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Experienced branding designer named head of Penn State Graphic Design

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Phil Choo, professor and coordinator of the M.F.A. in graphic design in the Department of Art, Graphic Design and Art History at Oklahoma State University, has been appointed the head of the Penn State Graphic Design program, effective January 2019, after a national search.

Barbara Korner, dean of the College of Arts and Architecture, said the college is fortunate to have someone with Choo’s experience to lead the program. “His experience in branding design and user experience design will be a tremendous asset to our already-strong program. With his background, he will be well-equipped to move Penn State Graphic Design to the forefront of this dynamic, evolving profession.”

“I feel honored to be part of a wonderful organization such as Penn State and to lead the Graphic Design program,” said Choo. “This program has had such a rich and recognized history in the field of graphic design, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to cultivate design culture across disciplines and the University. I am looking forward to working with students and faculty and making a positive impact on Penn State design education.”

A national and international award-winning designer, Choo’s research focuses on branding design and user experience design. In 2017, he was named the Oklahoma State Riata Center for Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow of the Year. He recently conducted a branding project, White Box, by using virtual reality with both the Department of Architecture and the Riata Center. White Box is a project intended to highlight Oklahoma State entrepreneurs by placing their products in a student union pop-up store for both selling and research purposes. Choo is also a collaborator at the Oklahoma State Mixed Reality Lab, which focuses on virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, motion capture technology and eye tracking. He is a founding member and on the steering committee of the Oklahoma State University App Center, a hub for app development where students, faculty and the university community converge.

As a freelance designer and consultant, Choo has completed numerous print and UX/UI design projects for diverse clients. During his sabbatical, he worked as a UX/UI design consultant for SST Software. SST Software is a nationally-recognized company in the design of software that supports precision agriculture services. He consulted with the company’s leadership and helped to create a new department for UX/UI design. Also, he facilitated SST scholarships and a summer internship program for graphic design students at Oklahoma State.

Choo has received top honors in the University and College Designers Association (UCDA) Design Competition; Graphis; International Visual Identity Awards; American Advertising Awards (formerly Addy Award); the annual Graphex Design Awards from the Art Director’s Club in Tulsa; the Art Design Institute (ADI) Award Exhibition at the China Academy of Art; and the National Educators’ Design Exhibition (DENE), among others.

Choo received his M.F.A. from Iowa State University, where his emphasis was visual communication and human interaction design. He taught at Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota before joining the Oklahoma State faculty in 2005. For examples of Choo’s work, visit his website,

Penn State’s Graphic Design program was founded by Distinguished Professor Emeritus Lanny Sommese in the mid-1970s and was accredited in 1982. It offers a bachelor of design degree and supports the master of fine arts in graphic design in collaboration with the Penn State School of Visual Arts. The program is part of the Stuckeman School, which also includes architecture and landscape architecture. For more information, visit

Phil Choo