Graphic & Interactive Design

Katie Fish

Katie Fish

East Greenwich, RI

Tyler degree program
BFA in Graphic & Interactive Design (GAID)

Why did you choose Tyler?
I knew I belonged at Tyler the minute my mom and I walked in the front door and found the GAID Junior Restaurant Exhibition on display in the main lobby. We almost missed my tour because I had to look at every single project.

Why Graphic & Interactive Design?
A quote that really opened my eyes to GAID is one by Tyler alumna Jessica Hische (BFA ‘06): “The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” In high school, I always cared more about the layout of my notes or the typefaces in my presentations. In college, still undecided, I found myself approaching my projects from a design perspective. Subconsciously, I knew I was a designer—the key for me was realizing it.

Favorite Spot at Tyler
The lab space in the GAID Department. If I had a long gap between classes or just needed to get some work done, I would grab a wrap from one of the food trucks outside Tyler and get to work. I have spent hours in there building (and re-building) packaging and designing, and getting to know upperclassmen.

On Designing the City of Philadelphia’s “I Voted” Sticker
I heard about the contest in our Hatchery class, which offers students a taste of what it’s like to design for real clients in the real world and learn entrepreneurial skills and continue to develop our design abilities and processes.

My parents were visiting, so I took them out for a snowy day in the city, and they helped me brainstorm concepts—these became sketches and over a couple weeks, with critique from Professor [Bryan] Satalino and classmates, they became final designs. Everyone in my class entered the contest, joining over 150 entries. Finalists were selected by a panel of judges and the winner was voted on by the public. I was happy just being a finalist, but the fact that I won, and saw the sticker everywhere, even on the Mayor of Philadelphia’s Instagram, is all still surreal to me.

Taking classes online
[Editorial Note: In March 2020, like colleges and universities around the United States, the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University transitioned to online classes for the remainder of the semester, as a preventative measure against the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.]
Similar to most schools across the country, GAID’s transition to online learning has not been completely seamless. However the faculty have done everything in their power to assist us during this unprecedented transition. For example, a problem that we encountered when we first went online was the issue of physicals—a vital aspect of our major is seeing our work applied, whether it’s on a soda can or an elaborate restaurant menu. Within weeks of the transition, faculty presented us with opportunities to learn new programs to help us create photo-realistic images at home.

Why I like Philadelphia
I love Philadelphia because there is always something new to discover. Whether it’s dining under the Ben Franklin Bridge during Restaurant Week, exploring an abandoned building in Fishtown or getting down at a disco party in a thrift store, I have never been bored in this city. I grew up in a small town in the smallest state, so Philly is a new world for me.


Photo by Joseph V. Labolito, Temple University Photography