The computer is a mental straight jacket, the pencil is your fastest computer.

Dave Martinez


I attended many fine graphic design programs as a student and teacher including the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA, Visual Communication, 1998). Enrolling in Virginia Commonwealth University allowed me to participate in the Teaching Practicum course because I knew I wanted to become an educator. As an undergraduate, I studied at Eastern Michigan University, which nurtured a relationship with Kathy McCoy of  Cranbrook Academy of Art and graduates Scott Makela, and Ed Fella to name a few. Areas of teaching expertise include Visual Literacy, Typography, Graphic Symbolism, Narrative Design, Branding, and Advanced Thematic studies.  My Graphic Design History course was inspired by Philip Meggs who shared personal stories of his research at V.C.U.


My earliest introduction to design occurred at a local community college in Ann Arbor, Michigan when print reproduction was film  based and before the personal computer. This included film processes (stat camera, plate emulsion) to running the printing press. I'm grateful for having this knowledge and learning the tricks of the trade. It was during these formative years as a T.A. in early Macintosh program courses that students suggested I become a teacher.


I've lectured nationally and internationally on graphic design pedagogy including Havana Cuba, Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA), Arizona State University and CAA.  I also serve as a Graduate Adviser in the MFA Program. My research and publication interests include Cuban Graphic Design, and Internet Culture and Sub-Cultures. I've interviewed educator Rudolph Arnhem on my earliest proposal for  The Collaborative Classroom which has been an ongoing design project conducted between multiple classrooms.



Dave Martinez

Associate Prof.

Graphic Design

University of Texas


I have traveled to Cuba numerous times with students and for my own design research. Below is a small number of images I've taken over the years. My interest in Cuban design focused on the fall of Soviet sponsorship and how design would be utilized to create financial stability for Cuba. Cuba is an incredible experience and I found the people friendly and accommodating! I look forward to the day when travel restrictions are erased.

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