Three Connecticut advertising and design agencies welcomed the graduating Visual Communication Design (VCD) class from the Hartford Art School during open house tours on May 12. Coordinated by Deb Kline, a longstanding adjunct faculty member, and Associate Professor of Visual Communication Design Mark Snyder, the road trip was an encore to a successful trip to visit Boston Studios last year.
The first stop was Silverman Group of New Haven, a full-service strategic marketing and brand development agency located in a vintage house full of character. Marc Jacobson, president of the agency, along with several staff members spent an hour chatting with the students about the strategy behind their work. In addition to sharing several presentations and case studies, they walked students through some current projects.
Next, the group crossed town to meet up with Nick Healy '03, an alumnus of the VCD program at the Hartford Art School who is senior art director at Mascola Group Advertising, and owner/principal Chuck Mascola. They were welcomed into the eclectic barber-shop-turned-agency, also in New Haven. Mascola Group focuses on understanding the mindset of affluent consumers and building the brands they crave. A studio tour and a diverse presentation of work, including the beautiful design work for The World – Luxury Residences at Sea, was followed by lunch in the agency courtyard. Mascola knows the way into students’ hearts – pizza, soda and sunshine. They also enjoyed some laughs and memories inspired by the many campaigns for The Big E.
Outthink of Essex, Conn., the largest of the three agencies, was the final stop. Housed in the old E.E. Dickinson Co. Witch Hazel Factory, Outthink is a new-breed strategic marketing agency. The presentation and showmanship skills of the owner, John Visgilio, kept all engaged as he shared some work and how the agency outthinks strategic approaches to the business of design. Creative Director Sue McClain and Head Writer Jane Hudson added depth and insight for young designers about to enter the field.
Thanks to all three studios for being such gracious and inspiring hosts. Our mission – to expose our students to various work environments, engage them in the creative community, and inspire them to start a creative career in Connecticut – was fulfilled.