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Penn State Graphic Design Professor to be Presented Philadelphia's Highest Award in Graphic Design

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Lanny Sommese, Penn State Distinguished Professor of Graphic Design, will receive the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Philadelphia Fellow Award, the design organization’s highest honor, on June 10 at World Café Live in Philadelphia. The event will include a silent auction featuring Sommese’s work. Sommese, an AIGA member for more than 35 years, established Penn State’s Graphic Design program in 1970 and has served as its head since then. An internationally recognized designer, he is best known for his award-winning poster designs. He has designed the posters for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts for 30 years and won several national awards for those designs. He has exhibited and lectured worldwide and has been published in hundreds of magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Graphis, Print, How and Communication Arts. Sommese has also been featured in numerous books and his work can be found in collections across the globe, including the Library of Congress National Poster Collection; Musée D’Histoire Contemporaine, Paris; and the Central Institute of Fine Art, Beijing. Sommese is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he received a B.F.A. in painting and a bachelor of design degree. He later went on to earn an M.F.A. in graphic design at the University of Illinois. He is a fellow of Penn State's Institute for the Arts and Humanities, an honorary member of the University and College Designers Association and a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale, an elite international group of graphic designers based in Zurich, Switzerland. For some examples of his work, visit the AIGA Design Archives at Outside of teaching, Sommese and his wife, Kristin, have their own firm, Sommese Design, specializing in corporate, print and packaging, as well as poster design. The AIGA Fellow award program is a means of recognizing mature designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local or regional design community. The AIGA Philadelphia chapter is the first local chapter of the organization and has more than 700 members. Contact: Amy Milgrub Marshall,