All image rights reserved to Zak Kruszynski or their respective owner.
A quaint college town nestled on the banks of Ohio’s Cuyahoga River, the city of Kent is most unfortunately known for the tragedies that occurred on the campus of Kent State University on May 4th, 1970. On this spring day, a group of KSU students gathered at the campus commons to protest the progression of the Vietnam War into the Kingdom of Cambodia. The demonstration began with the symbolic burning of notable U.S. collateral (including a copy of the Constitution and a variety of draft cards), but quickly turned ugly when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on the unarmed populous, killing four students and wounding nine others. The event was an incredibly dark happening in an even darker period of national unrest and will undoubtedly be remembered as a scar on the face of American activism.
On a lighter note, the city of Kent also has a strong cultural foothold in the arts, most notably in its highly-regarded Heritage Festival, an arts and culture fair which draws upwards of 30,000 visitors every July. The city, while eternally linked with the aforementioned tragedy, is a culturally-rich municipality that serves as the home to several notable public figures and corporations. Joining the ranks of other notable Kentites is today’s Featured Face, Zak Kruszynski, a graphic designer native to Ohio but currently working in yet another beautiful River City, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!
A Rust Belt native and a graduate of the Kent State University’s School of Visual Communication Design, Mr. K. has established himself one of the top graphic designers in the Midwest as evidenced by his incredible work in the categories of print design, illustration, environmental design, branding/identity, and “assemblage”. The assemblage category is fantastically curious, featuring a variety of shoebox/diorama-esque arrangements of themed artifacts. These 3-d illustrations were compiled as part of Zak’s thesis which “investigates the culture and identity of the Rust Belt region”.
Zak’s work is widely respected and has been recognized in the graphic design profession with a slew of Cleveland ADDY awards as well as a Merit Award from the AIGA – Cleveland chapter. The gallery below contains more images than we typically include in our Features, but Zak has a great compilation of work worthy of extended exposure. For even MORE samples not contained in our gallery, please visit Zak’s website or the website of his current employer, Folk Alley. Have a great Monday and we’ll see you right back here tomorrow for yet another Featured Face or Firm!