Dana Ezzell Gay

Associate Professor of Art, Graphic Design Program Director

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113 Gaddy-Hamrick
(919) 760-8791

Areas of Expertise

  • all things graphic design and typography, including visual poetry, concrete poetry, visual narrative, and altered books (book arts)
  • design thinking, design process, and the history of graphic design
  • interactive/web design

Work Experience

Professional biography

Dana Ezzell Gay has over 18 years of experience as a professional graphic designer with specific areas of interest in typography, visual poetry, critical reading and writing, print design, and interactive/web design. Her professional practice centers around print and web projects for various clients, while her creative research focuses on discovering the potential that words have to communicate on a deeper level than merely speaking, reading, or writing them. She engages them as living matter and uses them as typographic landscapes to stimulate imagination.

Before joining the Meredith faculty, Dana worked as a graphic design professor at Auburn University in Auburn, AL. Her forte and passion is typography, and she takes pride in both the creative process and the creative potential held within a printed design or interactive work. Her design work has been recognized in several publications, such as Print Magazine’s Regional Design Annual, the Applied Arts Awards Annual, American Corporate Identity, the Big Book of Logos 4, the CASE awards, among others.

In addition to teaching full-time and directing the Graphic Design Program, she serves as the Art Director for the North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) (a literary journal), and book designer for A Past Preserved (a personal historian). Dana also serves Meredith College as Creative Director of the Circus Design Studio at Meredith College (a real-world in-house design studio) and Faculty Design Advisor for The Colton Review and AIGA Meredith College Student Group.

Academic Credentials

MFA, Graphic Design, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence, RI
BFA, Graphic Design, East Carolina University (ECU), Greenville, NC
Collegiate Teaching Certificate, Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, Brown University, Providence, RI

Professional Credentials

  • Faculty Advisor, AIGA Meredith College Student Group
  • Faculty Design Advisor, The Colton Review
  • Creative Director, Circus Design Studio at Meredith College


  • 2012–present: Art Director/Graphic Designer, A Past Preserved (a personal historian services company), Birmingham, AL. She designs books for various businesses, organization, and individuals. Each book design is developed especially for each client and is based on a specific theme or style developed.
  • 2008–present: Art Director, North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR), Greenville, NC The North Carolina Literary Review is a literary journal published annually by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.
  • Print and web design for freelance clients that include the Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming (ENCLH), Greenville, NC; Meredith College Theatre Program; Meredith College Annual Juried Student Art Show; Southeastern College Art Association (SECAC); Meredith College Department of Art; Frankie G. Weems Art Gallery; among others.


Gay, Dana Ezzell. “Book Design: A Collaborative Design Team Process.” The means by which we find our way; Observations on Design. 2009. ICOGRADA. <http://www.icograda.org/education/case_studies.htm>.
Gay, Dana Ezzell. “Moving Through the Familiar.” The means by which we find our way; Observations on Design. Ramp Press, Wintec: 2008. 42.
Gay, Dana Ezzell. “Book Design: A Collaborative Design Team Process.” The means by which we find our way; Observations on Design. Ramp Press, Wintec: 2008. 213–216.      
Gay, Dana Ezzell. “Spirit, Vision, and Sophistication: Three keys to successful Web design,” DesignAlabama Journal, Volume XV, No. I, Contributing writer
Gay, Dana Ezzell. “Smart Design,” DesignAlabama Journal, Volume XIII, No. II, Contributing writer


2012 - Interviewed for and quoted in Our State Magazine, Greensboro, NC, by David Hall, contributing editor (interviewed on Sept. 6, 2012) I was interviewed by David Hall and quoted in the December 2012 edition of  “Our State” magazine. In the Carolina Culture section, I was quoted speaking about the uniqueness of art and design within the “North Carolina Literary Review,” the literary journal of which I serve as Art Director and primary graphic designer. The “Our State” article highlights the “NCLR” as one of the South's most unusual and respected annual literary publications. My comments summarize the visual experience in the following way. “That mix of beautiful art and text just comes to life in this journal, and you really can't find another example, I think, in the literary world today that celebrates in this way.” I have served as Art Director for the “NCLR” since 2008 and have worked as a graphic designer with the journal since 1995.


• Thinking Design and Design Thinking has been accepted as a session at the 2013 Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) to be held in Greensboro, NC from October 30–November 2, 2013; Session Chair and Presenter
• NCLR Design: The intersection of text and image paper & visual work presented at the annual 111th Meeting of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association held in Raleigh, NC on November 18, 2011; the presentation shared the creative processes involved in the making of designs for the NCLR (North Carolina Literary Review, scholarly journal and literary magazine); I serve as Art Director and primary graphic designer for the journal.
• A Beautiful Group of Letters: Typography as Discourse in Communication Design and the Visual Arts, Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), Savannah, GA; I chaired Part I of this panel session & presented a paper & visual work, “A Beautiful Group of Letters: Making Meaning with Letters and Words,” on Part II of this session, at the 2011 Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) held in Savannah, GA from November 9–12, 2011.
• Interactive Narrative: The Creative Interplay between Type and Image, paper & visual work presented on the “New and Innovative Projects in Graphic Design” session at the 2010 Joint Annual Conference of SECAC and MACAA (Southeastern College Art Conference and Mid-America College Art Association) in Richmond, VA from October 20–24, 2010; Presenter
• Graphic Design Collaborations: A Design Team Process, paper & visual work presented as a session at the 2009 Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) in Mobile, AL from October 22–24, 2009; Session Chair and Presenter
• Typo-photo, paper & visual work presented as a presentation session at the 2008 Society for Photographic Education Southeast Regional Conference (SPESE) held at Randolph Community College in Asheboro, NC from November 7–9, 2008; my colleague, Shannon Johnstone, and I presented our collaborative body of work which explores methods of synthesizing photography and typography as expressive image; Session Co-chair and Presenter
• Typo-photo: A Synthesis of Expression, paper & visual work presented as a session at the 2008 Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) in New Orleans from September 24–27, 2008; Session Co-chair and Presenter
• The Art of Business Card Design, paper & visual work presented as a session at the Furini Memorial Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition & Symposium held at Meredith College, Gaddy-Hamrick Art Center on March 28–30, 2008; Presenter
• Typographic Gestures: The Visual Interplay of Rhythm and Structure, paper & visual work presented on the “Visual Art that Is Written” session at the 2007 Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) in Charleston, West Virginia on October 17–20, 2007; Presenter
• Interactive Type and Image: Changing the Face of Graphic Design was accepted and held as an Educational and Professional Practices session at the 2007 College Art Association (CAA) 95th Annual Conference in New York from February 14–17, 2007; Session Chair and Presenter

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