RIT StoryBooth with Jay Riley, Jr. for Together RIT (2022), 2022-11-18

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RIT StoryBooth with Jay Riley, Jr. for Together RIT (2022), 2022-11-18


Jay Riley, Jr., a fourth-year Graphic Design major from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, shares their experiences designing the poster for the inaugural Together RIT event, and answers the RIT Archives StoryBooth prompt, “As a person of color attending a predominantly white institution, what has your experience been like as a student at RIT?”







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Landyn Hatch


Jay Riley, Jr.

OHMS Object Text

5.4 RIT StoryBooth with Jay Riley, Jr. for Together RIT (2022), 2022-11-18 2022:051 00:20:56 RITArc.0752 RIT Archives StoryBooth Collection RIT Archives ritarchives RIT Archives StoryBooth ; College Student ; Graphic Design ; Together RIT Jay Riley, Jr. Landyn Hatch .MP4 sb_2022051_rileyj_20221118 0.5:|332(9) 0 https://youtu.be/njU_5XtoiE8 YouTube video English 2 Introductions Landyn Hatch introduces the interviewee, Jay Riley, Jr. and the topics they will be discussing. 0 238 Getting Involved With Together RIT Riley discusses how they initially got involved with the Together RIT project and how it coincided with student employment. 0 492 The Design Process Riley explains their creative process of making the Together RIT poster. 0 784 Why is Together RIT an Important Event? Riley answers why they think Together RIT is an important event to hold at RIT. 0 882 "What Would You Like to See in Future Iterations of Together RIT?" Riley answers the question, "What Would You Like to See in Future Iterations of Together RIT?" 0 972 “As a person of color attending a predominantly white institution, what has your experience been like as a student at RIT?” Riley answers the StoryBooth prompt, “As a person of color attending a predominantly white institution, what has your experience been like as a student at RIT?” 0 1149 What's Next? Riley discusses plans for after RIT. 0 1222 Closing Remarks Closing remarks of the interview. 0 Jay Riley, Jr., a fourth-year Graphic Design major from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, shares their experiences designing the poster for the inaugural Together RIT event, and answers the RIT Archives StoryBooth prompt, “As a person of color attending a predominantly white institution, what has your experience been like as a student at RIT?”&#13 ; LANDYN HATCH: Today is Friday, November 18, 2022. The time is 3:26 PM. My name is Landyn Hatch, Marie Golisano Graham Outreach Archivist at the RIT Archives and today I'm interviewing Jay Riley, RIT student and we are in the RIT archives space. Jay is the very talented designer of the Together RIT poster. Together RIT was an inaugural event just held Friday, October 21, 2022 and we're very excited to have him here with us today. And so, Jay, before we get going, can I just ask for your verbal consent to record this interview? JAY RILEY: Yes I give consent. LANDYN HATCH: Perfect. Thank you. And so starting off with this, why don't you tell us, um, your major, your class year and sort of what drew you to RIT. JAY RILEY: Okay, so um, right now I am a senior graphic design student, so I'm a fourth year. Um. I remember actually RIT was one of my first choices because my art teacher in high school, she went to RIT as a photography major. So when I was, um, looking at different schools, um, senior year, I was talking to her about it. And she recommended RIT to me because like, it wasn't really a college I would think of for like a, art or design program, really, but she said that, like CAD is really good here. So I decided to apply for here and ended up being like my first acceptance, so I feel like it was kind of meant to be. Um, and originally, I applied for illustration for my, um, freshman year but then after going through it, I kind of changed courses a little bit and felt like that graphic design was like a better choice for me. So then I ended up switching for that for sophomore year. And I feel like it's a, it's a really nice fit for what I'm doing. LANDYN HATCH: Yeah. And so you mentioned that your hometown’s in Pennsylvania. Can you just give us the name one more time? JAY RILEY: Downingtown LANDYN HATCH: Downingtown. Okay, and did you get to visit campus before you came here? JAY RILEY: Yeah, I remember, um, I think it was like the spring, um, before I started my freshman year, so like, around April, I visited here, um, for the first time. And like, I was really, I was kind of skeptical at first because it was like, since it was so far away because like even like along with RIT, I was looking at colleges that were like a little bit closer because like just closer to home and stuff since this is like such a new experience for like college. But then like after seeing the campus, I felt like it was a nice fit. So that kind of solidified my choice. LANDYN HATCH: Okay, and you're a graphic design student, what's your favorite thing about graphic design? JAY RILEY: I like the combination of solving problems, while also being able to be creative. Um. Like, for example, one project I'm working on now is, I'm creating my own brand for a poetry bookstore. So I needed to – for like, many weeks in a semester had to create my branding for that. So