This is the project page for "Paula Scher : Designer as Educator", a documentary about Paula Scher, narrated by Debbie Millman, commissioned by The School of Visual Arts BFA Design Department and overseen by executive producer Richard Wilde. 

The screening took place on April 25th at the Type Directors Club, and included a panel discussion with moderator Peter Ahlberg and panel Gail Anderson, Joe Marianek and Zipeng Zhu.



Paula Scher

Paula Scher is one of the most acclaimed graphic designers in the world. She has been a principal in the New York office of the distinguished international design consultancy Pentagram since 1991, where she has designed identity and branding systems, environmental graphics, packaging and publications for a wide range of clients that includes, among others, Citibank, Microsoft, Bloomberg, the Museum of Modern Art, Tiffany & Co, the High Line, the Public Theater, the Metropolitan Opera, the Sundance Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

During the course of her career Scher has been the recipient of hundreds of industry honors and awards; she is a recipient of the National Design Award for Communication Design, the AIGA medal and the Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design, among others. Scher has served on the Public Design Commission of the City of New York from 2006-2015. She is an established artist exhibiting worldwide, and her designs are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the Library of Congress, the Victoria and Albert Museum and other institutions.

She is the author of “Make It Bigger” (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002) and “MAPS” (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011). Scher holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art and a Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, the Maryland Institute College of Art and Moore College of Art and Design.




Courtney Gooch

Courtney is a designer and Associate at Pentagram, originally from Kingston, New York, and now living in Brooklyn. At Pentagram, she works on identities, environmental graphics, and packaging for a range of cultural, non-profit, and corporate clients. Courtney graduated with a BFA in Communication Design from Carnegie Mellon University, and now teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

The School of Visual Arts


Design Department

The Design program focuses on teaching visual communication problem solving, a skill that can open the door to a host of rewarding careers. Our program is a multidisciplinary educational system in itself, offering three separate majors that include Graphic Design, Motion Graphics and 3D Design. In addition to a distinguished faculty that includes eight Hall of Fame laureates, we offer a wide range of course options that are tailored to each student’s strengths and needs. We achieve this by offering more studio courses than any institution in the world. This gives students the opportunity to develop their own vision, making the entire educational experience particularly empowering. There are no cookie-cutter portfolios here. Of the three disciplines that students can major in, each of these areas can be further refined, giving students more possibilities to find their niche. For example, Graphic Design can be further subdivided into package design, editorial design, information graphics, corporate identity, publication design, CD packaging, book jacket design, environmental design, and website design.




Noel Núñez-Caba

Age 23 years
Originally from Brooklyn, NY
Lives in Brooklyn, NY
Currently working as Designer at
Anderson Newton Design
Wants to do Print, Motion, Web & Film


Maharani Putri

Age 22 years
Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia
Lives in Manhattan, New York
Currently working as Design Intern at Pentagram
Wants to do Art Direction & Brand Identity



Hiroyasu Katayama

Age 30 years
Originally from Gunma, Japan
Lives in Queens, NY
Currently working as Designer Intern at Pentagram
Wants to do Graphic Design


Jillian Ostek

Age 22
Originally from New Jersey
Lives in Brooklyn, NY
Currently working as Designer at Milk
Wants to do Print and Experiential Design





Claudine Eriksson
Director & Producer

Claudine is a multidisciplinary designer and filmmaker originally from Sweden, based in New York City. She explores analogue and digital mediums to create visual narratives. She has work experience in film, installation, publication design, art direction, branding and is currently working as a designer at Pentagram.


Richard Wilde
Executive Producer

Richard founded the graphic design department at the School of Visual Arts and has over the years pushed SVA's new and innovative courses that have expanded the definition of visual communications. Richard has won more than 200 awards, including Hall of Fame Laureate, Art Directors Club; Educator's Hall of Fame Laureate, The One Club; Gold Cube, Art Directors Club; Gold Pencil, The One Show; Gold Award, Creativity; AIGA to name a few, and authored many books on design and education.



