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Professor and Head of Graphic Design
School of Art, Design, SM and Art History
San Diego State University (SDSU)
Professor Merritt teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the School of Art, Design, and Art History at San Diego State University. She is a design principal at CWA, Inc. in San Diego, and co-founder, with business partner Calvin Woo, of the Design Innovation Institute, a nonprofit organization committed to interdisciplinary design research and education. Professor Merritt is also co-author, with Jack Davis, of The Web Design Wow! Book, and has served on the board of the San Diego chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), on the chapter's advisory board, its education committee, and as curriculum director for AIGA's national Creativity Kits Project. She is the founder of the AIGA student group at SDSU, and a Friend of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA). SM Friend is a "membership" category. Technically, individuals cannot be members since only organizations are members. Everyone knows the organization as ICOGRADA.
Professor Merritt was a graduate student from 1971 to 1976 at the Kunstgewerbeschule-Basel (Basel School of Design), where she studied with Armin Hofmann, Wolfgang Weingart, André Gürtler, and Kurt Hauert. While living in Europe for six years, and later in Hawaii for five years, where she was on the faculty of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Professor Merritt developed a deep appreciation for different cultures and their communities. She continues to travel and research the role of visual communication design within the context of culture, with an emphasis on consumer packaging design. While at Basel, Professor Merritt became interested in letterpress printing, which spawned an interest in book arts. She spent a month in residence at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, where she studied the museum's collection of historical wood type, and printed broadsides, on the museum's letterpresses.