Jessica Bee is a designer from Springfield Illinois. She fell in love with design because of its
range of possibilities. She enjoys learning new things. Her work is often fun or humorous, with bright colors and
a focus on typography. She likes games, outdoor activities, playing with her dog, knitting, and anything jalapeno flavored.
During these trying times humor is needed now more than ever. Jessica’s SDSP project focuses on creating happiness in a stressful situation and keeping boredom away. Covid-kit is a mobile app that curates content specifically for keeping people happy and entertained during the lockdown
Sweeter than Memphis barbecue with a heart bigger than my hair.
My name is Anthony Royal Bennett. I am an interdisciplinary creator who has a knack for interactivity, activism, and genuine human connection. I was born in Birmingham, AL and raised in multiple southern
US cities such as Jackson, MS, Montgomery, AL, and Memphis, TN. Being a queer person of color living in these hubs of racial tension has shaped who I am as well as my work. I hold empathy as my highest value.
Being a person of color is no walk in the park. With his senior project, Anthony Bennett teaches the public about the “White Gaze” and its effects on people of color through 3D simulations.
Ezra Dufair is a graphic designer who is interested in spatial and typeface design. They've known they wanted to be an artist from a young age, and found graphic design in college.
As a queer artist, they aim bring voice to spaces that are often overlooked or talked over. They’re very detail oriented and will take the extra time to make sure that their craft is as precise as it can be.
Even within the LGBTQ community, trans people are underrepresented and our voices are quieted. With Trans Sans, Ezra aims to increase visibility and give the transgender community a voice through typography. This custom typeface that is inspired by a set of gender symbols calls attention to the diversity within the community, and also expresses the unity and solidarity of the group.
Alex began his design education at Metropolitan Community College and transferred to the Kansas City Art Institute in 2017.
He is a borderline workaholic that has an inherent drive to explore ideas and learn new skills. Alex’s interest in graphic
design began with a love of typography and books that has grown into an understanding and appreciation of the designer’s role
in the world.
For his self directed spring project, Alex designed a series of micro projects that explore speculative design and the concept of uncertainty. He designed and developed a speculative design publication website called The Social Dreamer*, a newspaper called “Uncertain Times”, the Copenhagen Blanket and The Happiness of Things .
Aimée Harting is a graphic designer from St. Louis, Missouri. She loves dogs, drinking black iced americanos, buying more plants, and playing animal crossing.
Aimée is influenced by art, making things with her hands, and playing with this analogue to digital cycle. This process is implemented into her design work.
She believes in delivering tools and resources to the audiences that need it the most. A variety of projects take on this mindset of helpfulness. For example,
bringing stimming techniques to those who are restless or those who struggle with attention span.
Stimming is the repetition of visuals, sounds, touch, smell, and movements to regulate overstimulation. An example of this is tapping your pencil during class. My degree project is aiming to introduce people to their existing stims and show them how this could be a useful technique to help them in their day to day. Stimming can help you focus during class, calm anxiety, and work out extra energy.
Caroline Heiss is a designer born and raised in the Kansas City metro on a small farm. Her interest in design grew through multimedia classes and the student club FBLA where she began experimenting
with desktop publishing. Having realized that Design was a way to marry her love for logic and problem solving with creativity, she enrolled at KCAI. She enjoys exploring how she can apply design processes and thinking across many industries and complex systems. In 2019 she attended a 5 week urban planning program at the University of California, Berkeley. This sparked an interest in social impact, urban design, and sustainability. She plans on pursuing a career helping bring design to the everyday person by improving the environment around them. Whether that will be through graphic design, urban planning, product design, architecture, or policy making...
she has yet to decide. Perhaps all of them at once.
Kansas City used to be a city of streetcars and trolleys. But, after World War II, the single family car became the main mode of transportation by KC citizens, effectively removing any trace of street cars and altering the design of our traffic systems, and polluting the earth. Now, as Kansas City continues to grow, it’s streets are not able to keep up, provide parking, and reduce traffic. That’s why Caroline is exploring various ways to inform the public about transportation changes, the history of KC, and design improvements that could encourage ridership of the current bus system.
Maddie Hollingsworth is a designer and illustrator from St. Louis. She moved to Kansas City after graduating from St. Charles Community
College to further her education at KCAI. As a kid, Maddie spent the majority of her days sitting at the kitchen table, drawing until it
was time for bed. She always knew she wanted to do something in the creative field, and chose to pursue Graphic Design after high school.
When she is not playing with her cat Vernon, she spends her time illustrating, hand-lettering, and designing a more colorful future.
For her senior degree project, Maddie is exploring the topic of emotional abuse. This project has allowed her to open up about personal experiences, connect with others, and ultimately grow as a person. Through extensive research, she strives to teach others about the signs of someone who is experiencing emotional abuse, provide resources, and help to dismantle the discomfort that comes with the word abuse.