Debbie Millman

Named “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA, Debbie Millman is also an author, educator, brand strategist and host of the podcast Design Matters. For 20 years, Debbie was the President of the design division at Sterling Brands, where she worked with over 200 of the world’s largest brands.Debbie is the author of six books and her written and visual essays have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Print Magazine, Design Observer and Fast Company.


Jordan T. Parrott
Director of Photography

Jordan is a New York-based cinematographer and graduate of Emerson College’s Film Program. He is a prolific narrative and commercial DP, having shot over sixteen short films that have played at film festivals worldwide. His recent project, Tom in America (starring Academy Award-nominees Burt Young and Sally Kirkland) premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival.


Emily Kaplan
Assistant Director

Emily brings over 7 years of professional experience to her design work for film, television, and new media. Emily hold's a BA in Philosophy and Studio Art from Skidmore College.She also speak French. Emily has worked with clients such as Google, Vogue, Adult Swim, Funny or Die, Casper, eHarmony, Beyoncé, Sebastien/Gaspar Noé, Kenzo Digital.



Elias Meister

German guitarist Elias Meister is working in New York City since 2007. He leads his own groups ranging from Experimental Rock (Spacepilot) and Rock-infused Jazz (Elias Meister's Miracle Box) to the live House and Techno collective N/UM. He is freelancing for different pop singers, in a variety of Jazz settings and performing music for modern dance companies. He also produced Pop music for movies by the major German production company 'Bavaria Film'.

Russel Cramer

Russell Cramer is a director/cinematographer/editor based in New York City. He studied film at Brooklyn College. His work has played at festivals around the world including Dances with Film, Strasbourg International, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Williamsburg Film Festival, and the Nashville Film Festival. Music videos include work for Midnight Masses, Emergency Tiara, Mon Khmer, Rubblebucket, Tropic of Pisces, and Nothankyou.


David Barron

David is a Brooklyn-based photographer whose collaborations with musicians, clothing designers and "real" people reveal his profound interest in documenting the human condition. David counts Lunette, Nike, Luxottica and Brother International among his recent commercial clients.



Laura Noben
Hair & Make Up

Laura graduated as a Teacher in Cosmetics & Hair with a Master in Make-Up.She used to live in Paris where she's been fortunate to work with Pat McGrath, Val Garland, Charlotte Tilbury, Dick Page and Aaron De Mey for brands such as Valentino, Prada, Givenchy, Todd's, Armani. She’s now based in NYC where she designed the last 10 looks for Milk Make-Up, and is currently sponsored by Bobbi Brown.


Richard Alberico

Richard Alberico is an audio engineer based in New York City. His work includes sound technician for Simon Outlets commercial with Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas, Short film "Enigma," interviews of Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Melanie Laurent, Michael K. Williams, Adrian Grenier, Marc Jacobs, Jeff Koons, and Diane Kruger. His musical work includes recording engineer for Christopher Paul Stelling’s album False Cities, soundtrack producer/composer for fashion videos for Vera Wang, Jimmy Choo, The Limited and Balenciaga, and 2 years as assistant engineer at Jungle City Studios.




Trude Eriksson

Trude is a hairstylist and owner of the hair salon Trude & Co in Helsingborg, Sweden. Trude also happens to be Claudine's mom, and is great at doing most things including making sure that everyone is happy, feed and hydrated.



Behind the Scenes Video

Behind the Scenes Gallery



This project was made possible by
Executive Producer Richard Wilde and was commissioned by the Design & Advertising Department at the School of Visual Arts.

Special Thank You:
BFA Design & Advertising
Richard Wilde, Carolyn Hinkson-Jenkins, Arlyn Lebron

MPS Directing Program
Bob Giraldi, Megan Hessenthaler, Anelisa Garfunkel, Miguel Soliman

DIC Print Lab
Joe Jones, KD

Peter Ahlberg
For the idea provoking conversation about "As" versus "Is"