Considered & committed: Morgan Sterns in profile
Packaging design by Morgan Sterns for Chick Lit Candles

Packaging design by Morgan Sterns for Chick Lit Candles

“Considered” design, says Graphic Design graduate Morgan Sterns, is a philosophy that underlies all her work. “What happens after you, as a designer, are ‘done’ with a project?” she asks in an interview in the prestigious design magazine Novum. “What’s the life cycle of what you’re creating?”

The August 2014 issue of the German magazine Novum features Sterns' freelance and student packaging designs.

The August 2014 issue of the German magazine Novum features Sterns’ freelance and student packaging designs.

Designers shouldn’t be the source of what’s superfluous and detrimental, she concludes. “Objects and artifacts need to have meaning and purpose to be worthwhile.”

It’s a philosophy that’s clearly present in Sterns’ output, including her packaging designs as exhibited in the August 2014 issue of Novum. Professional execution, demonstrating a strong grasp of the basics in color, form and typography, are her hallmarks—“classic with a modern spin,” as she puts it.

Packaging concept by Morgan Sterns for Six Rivers Brewery

Packaging concept by Morgan Sterns for Six Rivers Brewery

Packaging designs for Harper Supply Co. were part of Sterns' MFA thesis project.

Packaging designs for Harper Supply Co. were part of Sterns’ MFA thesis project.

Packaging for Restored Water, a student project by Morgan Sterns

Packaging for Restored Water, a student project by Morgan Sterns

A native Southern Californian who moved north to the Academy for her MFA, Sterns worked as an in-house packaging designer at Williams-Sonoma while attending grad school. Since graduating in spring 2014, she’s been freelancing and doing contract work for a company out of San Francisco and Bali, Indonesia, called Indosole. Since the latter repurposes recycled tires to create footwear, it’s a client close to her heart.

“I simply love being being part of a design team where I believe wholeheartedly in the product,” she says, adding that she secretly hopes Indosole sends her to Bali to conduct research.

The packaging designs by Sterns that appears in the August issue range from freelance assignments to student work, including her MFA project. Reflecting on her years at the Academy, Sterns says she gained more than technical skills. “During the first year of grad school, I learned the value of slowing down. Design, like life, is a process, and you have to have patience in the process or you’ll just be unhappy.”

Student designs by Morgan Sterns for "Alchimia: A Survival Kit for the Modern-Day Alchemist"

Student designs by Morgan Sterns for “Alchimia: A Survival Kit for the Modern-Day Alchemist”

Work-life balance, Sterns emphasizes, is important to her. Now, following a brief post-grad school break and with her MFA in hand, she’s got her eye on a full-time job—with an employer that matches her commitment to positive social and environmental responsibility.

Morgan Sterns

Morgan Sterns

Learn more about the work of Morgan Sterns.

Novum, subtitled “World of Graphic Design” is a monthly magazine published in German and English. Although the article on Morgan Sterns’ work is not available online, the magazine can be purchased in select bookstores or via Amazon.

Posted: Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
Filed under: Alumni News
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