World-Class Graphic Design Expert Inspires Students in Campus Lecture

Lanny Sommese (center) with some members of the graphic design faculty (from left to right) including: Peter Camburn; Dianne Zotter-Mill; Associate Professor Maribeth Kradel-Weitzel; Christine Fajardo; Lanny Sommese; Rose DiSanto; Director and Associate Professor Frank Baseman; Beth Emmott; and Steve DeCusatis.

Lanny Sommese, a world-renowned graphic design expert and professor at Penn State University, spoke to Philadelphia University graphic design students on Oct. 19 about “The Art and Design World,” a retrospective on his career and the graphic design industry.

With nearly forty years in the industry, Sommese is a world-class poster maker and graphic design artist. “He’s literally in the graphic design history books,” said Frank Baseman, associate professor and program director of graphic design communication, who is also a former student of Sommese’s.

During the lecture, students heard about Sommese’s work and the ways in which the graphic design field has changed since he started in the business. Known for designing for social causes, a hallmark of the PhilaU program, Sommese also talked about the challenges and rewards of working for the greater good.

From the covers of bestselling books by acclaimed authors to well-known national magazines, Sommese’s work continues to make a mark on American culture. His wide-ranging work has included corporate identity branding, retail product design, packaging, advertising, motion picture graphics and web and interactive design. Baseman said he is also considered to be one of the best poster makers in the country, if not the world.

“Sommese has had a very inspiring, long and gloried career,” Baseman said. “It was a privilege to have someone of his stature come to campus.”

Sommese has several ties to PhilaU faculty members as Maribeth Kradel-Weitzel, associate professor of graphic design communication, was also a student of Sommese’s at Penn State, and Gavin Cooper, assistant professor of graphic design communication, took a workshop with Sommese at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University.

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