in ideating and executing memorable and unique brand experiences that add value to both the company and it's audience. I believe in the conceptual, the concise and the unique. My work, ranging in topic from Branding and Advertising to Publication design and Website Design, has assisted me in developing sharp creative thinking, keen aesthetic sense and sound technical skills.

At Symbiosis, I also connected with some of the most distinguished personalities in the Indian design landscape today, including Prof. M.C. Patel, Mr. Sudharshan Dheer and Mr. Sudhir Sharma. I count their award winning work in typography, map design, systems design and identity design amongst the influences on my design ethos. My interactions also led to a public speaking engagement on campus as a speaker at Chhap, the National Seminar on Visual Identity held in 2013. I had the opportunity to present my design thesis work on identity design for Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India, the leading breastfeeding advocacy group in India and hold a synergetic discussion on the principles and process of visual identity design in the modern context. My work also helped me explore one of the key issues in women and child development in India today as well as the compelling role of design in addressing it through the creation of communication systems and learning tools for use at a grassroots level and it is something I wish to explore further in my career.

To equip myself to take on such challenges as a designer, I wish to further my understanding of the intricacies and interconnections between design, communication and human experience. The Graduate Program in Graphic Design at RISD provides an ideal platform for me to explore and create meaningful design in this context. Supported by state-of-the-art print and digital labs, peer-led critiques, research partnerships in innovation and valuable faculty mentorship, RISD allows me to apply my creative ability and design thinking in collaborative and intensive work that seeks to expand the capability of design. Unique courses such as the Votelab, Uncreative Design, and Unfolding and Enfolding Meaning help me explore design's momentous role in modern society and my role as a catalyst.

RISD's historic setting, diverse culture and industry links assures me of fresh perspective and lasting influences that reflect in my work. As a graduate of RISD, I aim to use my experience as the foundation for a career in crafting meaningful design and communication solutions in a commercial as well as social setting. In the long term, I look to work on communication in the fields of education and development with the aim of introducing design thinking and learning at the elementary level along the lines of RISD's pioneer STEM to STEAM initiative, bringing Design to the forefront of Innovation in the 21st century.
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Dec 28, 2013   #2
Is the prompt the quotation? I'm assuming it is...

While well written and descriptive, I think your essay risks sounding more like a resume or detailed list of accomplishments. I had to reread the first paragraph at the end to remind my self what was your consistent goal or purpose.

I think the last paragraph is a great conclusion since it ties in why you are applying.
OP Nits 1 / 1  
Dec 28, 2013   #3
I'm sorry I should have been clearer about the context.
The prompt is for applicants to write a statement of 500-750 words 'outlining their interest and goals in pursuing graduate study'.
Do you think the statement is answering what has been asked of me?
The quote is something that I wanted to start my statement with. I felt it encapsulated my view on design work and why I feel I would benefit from an MFA.

I agree with your point that it may sound like my resume in prose form which was one of my concerns. I will work on that and post a revised version as soon as possible.

I appreciate your feedback and it would be great if you could review it again sometime. Thanks again!

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