Alumni Stories: Meet David

Meet David, the phenomenal Graphic Designer, who had another goal of being an Architect when he first started at Marywood University in 2012. David graduated with his Bachelors degree in Graphic Design in 2016. During David’s time at Marywood he was involved with quite a few clubs, like NEPA Ad Club, CMYKlub, and Delta Epsilon Sigma. Even though David graduated with a Graphic Design degree, he isn’t only a Designer; he’s also been working as a Strategic Marketer and Communicator for over 4 years! David’s website is currently under construction, but if you want to check him out click these links for more: and

David Bonomo

Graduation Year & Degree: 2012 BFA 

Major: Graphic Design

Marywood Clubs & Activities: NEPA Ad Club, CMYKlub, Delta Epsilon Sigma

How long at current job: 4 years

We always love to interview our alumni and are so delighted to share some of David’s thoughts with you Marywood.

What was your favorite part about studying art at Marywood?
Marywood is a wonderful university for so many reasons. The best part for me was the simultaneous small-school sense of community with big space for ideas. I learned something vital from every professor I had, always had access to broad academic resources, and was still able to build personal connections with professors and peers alike. On top of that, I don’t think you’ll find a more beautiful campus anywhere.

How did your art education at Marywood help your career?
My Marywood education challenged me in a lot of ways. More important than mere technical skills, I learned how to think critically. From the art studios to the GenEd classrooms the synergy of design thinking, philosophy, and exposure to worldly culture gave me the tools to expand my brain and explore any problem from many vantage points. Also a big shout out to the amazing Marywood faculty who were great mentors and guided me on my journey.

What attracted you to this career path? 
I actually had no idea what graphic design was as a freshman. I started my college career in Marywood’s School of Architecture and only through a series of serendipitous revelations did I come to realize that graphic design was at the intersection of my skills, talents, and interests. Leaving Marywood with a design BFA was a happy accident, but in hindsight I can’t see it working out any other way.

Did your career path match your vision of a career path? What is different? 
Absolutely not. I had a very aspirational plan for myself, and while I’ve achieved a lot and learned even more, it’s been a complete detour from my undergraduate daydreams. Like many young designers, I envisioned myself heading to a big-city creative agency and doing highly conceptual work. In reality, I got the big city but I also got an in-house gig marketing a major university. It’s not the slick first job I imagined, but it’s been so much more—an invaluable opportunity to experience business and marketing from the inside, a space to work alongside some truly fantastic colleagues, a challenge to everything I thought I knew personally and professionally, and a major lesson in resilience.

What is your favorite thing about your current job? 
Without a doubt, the personal connections I’ve made. I’ve been blessed to work with amazingly talented creative folks in this role. I’m part of a relatively large marketing team including designers, copywriters, photographers, videographers, and marketing pros; most of them are a delight to work with, and I know I’ve made some lifelong friends. Of course we don’t always vibe with every colleague, but that’s been a critical lesson, too. We need resistance to grow, and butting heads with folks has certainly helped me hone my grit.

Are you currently working on any interesting side projects? 
My full-time job keeps me pretty busy, but I am forever refining my personal portfolio. Perhaps one day I will finally figure out how to talk about my work and my process in a way I feel truly reflects what I do.

What are some of the biggest rewards in your career? 
I’ve managed to snag some awards but the biggest reward is (once again) the people I’ve met. When you work on a large team at a large, influential institution, you encounter a lot of really unique, inspiring individuals. I’ve connected with mentors, made very close friends, and art directed photoshoots with community pillars. It’s really all about connecting.

What is something that would surprise people about your day-to-day? 
The amount of time I spend on design projects is a small percentage of the time I spend designing the world around me. I am constantly thinking about how to improve processes, find efficiencies, refine a user journey, and build better communication channels. It may all be “design” but it’s a lot more than just visuals.

What inspires you? 
I may have left architecture school after 2 semesters, but my thinking will forever be shaped by that foundation. I have a structured approach to the way I see things and I find a lot of inspiration in architecture. I’m also influenced by modern art and the organic order of nature.

Any advice for current art students at Marywood? 
Don’t expect your career to look the way you imagine it. Be open to every opportunity and you may be surprised where you end up. It’s good to have goals, but sometimes distractions are just goals you haven’t defined yet. And make time for things that spark joy everyday—if your main job isn’t it, you can still do the things you love outside of work. You are more than your job title!



“Be open to every opportunity and you may be surprised where you end up.”


Graphic Design – Bachelor of Fine Arts: Design
Our graphic design program at Marywood will introduce you to a variety of design disciplines. Conceptual development, technical skills and professionalism are emphasized. Students have the opportunity to work independently, with partners, in small groups, with professionals in the field and real clients. Regular class critiques and portfolio reviews are stressed throughout the program.

Low Residency MFAs in Graphic Design and Illustration are offered through our “Get Your Masters with the Masters” MFA for Working Professionals and Educators in Graphic Design & Illustration. This 60-credit Master of Fine Arts degree is specifically designed for working art directors, designers, illustrators, new media artists and art educators who have to budget their time and resources carefully, while continuing with their full-time occupations. While production and technical skills are stressed, the thrust of our program is on creativity and concept.

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