UK Professor’s Emoji-Inspired Design and Typography Work Makes STA 100


LEXINGTON, Kentucky (December 11, 2019) — The work of Mia Cinelli, assistant professor of digital media and design at the University of Kentucky, has been honored as one of the STA 100, the best examples of communication design and typography created worldwide recognized by the Society of Typographic Arts (STA).

STA brings the design community together by inviting and encouraging all creative professionals to help build community through social, educational and networking opportunities. The company is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in all forms of communication through events, activities, conferences and publications, as well as the STA 100 competition, now in its 40th year.

The competition’s jury of Ellen Lupton, Matthew Hoffman, Meriah Garrett and Aaron Walter selected the best examples of typographic excellence of 2019.

Cinelli’s STA 100 award-winning designs, Speculative Characters for Visual Inflection, exemplified new punctuation for formally articulating meaning through gesture and expression. Drawing inspiration from the era of emojis – which use images to reinforce our typographic voices – Cinelli has designed new letterforms inspired by facial expressions, hand gestures and metaphors to better inform visual inflection. These new typefaces are offered to complement our existing typefaces, trying to make visible the rich complexities of verbal (and non-verbal) conversation.

Cinelli joined the faculty of the UK School of Art and Visual Studies in autumn 2017. Previously, she was an assistant professor and gallery director at Defiance College for three years. Cinelli earned her BS in Graphic Communication from the School of Art and Design at Northern Michigan University and an MFA in Art + Design from the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan.

This is the second time Cinelli’s work has been recognized by STA, but the first time listed under his own name. Previously, Cinelli also received a Graphis Silver Award for Typeface Design for its Fayette typeface.

The UK School of Art and Visual Studies at the College of Fine Arts offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studio, art history and visual studies, arts education and digital media design.


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