Nickolas Kee is a graphic designer from Saint Louis, Missouri. Nick moved to Kansas City in 2016 to begin his education at The Kansas City Art Institute. He found design when he was 16 years old, Nick started learning photoshop to create graphics for small social media influencers and found himself wanting to learn more and more about what graphic design truly was. Nick spends most of his time illustrating, creating motion graphics,
and admiring and reimaging popular architectural renders and drafts. Nick’s work is heavily influenced and inspired by modern spatial and interactive design projects.
Through the creation of Better Together Nick is creating a platform that helps artists in isolated communities create a voice for their own small community. Through the sharing of work and collaboration between different communities and artists Better Together provides a space that throws all of the modern conventions of popular social media sites. By restricting interactions between users to only comments or messaging these interactions become more thoughtful and productive rather than simply hitting a like button to show your interest.
Born in Midwest Iowa, I grew up with an appreciation for nature, and the world around me.
Spending most of my time alone, exploring the seemingly endless country behind my house.
My first taste of the freedom to design was in my own imagination. I was privileged enough to grow up with a computer and a printer in the house and spent a good part of my early
childhood designing my own playing card games in MS paint. My design education would continue into high school working my way up my school's community Web TV program where I discovered my love
of motion graphics and narratives. My junior year of highschool I enrolled in summer courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York where I refined my technical skills in the adobe
suite and learned new film techniques from industry professionals. My senior year of highschool I graduated early and started my graphic design
degree at Desmoines Metro Area Community College before transferring to the Kansas City Art Institute in 2016.
Nile’s Senior degree project explores an in-depth understanding of his working patterns in the studio, and how design intervention’s can optimize organization, efficiency, and harmony.
Kaylynn Pitts is a graphic designer who was born and raised in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She loves spending time with her family, listening to Jazz music, and reading poetry.
As a child, she loved to create different types of environments through drawing and building. In high school, she realized in pursuing a degree in graphic design that
she may one day design a multi-cultural environment that would inspire change for young female designers.
Yes* to celebrating black women from the 1800s to 1900s Because many black women and their accomplishments have been forgotten, yet they helped pave the way for others to create change.
Kelsey Ragain is a designer raised in small-town Montana. As a kid, she aspired to be either a vet or an artist.
After finding her passion in graphic design, she moved to Kansas City. When she isn't walking her dog, Finnley,
or watching America’s Next Top Model, she spends her time working on her hand-lettering and illustration.
Kelsey is a natural Aries with an ambitious mindset and a dreamer attitude.
For her Senior Degree Project, Kelsey is researching the influence that animals can have on mental health. Through a series of micro-projects Kelsey has developed a brand with comprehensive resources to shed light on the importance of mental health and how animals can be beneficial.
Parker Seydel is a multidisciplinary designer from Dallas, now residing in Kansas City to pursue new knowledge.
He experiments with form, function and process with simplicity and understanding being the common ground that everything
is built off of. His enjoyment of creative writing,
building, drawing and animation led him to the cross section of graphic design.
Something Of Substance is an addiction awareness movement that is aware that we are all searching for something substantial and along the way, may find ourselves stuck using substances to cope. The goal is to inspire conversation about substance abuse and share the stories of those who struggle in order to encourage an open dialogue about addiction to eliminate the stigma and power of substances.
Lydia Shemurah is a graphic designer interested in storytelling, technology, and human behavior. She’s had a lifelong interest in the visual arts,
but her interest in design began when she attended a two-year Graphic Design Specialist program at Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center
during her junior and senior year of high school, where she got experience in design and print production. In her time at the Kansas Art Institute,
she has developed a profound appreciation for typography, user experience, and web design. She’s inspired by the ways design empowers her to build
ecosystems and explore possibilities. In her free time she can be found drawing, researching abandoned places, watching anime, or reading classic
horror, fantasy, and science fiction.
Lydia’s senior degree project speculates about the dangers of internet silos and customization online. By branding and prototyping a search engine that censors content based upon the user’s online activity, she explores the way many services use algorithms to learn and capitalize on user preferences. She hopes this project exposes how a user’s online identity and information silos can manipulate their worldview.
Rachel Walter is a designer from a small town in Iowa but has made Kansas City her home during the past four years.
She enjoys spending time at Loose Park, eating Betty Rae’s Ice Cream, and of course- tending to her house plants. Rachel has a natural curiosity that
drives the way she engages in design. She is interested in how graphic design can influence the ways we value our relationships, our mental health,
and our internal & external spaces.
Because KCAI requires a demanding academic environment, mental health should be a campus wide priority. For her Senior Project, Rachel tackled this topic by creating a platform to amplify student voices to approach problem areas that often remain hidden and unresolved. With her project, she plans to educate and create opportunities for change in order to build healthier minds in the KCAI community.