Meet Tiffanni Spann: Success In and Out of the Classroom
By Lauren Highfill
A miniature lobster clasping a Coca-Cola bottle might seem an odd choice for an invitation. But this project, complete with a mini lobster trap, was created for an event Coke was having in Maine. The creative lobster invitation is just one example of the projects visual arts major Tiffanni Spann has worked on with the Jones Group, first as an intern and now as a full-time designer. “These types of projects are what you dream about doing in school,” she said.
And Tiffanni has had lots of practice at Kennesaw State University. In Associate Professor of Art Jeanne Sperry’s design strategies class last semester, Tiffanni worked on projects for the Diabetes Association of Atlanta, American Lung Association in Atlanta and Piedmont Hospital. She designed everything from brochures and t-shirts to large-scale websites. All three of the organizations selected Tiffanni’s designs over her classmates’ proposals. Some of her pieces are being submitted for national campaigns. “The semester was been a lot of hard work, but it’s been great,” said Tiffanni.
Before she began her education at KSU, Tiffanni gained experience as a photographer in the military. While she was there, she was accepted to a one-year photojournalism program at Syracuse University. “There was a graphic design class within that program that I took that reiterated that ‘yes, this is what I want to do.’”
After Syracuse, Tiffanni returned to her Marietta hometown and enrolled in KSU’s visual arts program. Since she’s been at KSU, she’s earned several scholarships, including two installments of the James T. Anderson, Jr. Scholarship, and a grant. “Receiving these awards really encouraged me to keep moving forward in my degree,” she said.
Tiffanni credits much of her success as a designer inside and outside the classroom to Sperry’s teaching methods. In the advanced design class, Sperry assists and encourages students, but “she doesn’t tell you what to do—it’s essentially how it would work in the real world: you get a job, you get the parameters and you start working on it while staying within a deadline and budget.”
The real-world atmosphere is one characteristic that Tiffanni enjoys about the visual arts classes. “My teachers understand that everyone has different viewpoints and design styles, so you are pretty much free to go with your vision for your design projects.” However, that doesn’t mean that classes foster competitive, uncooperative environments. Tiffanni’s learned that “it helps you in the long run to collaborate with other designers and feed off each other’s ideas”As a graduating senior with a full-time job at an Atlanta-based design firm, Tiffanni is “really happy where I am.” Looking further into the future, she would like to become an art director or a teacher and move overseas. “I think my ideal situation would be living in an exciting city abroad, like London, and working at a firm or teaching,” she said. “There’s always something really gratifying about helping students find the great artist within themselves.”