• PrintMag

Meet the Judges: Nancy Skolos

For more than 35 years, PRINT’s Regional Design Awards has been honoring excellence across all channels of design. Whether you’re a freelancer, part of a large agency, an in-house creative or even a student, your unique work could reign supreme in this widely celebrated competition.

Behind each RDA is a panel of A-list design experts ready to unearth fresh talent and shine a spotlight on groundbreaking ideas. In this series, we will interview each judge and take a closer look at some of the spectacular work they’ve created during their career.

Nancy Skolos: Bio

Nancy Skolos works closely with her husband Thomas Wendell to challenge the boundaries between graphic design and photography. In 1980 they opened Skolos, Wendell + Raynor in Boston. Around this time, their studio gained success in the 80s when technology made it possible to make “the invisible visible.” Their partner Kenneth Raynor left the Boston area in 1990 and Skolos-Wendell carried on as a duo. By 1993 their studio had been featured in Eye magazine where they were labeled as “techno-cubists.”

Throughout their career, the duo’s approach has matured and their client base has grown, but they’ve kept to their impassioned roots experimenting with photography and design.

Together, Skolos and Wendell have authored two books: Type, Image, Message, published by Rockport in 2006, and Graphic Design Process, published by Laurence King in 2012. Skolos has been teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design since 1989 and believes that teaching graphic design is as vital as the practice itself.

Skolos and Wendell have had their work showcased in collections at the MoMA, The Israel Museum and the Museum of Design in Zürich. In 2017, the two were awarded the AIGA Medal for their work “pushing the boundaries of art, design and technology with a distinctive vision to find connection among disparate forms.” #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 50%; } #gallery-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */

Do you have a driving philosophy behind your work?

My partner Tom Wedell and I communicate visually by synthesizing graphic design and photography. We have spent decades analyzing the unique characteristics of words and images—both consciously and subconsciously—and setting them in motion to fuse narrative with sensation.

What was the most important roadblock you faced as a designer?

Our most important challenge has always been to find a balance between taking risks and producing coherent communication.

What would be impossible for you to give up?

Colored pencils.

Have you ever entered the RDA before?

Yes. I think it’s fascinating to see the influence of context and place on design. As far as I know, Print’s Regional Design Annual is unique in this way of curating and categorizing work.

As a judge, what are you hoping to see from the region you’re evaluating?

The smartest and best work.

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