Building Brands is the Plan for Award-Winning Berkeley Graphic Design Student Jonathan Moran

Jonathan Moran had always been interested in art. Even at a young age, the resident of Passaic, NJ could always be found drawing. When his high school introduced a new art program that involved a computer lab, his passion continued. Then, as luck would have it, a presentation by Berkeley College got him thinking that this lifelong passion could become a career.

“I immediately liked the atmosphere at Berkeley,” said Jonathan. “It was very comfortable. The campus was not too big and there seemed to be a lot of interaction between professors and students.”

A well-rounded Graphic Design program

Jonathan enrolled in the Graphic Design program. He loved the idea of being exposed to different aspects of design—such as web design, 3-D design, video, and photography—in his courses. “The Berkeley Graphic Design program is great. The classes connect to each other,” he pointed out. “What you learn in one course helps prepare you for the next course. Sometimes, I didn’t even realize how much I was learning.”

Close, personal attention from his professors was another thing that stood out for Jonathan. “In small classes, we’re able to get close with professors. And they’re always available when we have questions.”

Combining tradition with technology

When approaching design projects, Jonathan combines “old-school” techniques, such as brainstorming and going through many rounds of quick, rough sketches before putting technology to use in Berkeley’s design labs, which feature the hardware and software used in professional settings. “I like to explore many different possible design solutions,” he explained. “Once I’ve refined the idea, then I execute and refine the piece.” 

Proud winner of a statewide design competition

Cover design of the organization’s 21st annual conference brochureOne of Jonathan’s professors, Alethea Maguire-Cruz, along with Maria Deptula, the Library Director at the Berkeley College campus in Paramus, encouraged him to enter a statewide design competition sponsored by the Virtual Academic Library Environment (VALE). VALE, is a consortium of 50 New Jersey college and university libraries, LibraryLinkNJ and the New Jersey State Library, dedicated to learning through innovative approaches. Jonathan received the VALE award for his cover design of the organization’s 21st annual conference brochure

“I was very proud—but surprised—when I found out that I won,” Jonathan remembered. “I was also very grateful to Professor Maguire-Cruz for encouragement.” The prize money he received went toward the purchase of a tablet for his digital art.

Encouragement from professors

“Jonathan has a great design career ahead of him,” said Ms. Maguire-Cruz. “We’re so proud of John. He was inspired by the Bauhaus School of Design and brought a dynamic composition to his VALE NJ Conference Cover. This is actually the third consecutive year that a Berkeley College Graphic Design student in my class took first place in VALE’s statewide student design competition.”

Putting his skills to work and getting valuable experience through an internship

Jonathan is scheduled to graduate from Berkeley College this May. He’s currently participating in an internship with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest New Jersey in Wayne, where he works creating content for the organization on Facebook and other social media outlets. 

Big plans to build brands

As for the future, Jonathan is full of ambition. “I hope to be a well-known designer that helps company’s build their brands and promote their businesses,” he said. “The new world of digital media is changing very quickly and I’m excited to see where it takes me.”

To learn more about the Graphic Design program, as well as other degree and certificate programs at Berkeley, visit

The views and/or opinions in this article are those of the individuals interviewed. The academic achievements and/or employment outcomes described in this article are specific to each individual and are not a guarantee of similar results for past or current students. For up-to-date and detailed information, please visit and view our catalogs at