I had to create the logo, pick out typefaces and colors and stuff and while I could also like, be creative in that process, I also had to think a lot about my target audience. Because like a lot of design, you're gonna have a target audience that you're trying to grab first. So I feel like that's where like, the problem solving came in because while like, a lot of times I might design for me for, um different projects, I’d make in school, like when I graduate, I want to be designing for other people. So like, balancing that like, making sure like, I'm on the right track, but also putting my own spin on things when I can. I think that's the most fun part. And like the most rewarding part. LANDYN HATCH: That's a great answer. JAY RILEY: Thank you. LANDYN HATCH: Yeah, so tell us – so you worked for Together RIT, was that your first experience with on-campus employment? JAY RILEY: Actually it happened like, at the same time as another thing. So, right now I work for the, um, communication – Marketing Communications office of Student Affairs, um, on campus. So right now, like, I do a lot of different, um, design for different events and organizations on campus. And I started working with them during – with, um, a co-op over the summer that was full time and now I'm working with them part time this semester and then in the spring too. So, around, um, the same time I end up having my interviews with that is when I started, like, figuring out I'm going to design a poster for, um Together RIT because I remember I was drawn to the, the um, event. I think it was like this time last year when I first heard about it. I thought like being a part of something like this would be really, would be really interesting experience, especially like if I could put my work out there to represent the event. So, um. So I would say, this kind of just happened in conjunction with like my other first experience. LANDYN HATCH: Gotcha. And okay, so you heard about it in April and then just to clarify the timeline, so you worked for them over the summer, right? JAY RILEY: For Together RIT? LANDYN HATCH: Yes. JAY RILEY: I heard – first heard about Together RIT around this time last year. LANDYN HATCH: Around this time last year? Okay JAY RILEY: Yeah. And but, then I started creating, like, the process of the poster was like, around like, late spring. LANDYN HATCH: Okay. And so you heard about the poster through your on campus job? And or – the poster, the event in the opportunity to do the poster? Correct? Okay. JAY RILEY: I found – actually I found out this. Like, I started the process of making the poster around when I started my campus job. LANDYN HATCH: Okay. JAY RILEY: But I found out about Together RIT as an event, like around, like this time last year, which was before I started my job. LANDYN HATCH: And did you start the poster because you were asked to or just because you were so excited and energized by the event? JAY RILEY: I, like when I was originally um… like I originally started the, um, decided to join the team, because I felt like it could have been a good opportunity for design. So then that's when they told me like, a few months in the process that I will be helping create a poster for it. LANDYN HATCH: Gotcha. JAY RILEY: Yeah. LANDYN HATCH: Gotcha. And so what, when you decided to join the team, what were those first couple of team meetings like for you? JAY RILEY: Um, it was a little bit strange, because it was like me and a few other students, but it's mostly like faculty that were participating. But, um, because I didn't really know what to expect since this is my first time being like, um, a part in an event like this. Um, but it was fun seeing other people's perspectives and stuff and seeing like, the different role they played in the event and like also seeing like different reasons that different faculty joined and wanted to participate. I felt that was really interesting and kind of made me feel more comfortable in it. Um, so yeah, especially if you [unintelligible] my different ideas were being heard, that was really nice, too. LANDYN HATCH: And so, did you have any early interactions with Dr. Taj Smith, the Director of Diversity education? JAY RILEY: Yeah. Um, I talked to him – we had a few meetings throughout last, um, school year on Zoom and in person, like some were in group settings and then we had a couple of one on one, um, discussions where like, closer to when I was designed to poster I talked to him about, um, I talked to him over zoom about when I, um, what kind of ideas I had. And also like some just suggestions of like, things he wanted to be incorporated in the poster because I made a couple of different versions like before, like finalizing this one. So I got like, a lot of that was like, focused on like some of his feedback. LANDYN HATCH Yeah, and so let's talk about your design process. So what [were?] probably are like initial concept sketches. Um. What did those look like? JAY RILEY: I think I have it in my sketchbook actually. LANDYN HATCH: Oh, cool. JAY RILEY: Um. So, I had two major ideas that I – like two major directions I wanted to focus on. One was a more illustrative, um, and graphic direction. And then another one was a more like typographic, um, focus. So, one thing I do, um, for one of my versions is [what?] something that focused on the