Catherine Bretheim
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Master of Arts in Graphic and Web Design

Copenhagen, Denmark

What is your educational/professional background?

I studied geography and studio art at Macalester College in St. Paul. During this time, I developed a passion for maps, urban mobility, biking, the city of Copenhagen, and graphic design that supports sustainable transportation initiatives. Life after graduation led me to work full-time teaching at and managing a yoga studio (another passion of mine), create an independent magazine for fun, and enroll in MCAD's master of arts in graphic and web design program and took my studies overseas following an opportunity to move to Copenhagen and work for a study abroad organization at the end of 2017.

Why did you choose this MA program?

The program gives me the flexibility to take one class at a time and work on assignments remotely with the unknowns and adventures that come with living in a new place.

Tell us about a favorite project/assignment you've worked on.

I really enjoyed the branding assignment in my Design In Context course with Heidi Miller from Fall 2017. It was rewarding to consider multiple aspects of the brand from logo design to typography to pattern creation. It was also a great project to see the creativity and ambition of my peers—everyone developed really wonderful concepts and collateral for the assignment and the class critiques helped push my skills to the next level.

Do you lean more toward graphic design or web design?

I definitely lean more towards graphic design.

What specific skills are you honing in the program?

Typographic detailing, grid structures, expressing themes and ideas in various elements of a design, technical web design skills.

What are your plans after graduation?

I hope to work at a design firm or in the nonprofit sector in Minneapolis as a graphic designer, ideally designing for transportation-focused projects or editorial designs. I also plan on teaching yoga on the side and creating more volumes of my independent magazine, Hodgepodge.

How will this MA help you achieve your goals?

One aspect that I really value about the program is not just learning technical and conceptual design skills but also getting professional advice from my professors. I've learned about writing design briefs, setting freelance rates, and managing client relations and I feel like I can reach out to my instructors with professional questions as they arise. I think that support, combined with developing a well-rounded portfolio from class assignments, will support my professional success moving forward.