Amy Stewart Reed

Graphic & Web Design

Graphic Design Instructor
The Art Institute of Charleston, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta


Believe in someone with extraordinary power... believe in yourself. Amy Stewart Reed , Graphic Design Instructor , The Art Institute of Charleston, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

As a first-year architecture student, I entered a logo competition. I got immersed in the process of creating an iconographic image that could communicate the essence of a company to consumers. I won the competition and, shortly thereafter, changed both my school and my major.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

I don’t just share my design and client success stories, but my failures as well. I’ve learned the most from those, and I think students can learn from those lessons as well. I also share projects I’m working on with students so they can get a glimpse into the process of taking on real-world design challenges.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

Corporate identity assignments embody my method of design and assessment. I use the acronym ADNORMS—adaptability, durability, newness, oneness, relevance, memorability, simplicity—as a gauge for any work I do, and show my students how to do the same.

In what way do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

I’m passionate about process. I push students to trust the process and to take the journey to create something better than they thought they could. Without intense sketching and exploration, no idea will ever go beyond the expected.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” Art directors, designers, photographers, copywriters, typographers, and printers all work together as creative professionals. As a designer of many restaurant brands, I’ve worked with chefs, culinary specialists, and business owners. And my students have worked with the culinary program on a national level, creating logos and menus for events.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Don't settle. Even though your first idea may become the big one, keep going. Dare to push your ideas...if you're comfortable, you're not pushing hard enough.