Design grad amazing
May 21, 2014

Lesley Steffler (right) hands over one of the 2014 Graduation Catalogues at the launch event May 16th at the Anna Leonowens Gallery. (Eliot Wright Photo)

By Ainslie Ross

Bubbly and full of joy, Lesley Steffler glided into the University Relations office ready for anything.  Who is Lesley Steffler you might ask?  She’s the graphic design intern tasked with putting together the 2014 NSCAD Graduation Catalogue supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project.

Each year, with the support of the RBC Emerging Artists Project, the Anna Leonowens Gallery hosts two internships, one to curate the 2014 grad exhibit and another to design the grad catalogue. This year the responsibility fell to Manet Dykes to curate the exhibit and Lesley to design the catalogue.  

After months spent meeting, designing and proofing this year’s catalogue, Lesley was excited to present the finished product to the world at the Family Reception and Catalogue Launch held Friday, May 16 at the Anna Leonowens Gallery. 

The catalogue has been “my baby for the past five months,” said Lesley. “It’s been a lot of work, but you get what you put into it. Normally you don’t get to do a 128-page book.”

From Oustic, Ontario, the graduating Bachelor of Design student was born with a design gene. In Grade 9, she started dabbling in all of the Adobe design programs. When she finished high school she was left with the question... “What next?"

"What can I do for the rest of my life that I can be happy at?” she said. “I like art, but I guess I like more the application of design over art. Art I find is more for yourself, while I like to do things for other people."

Designing this year’s the grad catalogue appealed to her because of the prospect of discovery and creativity. “The major thing that drew me was getting to work with each of the individual students, getting to meet all of the graduating kids, and seeing the variety of work that comes out of NSCAD. It’s amazing to me.”

Inspired by the concept of a maze, Lesley wanted the grad catalogue to symbolize the process that students go through, not only in their years at NSCAD but in the creative process itself. In a maze you start at one point, then weave your way through the obstacles, and come out on the other side with a new perspective. Lesley believes the catalogue reflects “How everyone eventually finds their way through and NSCAD helps you get through.” 

“What makes the catalogue so special is that the intern that gets it gets to see it from beginning to end” she excitedly said. “Then you have the moment at the end where you like pick it up and you’re like ‘I did this’ and to actually hold it in your hand is the greatest feeling in the world.”

She is used to multi-tasking and describes her time at NSCAD as “very busy, great but very busy. Umm... yeah I just did a lot in the past year. I did this catalogue; I was the organizer and designer for the graduation show for the design program. On top of that, I worked multiple jobs and interned.”

“I think that’s what really sets us (NSCAD) apart is that there’s so many opportunities for students. You can always get involved in something here.”

When asked to describe herself, Lesley was quick to comment “I’m a super optimistic person; I’m a super smiley I guess. I always look on the bright side. I’m one of those people who just live; every day is a good day.” After graduation she plans to continue working as a graphic designer in Halifax and just recently was hired by the company WeUsThem. 

Ainslie Ross is a Communications Assistant working in the University Relations Office.