like, with the typographic version, using the type as graphics themselves that make it like, instead of just like, ‘Together RIT’, I can do some – I can play around with the text a little bit more to make it more interesting and have it, like fill up the actual poster. Um. And then, so that was for that. And then for the more illustrative version, which I ended up like going with for the final, I knew I wanted to do something with hands, um, because I've – one I felt like that was a really good way to show diversity. Um, having different hands together make in like, some sort of illustrative way I can convey to everybody's being heard and everybody's contributing, like no matter what their background is. Um. So a couple of things I had were like, doing something with handprints, and then doing something with like, arms like, linked together just to show that like togetherness and solidarity, um, aspect. And then also like, um, this is what I ended up going for my final. But for like um, raised hands so like to begin, like everybody can like give their own viewpoint, because they're like, all important because I feel like that's like the one of the crucial things I wanted to convey. Um. So eventually, like I made two different versions, which is the one that ended up being chosen and also made the more typographic one. LANDYN HATCH: Yeah, and the hands feature really prominently in the final design. And it's, it's beautifully done. JAY RILEY: Thank you. LANDYN HATCH: Um. And so how did you decide on the color scheme for the poster? JAY RILEY: Um, so the thing with that is, in my job, that I work more now, I'm really used to working in the RIT branding. So like the specific typeface that we use, and then all the specific colors that we use, like, has to be, um, a specific orange, specific blue, purple, green, and stuff like that has to be like an exact shade when you're working with it digitally. So, I thought incorporating those colors into the poster based on, like my knowledge from working, um, for like creating for RIT, um, it would be a good thing to make it consistent with like all the other branding that you see in RIT campus. Um, and also, I feel like a lot of those colors do work well together. And I thought, um, having those more like bold, um, colors would be like a good contrast to more like neutral tones that I use for like the hands because it represents like different skin colors. So I think having that contrast, I feel like they kind of work together well. LANDYN HATCH: Yeah, so that's – okay, so you've got your concept, you've been doing some interfacing with faculty, um, and getting different feedback. What was that moment for you like, when you found out that your poster was selected? JAY RILEY: It was, it was really nice. Um, I don't know if I was expecting it to be or not, because I made two different versions, and also another person put in two different versions. But, I think just having – I got really excited just knowing that like, the, an event like this will be represented by something that I created, and that they'll be able to see around and that'll just like, tell them about the event. So I feel like it was an honor to have it selected. LANDYN HATCH: And you kind of alluded to this in your last response. But what was that like for you seeing your poster, you know, on display day of? How did that feel? JAY RILEY: It felt really good, yeah. (laughs) Um, yeah, um, because I saw that like, on campus along with some other stuff I made over from my co-op. Um. So, just seeing it around campus, was just really nice, because people see it, can see it all the time and might make them feel motivated to go. And it just feels, like really good that I contributed to that. LANDYN HATCH: So transitioning a little bit. Jay, why do you think an event like Together RIT is important for RIT to do? JAY RILEY: I think, um, having everybody's voices feel heard. Because I feel like sometimes when you're a minority in any different aspect, sometimes it might feel like your, your experience is overshadowed or considered to be like, not as important, or like a lot of things don't really consider your perspective. So I feel like at Together – or an event like Together RIT really could highlight that. Um. It could also could help like educate people who might not be aware of that type of experience. So maybe, um, having that education is really nice. Like no matter what kind of background you're from just hearing other people's perspectives and, um, seeing other people's experiences and just keeping those in mind is, I think really important. So I think an event like this was good at highlighting that. LANDYN HATCH: And were you able to attend any of the day of sessions? JAY RILEY: I wasn't. Um, I wanted to but I went to an event called Eureka, um, which was a design volunteer program where we helped design for a nearby company. Um, so that happened to fall on the same day. So unfortunately, I couldn't go. (laughs) LANDYN HATCH: That’s okay. So this next question might not fully apply, but that's okay. Um, but what would you like to see represented in future iterations of Together RIT? JAY RILEY: Um, I think a lot of I think like a mixture of environments that are both like light hearted and also serious. Um, light hearted in that, like, people can – Well, okay, I think kind