Learn from designers with industry expertise.
I love teaching because it’s a way of sharing an experience that is personal, useful and impactful.
Graphic Design Teacher
Hailing from New York City, Alana Cowan teaches because it’s a way of sharing an experience that is personal, useful and impactful. Her love of design and extreme curiosity has lead her to working in various industries over the past 15 years. Alana started her career at Pentagram, Landor and AIGA, owned her own small design studio and worked for a while as a photographer. Most recently, she worked 8 years as an art director in a pharmaceutical advertising. When not teaching, Alana discovers the wonders of the world with her 1 year old daughter, and attends as much theatre as possible (currently that’s not very much).
What do you love about design?
Everything—I love everything about design. I love how it energizes me in all its forms, from theater set design to chocolate packaging. I love how design informs, delights, directs and influences us, often in ways we don’t even know or perceive, but always feel.
Why do you teach?
I teach because I love learning on all levels. There is nothing more gratifying than when the light of recognition goes off, whether that’s in a student or in myself, in that moment of teaching.
Tell us about your design career outside of Shillington.
My career has taken me to, and through, many visual disciplines. Most recently I worked in the healthcare advertising space as an Art Director and Designer. Before that I had my own design firm as well as a wedding photography business. Early on, right out of school, I worked at Pentagram, Landor and the AIGA.
What or who are you loving right now?
As I love design in all its forms, I’m most recently obsessed with Es Devlin who approaches her work very much with what I would consider to be design thinking. And I am continuously inspired by my friend Richars Meza who creates from a deep joy of discovery that is contagious. This is my favorite project of his.
If you were a typeface, what would you be?
Meta by Erik Spiekermann. This font includes both a Serif and a Sans, as well as two other versions (Correspondence and Headline). I like to say yes, and this font says yes to every and all possibilities and experiences.
What’s your favourite blog?