City College alumnus takes graphic design curriculum to a new level – City Times

Archana Verma’s submission gets international ranking

Archana Verma designed a science magazine for her participation in the World Brand Design Society competition. Graphic by Jillian Fortner

Each year graphic design students from all over the world are invited to design a magazine for a major international competition.

City College alumnus Archana Verma knew that many of her competitors were selecting fashion or food publications.

She chose to create a science magazine because the subject is an integral part of everyday life.

This decision led San Diego City College to rank 10th internationally as the Best Design Education Institution 2020-21 by the World Brand Design Society. It has been mentioned alongside schools and universities in the UK, Russia, South Korea and Australia.

“It was a feeling of beyond happiness,” Verma said.

Some science magazines, according to Verma, contain bland graphics and are generally difficult / hard to understand. His goal was to design something that everyone could read and that everyone could be interested in.

Choosing a topic so different from its competition could have been a risk, but the judges praised its editorial layout.

“Excellent use of more recognizable visual cues in a high fashion and design publication, applied to a hardcore science publication – the execution is superb and very engaging,” wrote Judge Jos Harrison, Brand Experience & Design Global Head of Reckitt Benckiser reward site.

The former City College student has worked in design for many years. She started out as a textile designer before moving into the field of graphic design. According to her LinkedIn profile, she is a graphic design specialist at Trovata, an open banking platform based in San Diego.

“I think graphic design gives more opportunities to explore different media,” said Verma.

Verma’s submission to the competition was private, meaning City College’s graphic design professors had no idea that any of their students had entered until the results were announced.

“I just opened my email one day and saw this” Professor Sean Bacon told City Times reporter Rachel De La Torre in an interview in March. “It was incredibly shocking, a huge surprise, but again, something that we are very proud of, very excited about.”

Verma expressed her appreciation for the graphic design program at City College.

“The students are great, the teachers are great,” said Verma. “They go above and beyond to help us so that we can progress in our careers and in our lives.”

Multimedia journalist Rachel de la Torre contributed to this report.


Jillian Fortner was a student at DJRN 200, multimedia news writing, in the spring semester of 2021.

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