VCD welcomes two new professors this semester

Heather Inglis

The School of Visual Communication Design welcomed two new assistant professors to its program this semester, Aoife Mooney and Christopher Darling. Mooney teaches graphic design and Darling teaches illustration.

Originally from Ireland, Mooney started her work as a graphic designer in Dublin. After about six years, she said she realized her passion for typeface design and went back to school for her Master’s equivalent in that field in England.

She said typeface design took her from Great Britain to New York City, where she worked at Hoefler and Frere-Jones, a typography company. Mooney became an adjunct professor at Kent State when her husband, a philosophy professor, was offered a job here. It wasn’t until winter break that she applied for the open assistant professor position.

Although typography is her passion, Mooney said she was excited to get back into graphic design and that she loves to teach.

“I do kind of miss doing graphic design,” Mooney said. “I feel like typeface is a lot of staring at black and white shapes on a screen, and I miss having color in my day. This job kind of allows me to balance all those things, which is pretty cool.”

Aside from graphic design and typography, Mooney is an avid runner, and she ran her first marathon last year. She said not being able to run outside because of Ohio weather has been frustrating. Mooney also said that she used to sail when she lived in Ireland. Growing up on an island was an easy way to get into the hobby with her father, she said.

Getting used to living in Ohio was something Darling had to do as well. Although he’s originally from Michigan, Darling taught at Queens College in New York for two years.

His career began after he graduated from Western Michigan School of Art with a degree in fine arts. He started working at a candy flavoring company where he worked on design. He then went back to school to receive a Master of Fine Arts with honors in Illustration as Visual Essay at the School of Visual Arts. Darling is also a co-founder of the New York illustrated fiction magazine Carrier Pigeon.

Having a knack for the arts runs in his family, too. Darling said his mother was a poet and his father, who was a professional football player, was also very creative.

Darling heard about the position at Kent State online and randomly applied. In December he got the call for an interview and soon enough he, his wife and dog were moving in “negative 40-degree weather” to Ohio, he said.

Through teaching Illustration I and Problems in Illustration at Kent State, he said he hopes to help students find their voices in illustrations.

“I want to help students in the program dig deep into themselves and find a voice, a narrative, authorship in regard to image making,” Darling said. “They just need to find the style and the confidence and the creativity to put it all together.”

For more information, visit the School of Visual Communication Design on the university website.

Contact Heather Inglis at [email protected].