RIPTA Rider’s Guide

Completed in February 2020 as part of the Type + Image Graphic Design course with RISD:CE.

Brief: Create a set of instructions on how to complete a task with which you are familiar.

I chose to create a guide on how to ride the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, after having a discussion with an acquaintance who was nervous about riding the bus.

The guide is set in DIN Pro, for its easy to read letter forms and its intended use in roadway and transit contexts. The pamphlet is printed on colored paper “zine” style as a way of being both friendly and cheap to produce, while harkening back to the days of the xerox zine, adding a hint of both nostalgia and a feeling of independence.

(Since the design and publication of this guide, RIPTA has updated their fare collection methods and thus this guide is no longer entirely accurate. It is also not in compliance with the restrictions and practices implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.)

This project was set up so that we first had to produce a set of instructions that was purely text and one which was done all in images. Digital renderings of my first two sets of instructions are below.

I drew my original inspiration from the RIPTA color scheme. We can also see the original, overwhelming image (p 3) I put together to attempt to explain the fare payment system (now defunct). Thankfully, the process has been greatly streamlined.

I deliberately set my text instructions in Comic Sans to fully embody the approachable and friendly tone (who could be threatened by Comic Sans?) I was trying to convey.

Postcards: Siken’s ‘Scheherazade’

Completed January 2020 as part of the Type + Image Graphic Design course with RISD:CE.

Brief: Using a poem as inspiration and as source material, design a set of postcards, along with a “container”.

I chose the poem “Scheherazade” by Richard Siken, from his 2005 collection Crush.

My intention was to create an experience which replicated the choices and the danger faced by the original Scheherazade, who wove stories to be left on an unresolved note each night to charm the king who had taken her as his wife to avoid being beheaded, with the pervasive sense of loss and grief which suffuses Siken’s poem.

My first step was to read the poem aloud several times making notes of where I added emphasis and where I would slow or stop to breathe. (EX: “How it was late [break] and no one could sleep [break]”)
I also took notes about how I described the original framing story of 1,001 Nights (“She spins them out” and “weaving a narrative”) to get inspiration for the materials I would use to construct my “container”.

I ultimately chose to lay out the poem across a series of “postcards” repeating the opening “Tell me…” as part of its own echo of the King’s injunction for Scheherazade to tell or continue telling her story(/stories).

The poem was type set in Garamond in the dimensions of an 8vo, to harken back to the type used in the first English translation of 1,001 Nights, published in London in the 18th c.

The final product was to be presented to the audience/user along with a knife.

What the poem and the King both fear is that something beautiful will be taken away from them. That if they can control the pace and the timing of the story, of their lives, then they can avoid being hurt by loss or change.

The only way to share any of these postcards with another person—the only way to send them through the mail—is by performing the butchery promised to Scheherazade; the person who wishes to send this card to another must slice the page out of the book to do so.

At one and the same time, the beautiful book-container becomes defaced, but also the individual card is unable to convey the full meaning of the poem, in its disarticulated state. Nothing can ever remain whole and unbroken and perfect. We must always make a choice.

Photo Essay: Re-Thinking the Wall : Greek and Chilean Street Art at Brown

Grace Monk (Brown, Classics ’18) studied abroad in both Valparaíso, Chile and Athens, Greece during her undergraduate career. Her senior thesis, in Comparative Literature, examined the social, political, and economic situations in those two countries and the ways in which they have shaped and influenced street art in both countries. As part of her final presentation, she invited three artists, two from Chile and one from Greece, to speak about their careers and influences. The lecture took place on April 9, 2018, at the Joukowsky Forum at the Watson Institute at Brown University. It was presented in both Spanish and Greek, with simultaneous translation provided for the audience. In addition, Greek artist Simek produced a temporary installation in the Watson Institute lobby, and all three artists produced works in a public demonstration on the lawn of the Marty and Perry Granoff Center over the course of two days. On April 13, 2018, the final products were put on display at the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, at 172 Meeting St, in Providence, RI.

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Grace Monk introduces street artists (L to R) Simek, from Greece, Francisco Verdugo Navea and Juan Lara Hidalgo, from Chile.


Greek artist Simek puts together an installation on the ground floor of the Watson Institute at Brown University.

Though Simek usually works with paint, the temporary exhibit of his work in the Watson Institute was produced with colored duct tape.

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Simek’s installation stretched across the wall and up and around the staircase.

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Chilean street artists FRANK and JuanTag mixed most of their colors from scratch using white and black in addition to the three primary colors.

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FRANK and Juantag start the public demonstration of their process on the lawn of the Granoff Center at Brown University.

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JuanTag’s piece sought to memorialize the indigenous experience, drawing on Catholic religious imagery. FRANK’s piece focussed on the plight of Chilean farmers who have been left at the mercy of big agri-businesses due to decisions made by the Chilean government.

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In addition to traditional painting materials, FRANK (pictured) and JuanTag also incorporated materials more commonly associated with graffiti and street art, such as spray paint cans.

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JuanTag (pictured) and FRANK both study at La Escuela Municipal de Bellas Artes de Valparaíso in Chile.

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Despite needing to contend with chilly temperatures and disruptive gusts of wind, the demonstration pieces start to take on form.

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FRANK uses the film that forms on the tops of the open paint vessels to create a 3D texture.

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JuanTag (left) and FRANK (right) move into the final stages of their respective art pieces.

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In addition to traditional painting materials, FRANK (pictured) and JuanTag also incorporated materials more commonly associated with graffiti and street art, such as spray paint cans.

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While Simek debates adding to his piece, JuanTag works on his own finishing touches.

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In addition to the installation at the Watson, Simek also painted one of his geometric designs to be displayed alongside the work done by JuanTag and FRANK.

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Simek uses masking tape to ensure the edges of his lines are exactly right.

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Grace Monk and Simek show off Simek’s finished piece in front of the Granoff Center.


To learn more about FRANK you can find him on instagram under the handle @frankverdugo_, Simek can be found on Facebook, and JuanTag has posted some of his work to Flickr.

Graphic Structure and Systems (RISD CE: Fall 2016)

Our first project had us attempting to convey nine concepts through the use of the most basic of graphic forms: points and lines. We did five iterations of the exercise; the first with a single point of any size, the second a single line of any length, the third with points of varying sizes, the fourth with lines of varying lengths, and the fifth (and final) being points of a single size.

The nine concepts we had to translate in this way were: density, distance, flux, light, noise, speed, transform, travel, and weight.

1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5

In our second project, we had to design posters with typographic elements on varying typographic systems. Some of them were to display the use of a single color, red.

grid system: colorgrid system: bwdilatational system: colorbilateral system: color,
axial system: color

Our third project was to demonstrate our understanding of gestalt principles in design. We had to choose an object and create designs using the gestalt principles of similarity, continuation, closure, proximity, and figure/ground. I chose the gear as my object. First, we put the principles into practice in two dimensions, using form, and then also color. We researched our objects to get an understanding of their history and development to ground our designs.

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Then we produced original packaging for our object based on a word of our choosing that we believed reflected the essential nature of our object. Mine was precision.

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Feel free to examine my original die cut template and designs:

gearbox template + designs

The final project for the GS+S class was to produce a fully conceptualized book jacket for a book of our choosing. We were to design the cover by appropriating structure from a photograph. I produced a book jacket for Karl Marx’s Capital. I printed it at home, on my inkjet printer on brown craft paper, with the intention of having a product that had been created with my own means of production.

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