of going along with that like, showing that idea of togetherness and solidarity in different ways. So like one could be like, light hearted in a sense where people can laugh with each other, people can find common ground with each other, like based on culture and experiences. But also like, more serious and more serious tone in some environments, where people may be talking about, like bad experiences they went through based on like, for example, based on their race or whatever, and having other people realize that so they're not ignorant to that. Those type of things. Um, and just having that thing of just like, feeling heard and being acknowledged, and also like, telling, like, how campus could be a more comfortable place, like especially like in this context, like as a racial minority. Um. So like that, this is all tied around with this, making sure everybody feels heard, and acknowledged. LANDYN HATCH: Right, and I think that's a great segue into the next part of our interview. So in Story Booth fashion, I'm going to ask you to respond to one of the prompts that we had pre-identified for Together RIT, and so I'll let you take it away with the prompt you'd like to respond to. JAY RILEY: So there's – the prompt I want to respond to is, “As a person of color attending a predominantly white institution, what has your experience been like as a student at RIT?” Alrighty, um, I feel like it's been really nice. I grew up in a school district that was not diverse at all. Um, I was one of the few, like, um, black students. So like, I guess, like, I'm kind of used to like, being a minority in this type of schooling environment. But I did still meet a lot of people here that I can relate to, like on a racial level. Um, I did feel like, like, there were a lot of clubs, for example. Um. Even if I wasn't able to attend them based on my schedule or whatever, it’s still really nice to have. Um, So overall, I do feel like, at least in my experience, it's been, it's been really good. Um. I didn't, I haven't had like any, like, really bad experiences like that, because I did, um, have some stuff come up, like, as like in grade school. But I feel like that didn't really continue in the college. I feel like my experience has been good here. LANDYN HATCH: And just to follow up, are you a part of any of those clubs that you mentioned? JAY RILEY: Um, there's a club called BACC. Um, I did go, I think last year, but I couldn't go this year, because it was at, it fell at the same time as one of my classes. But, um, one club I do try to go to is Queer N’ Color, which, um, is just for like queer people of color. So that's like, we have like, really nice discussions in those in those club meetings. Um, that's another thing just like, feeling heard, and having a lot of people to relate to. Um. So yeah, that’s pretty nice. LANDYN HATCH: And can I ask you so in, you know, peer to peer interactions, feeling heard is really important. Do you also feel, you know, seen and heard in the classrooms? JAY RILEY: Yeah. Yeah, I would say so. Um, even like, as somebody that's a little bit more reserved, I do feel like that, um, I'm able to speak up, like, whether it be like,uh, like, I feel like I'm not ignored. And especially like, if I'm talking in class or whatever, I still feel like I have like, an equal footing in like, my opinion, and like my viewpoint or whatever. LANDYN HATCH: And then our final question, and I have to ask, because you're such an articulate young person and you're clearly going places. Um. What's next for you after RIT? JAY RILEY: Um… I'm not sure. (laughs) Like, especially like as a senior you get asked this all the time. LANDYN HATCH: Sorry. JAY RILEY: Um, no, it's fine. Um, well, like right now, continuing with my, my, my job like doing design work for the marketing communications office. Um, if I'm able to continue that, like after I graduate, that would be great. But also, especially after this semester, I want to start looking at different design companies outside of RIT to apply for, especially as I start like, refining my portfolio. And as I have like, some more experiences to put down like this, for example, or like Eureka, as I said before, and like my, um, co-op and job. So, still looking, um, places, but I still feel like I have a good foundation, especially like, for after I graduate. LANDYN HATCH: All right. Well, is there anything else that we didn't discuss today that you wanted to talk about? JAY RILEY: Um, no, I guess I could just hope that, um, Together RIT is successful in the future. Um, and as a lot of people are interested in going because even though I wasn't able to go, it's a really important event to have on this campus. So yeah. LANDYN HATCH: Well, that's a great way to round out our interview. Thank you for your time today, Jay. I really appreciate it. Interviews may be reproduced with written permission from RIT Archives. All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to RIT Archives, Rochester Institute of Technology. video 0 /render.php?cachefile=sb_2022051_rileyj_20221118.xml sb_2022051_rileyj_20221118.xml

Interview Keyword

RIT Archives StoryBooth;College Student;Graphic Design;Together RIT



“RIT StoryBooth with Jay Riley, Jr. for Together RIT (2022), 2022-11-18,” Oral History, accessed July 15, 2024, https://oralhistory.rit.edu/items/show/20.