Ally Klionsky ’17: Computerized Design for Community

After carefully sketching a word in a calligraphy font, Ally Klionsky ’17 pinned nails around the faint outline of the word and then looped colorful string around the nails. Klionsky describes this eighth grade project to The Phillipian as what sparked her passion for design, especially typography, which is the art of arranging type. Soon after completing this project, Klionsky attended a graphic design class at Andover Summer Session, further solidifying her interest.

“I always liked design, logos, advertisements… so I came to Andover Summer Session and took a graphic design class where I got to learn Adobe Photoshop. From there, I looked at tutorials online and watched YouTube videos. Then I [learned] Illustrator and InDesign,” Klionsky said.

Klionsky characterizes her designs as modern, typically using geometric shapes and straight clean edges. She has developed this aesthetic through assignments and jobs where she has gotten the opportunity to further experiment with different styles, softwares and art techniques. Klionsky has also developed a consistent work ethic for her assignments.
“If there is a client who wants a design, they would email me what they want, and then I would figure out what the purpose of the logo is, if it is used for an event or for personal use. From there, I would go online to look up design inspiration and send them my inspiration board. After that, I would start coming up with ideas, probably 10 to 15 sketches and send those over to see what they think about them and what they like. I would then transfer them onto my computer. I definitely think the most important part of my process is drawing things out,” said Klionsky.

Klionsky has had the opportunity to apply this process at Andover where, as a new Lower this year, she has already been tapped by other students and clubs to create logos and designs. This includes a design for the Pine Knoll Cluster apparel, posters for the West Quad North Comedy Night and logos and posters for the Co-Presidential campaign of Marcello Rossi ’16 and Caroline Shipley ’16. She hopes to continue working on projects both back at home and here at Andover, including designing apparel for Abbot Cluster.

“I loved working on the Pine Knoll apparel. I used the trees as inspiration and went from there, adding in the ‘Andover sun’ from the school seal. I took two logos I designed and was able to put them on sweatpants, pullovers, quarter-zips, T-shirts and backpacks! Seeing so many people wear my designs around campus was amazing. Design can reach so many people, which is part of the reason why I enjoy it so much,” Klionsky said.

Klionsky has struggled a bit to keep up with design while at Andover. She has been trying to combat this by continuing to experiment with new software independently. In particular, she likes to watch Youtube videos and tutorials on how to create new shapes with Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.

“I am currently taking a drawing class, which is important for any type of art form, but it has been harder coming to Andover, because there isn’t a graphic design class. I do think though that this has allowed me to push myself more with graphic design, because I’ve been doing it independently. I have to go out and seek opportunities myself, which is an important lesson for an artist,” Klionsky said.

Klionsky plans to continue searching for new opportunities for learning and designing, but also with digital technology.

“I definitely want to learn more about computer programming and front-end development, which is like designing apps and working on websites. I want to learn as much as I can just by doing projects and learning. I always learn things in big projects or small projects. There are so much things you can do in the future that is related to art,” Klionsky said.

For more images of Klionsky’s designs, visit her website: