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DePaul students named Graphic Design USA’s students to watch

Liam Guiritan and Magda Wilhelm recognized for excellence in graphic design

Graphic design professor Sajad Amini standing around a table with designs printed on tote bags
Graphic design students at DePaul are exposed to different facets of design through the program (Photo by Sajad Amini).
DePaul was recently named one of Graphic Design USA’s top design schools of 2024, a list which highlights schools and programs that prepare talented students for creative careers in the real world. GDUSA selects schools based on objective and subjective factors gleaned from relationships with designers, educators, hiring managers and recruiters in the industry.

In addition to featuring DePaul's program overall, GDUSA include graphic design students Liam Guiritan and Magda Wilhelm on their 2024 list of graphic design students to watch.

“The wisdom and thoroughness of the professors in the program have been really beneficial,” Wilhelm says. “The students make it that much more special. I am beyond lucky to be a part of such a talented group of people and have the opportunity to learn and grow alongside them.”

Heather Quinn, an assistant professor of design, cites the program’s diverse student body, wide range of faculty expertise and holistic approach to design education as elements that make the program unique.

“Our location in the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media gives us proximity to emerging technologies like AI, while simultaneously allowing students to study history and ethics in the larger realm of the university,” Quinn says.

DePaul’s graphic design program prepares students to use a wide range of design practices and offers many opportunities for networking and industry partnerships.

Get to know the students to watch
“Liam and Magda are great examples of what our DePaul students are accomplishing,” Quinn says. “They have various skills across art and design and are rooted in different aspects of the community. They feel purpose in design, not just a means to get a job.”

A photo of Magda Wilhelm on a dark background
Magda Wilhelm (Photo courtesy of Magda Wilhelm)

Wilhelm, a fourth-year student pursuing a BFA in graphic design and a minor in photography, discovered her interest in design when she spontaneously took a graphic arts elective in high school. Now, inspired by her Polish heritage and photographers like Vivian Maier, she creates work that incorporates themes of mental health and the beauty in the mundane.

Wilhelm treasures the collaborative environment fostered by passionate professors and peers. She is always looking to challenge herself and expand her skills through experimentation.

“I would like to continue growing as a designer who is able to dip their toes into a lot of different styles, mediums and disciplines, either as part of an agency, studio or as a freelancer,” Wilhelm says.

Guiritan, who is currently wrapping up his BFA in graphic design, developed a strong interest in typography and layout and publication design. Inspired by designer Chris Ashworth, he has created pieces that were featured in Chicago Graphic Design Club’s first publication and covers for fanzines.

A photo of Liam Guiritan outside with a blurred background.
Liam Guiritan (Photo courtesy of Liam Guiritan)

“DePaul’s graphic design program introduces you to different facets of design early on, which can be both a blessing and a curse,” Guiritan says. “I have nothing but gratitude for the professors who have shaped my perspectives about and towards design.”

Guiritan encourages others to express gratitude to those around them and remain curious without comparing themselves to their peers. He leans into his curiosity by exploring new mediums. 

“Lately, I've been interested in the physicality and craft of design. I've been making collages to get me away from the screen, but I have also been exploring creative coding and 3D modeling,” Guiritan says.

To see more DePaul design students’ work, reserve a spot at the 2024 DePaul School of Design Student Showcase on June 13.

Jade Walker is a student assistant of media relations and communications in University Communications.