Pragun Agarwal is a designer involved in all things type. As a current MFA student in the graphic design program of Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Pragun has the space and time to think more deeply about design. He has also contributed lettering to our inaugural issue of Typegeist — launching this month from the Type Directors Club.
You have so many fun projects in your portfolio — lettering experiments, videos, and illustrative systems… Are these just all opportunity to practice making letters?
Absolutely. I believe there aren’t any limits when it comes to experimenting with letterforms. They can be digital, expressive, abstract or even extremely intricate. I have always tried to explore these characteristics and not narrow down to a particular style. The diversity and expanse of this field is what really inspires me and ultimately drives my work.
How did you come to attend MICA? What did you get from that program?
After completing my undergrad, and subsequently working for roughly three years in India, I applied for a master’s program here in the United States. My decision to do the Graphic Design MFA program at MICA revolved around gaining a mature and professional knowledge of this field.
Currently, I am in my second year at MICA. My experience has been great, the college course structure allows you to develop new skill sets, think and discuss topics critically, and apply all this learning into your thesis and studio projects. I have also had a couple of stints as a teaching assistant, which has been an extremely rewarding exposure for me personally.
How has starting to teach helped your own creative process?
Teaching always reinforces your own learning and experiences. By demonstrating or giving any feedback, I was able to be more confident and assured of my own skillset and basics of graphic design.
More importantly, by seeing such diverse and varied approaches to a single assignment or brief, pushed me personally to experiment and look at different ways to approach any kind of a design solution.
As a contributor to the inaugural issue of Typegeist, what about the project enticed you to participate?
TDC as an organization has an enormous reputation all across the globe. I have always followed and read multiple magazines and books published by this organization. When I was approached and especially asked to experiment with the Devanagari script, I felt this was a wonderful opportunity to participate and exhibit my work amongst many talented and reputed designers.