AIGA Philadelphia Fellows

The Fellow program is a means of recognizing mature designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local or regional design community as well as in their local AIGA chapter.


Allan Espiritu | 2017

A longstanding member of AIGA Philadelphia for twenty years, Allan Espiritu, served our chapter as President from 2011–2013. In his tenure, our chapter opened our first headquarters, SPACE, a gallery in Old City. He was also instrumental in bringing the AIGA Leadership Retreat to Philadelphia in the summer of 2013. We are grateful for Allan Espiritu’s continued support and involvement in our chapter and the local design community. We will also host an exhibition of his work at the Center for Architecture + Design.

Allan Espiritu, founder of GDLOFT PHL, is a Philadelphia-based, award-winning graphic designer and educator. Espiritu received his BA in graphic design from Rutgers University-Camden and his MFA in graphic design from the Yale University School of Art.

Espiritu’s work has been published and acknowledged by AIGA, GDUSA, UCDA, Graphis, Communication Arts, Print Magazine, HOW, STEP, the Barnes Foundation, and the Art Directors Club. His work has also appeared in Gestalten and Rockport publications.

Espiritu heads the Graphic Design concentration program at Rutgers University-Camden. He served as President of the AIGA Philadelphia Chapter from 2011 to 2013, after serving as Programming Director and Vice President.


Mark Willie | 2014

Mark Willie is a full teaching professor of graphic design in the Department of Design at the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, Drexel University. He is the current steward of the Frank Fox and the Kenneth Lewalski Polish Poster Collections, as well as the Hochman Collection of Vogue and Harpers Bazaar magazines, all housed at Westphal College, Drexel University.

Mark is the faculty advisor to the Graphics Group, Drexel’s in-house student-run design agency that provides design services within and outside the University. He is also involved in entrepreneurial leadership initiatives within the University at large.

Mark was until recently a partner in Willie•Fetchko Graphic Design. For more than twenty-five years the firm produced corporate identity, brand strategy, annual reports, book design, magazine design for corporate, non-profit and institutional clients. The firm continues on as WFGD Studio. He is alum of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Mark came to teaching through his professional practice. He has taught at an adjunct level in the Graphic Design program at Drexel University for many years before taking a position as contract faculty and full-time professor. He continues a deep interest in design education, design theory and design application and its relevance to the practice and future of the graphic design profession.

Mark is president emeritus of the AIGA Philadelphia and remains active in the Philadelphia design community and beyond. He has served as chair of the Programming Committee, the Education Committee and is currently a member of the Mentorship Committee.

Mark’s work has been recognized by AIGA, the Art Directors’ Club of Philadelphia, the Society of Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD), Creativity Quarterly, GDUSA and the Society of National Association Publications, among others.

Rosemary Murphy

Rosemary Murphy | 2012

Rosemary Murphy has more than 25 years of experience in the graphic design business. She is founder and Creative Director of Murphy Design. Rosemary has successfully designed projects for a variety of sectors, including financial services, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, hospitality industry, colleges and universities. She has lived and worked in Philadelphia since 1981 and has owned and operated Murphy Design since 1985.

Rosemary’s commitment to AIGA included chairing the Poetry in Motion project, serving as Philadelphia Chapter President, initiating a new Business Breakfast series and chairing the Nominating Committee for the National Board. Rosemary earned a BFA in graphic design at University of the Arts. She holds a Masters in Liberal Arts from University of Pennsylvania where she completed a capstone project entitled Photojournalists Report from the Field: Words, Images and Ethics Are Part of the Picture.

Rosemary’s work has been seen in the materials and messages of Temple University Fox School of Business, ARAMARK, The Franklin Institute and the investment banking firm MidMarket Capital Advisors, and other clients. She was recognized with a Corporate Identity/22 Award for Excellence for her work with the National Nursing Centers Consortium. She earned three awards from Graphic Design: USA: two for her design work for the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and one for a promotional post card series for Murphy Design. Rosemary serves as adjunct faculty at Drexel University and Moore College of Art and has served on an advisory board for Montgomery County Community College. She shares her hands-on experiences with students in the specialty areas of brand identity, book design, typography and the history of 20th century graphic design.

In addition to her design work, Rosemary was a first-time marathon runner this past November and is a competitive dragon boat paddler. She paddles on Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River as a member of the Philadelphia Dragon Boat Association, the Schuylkill Dragons and Philly Outrigger. In 2007 and 2011, she was selected as a member of Team USA and competed in World Championship Dragon Boat Races in Sydney, Australia and Tampa, Florida.

Lanny Somesse

Lanny Somesse | 2010

AIGA Philadelphia presented Lanny Sommese with the 2010 Fellow Award at the Fellow Award Cocktail Party on June 10th, 2010. This is the most prestigious honor that the chapter can bestow on a designer for a lifetime of significant contributions and achievements in the design community.

Lanny Sommese has been an AIGA member for over 15 years. He is an internationally recognized designer, educator and has been a staple in the Philadelphia Design community and beyond. Sommese is best known for his award-winning poster designs. He has exhibited and lectured world-wide and has been published in hundreds of magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, Graphis, Print, How and Communication Arts. Sommese has also been featured in numerous books and his work can be found in collections across the globe including: The Library of Congress National Poster Collection; Musee D’Histoire Contemporaine, Paris; The Central Institute of Fine Art, Beijing.

Since 1970 Sommese has served as a distinguished Faculty member at Penn State Unversity where he is responsible for the creation of the University’s Graphic Design program and is currently the Head of Graphic Design. Sommese is a graduate of the University of Florida where he received a BFA in painting and a Bachelor of Design Degree. He later went on to earn an MFA in Graphic Design at the University of Illinois. He is a fellow of Penn State’s Institute for Arts and Humanities, an honorary member of The University and College Designers Association and a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale.

Outside of teaching Sommese and his wife, Kristin, have their own firm, Sommese Design, specializing in corporate, print and packaging as well as poster design.

 Laurie Churchman

Laurie Churchman | 2009

Laurie Churchman is the principal of Designlore, a place for making, thinking and writing about design. She is also an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts, Communication Design, at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to founding Designlore, she had over 20 years of branding and corporate design experience directing projects for clients including IBM, Goldman Sachs, Museum of American Folk Art, First Union, and COMEX. Now at Designlore, her interests are centered around non-profit and cultural projects. Laurie recently finished a catalog for the exhibit Through You: A Selection of Photographs from the Martin Z. Margulies Collection, and is working on a logo for the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation. Laurie’s work has been recognized by American Graphic Design Awards, Communication Arts, Creativity, How Magazine, PDN: Nikon, and UCDA among others. GD:USA selected her as “a person to watch in 2007.”

Laurie taught at Seton Hall University and NC State University before accepting a position as director of the communication design program at Penn in 2002. At Penn, her research looks at the intersection of creativity, typography and technology. Her book, The Art of Boat Names was published by McGraw-Hill/International Marine in 2008. Laurie has lectured on lettering and graphic design pedagogy at AIGA and CAA conferences, and at schools nationally. She is also committed to partnering with her students and the community to offer solutions through design. A profile of her student’s work from a practicum course has been featured on Adobe’s website and her student’s work for the Kimmel Center has appeared in multiple articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Laurie is a past board member of World Studio Foundation, AIGA/NY, and AIGA/Raleigh. As an admitted AIGA junkie active in the association since 1983, she co-chaired the 2005 AIGA Revolution: Philadelphia design education conference and joined the National Board of Directors of AIGA in 2006. On the board she is the chair of the Design Educators Community steering committee, which is responsible for research and development of initiatives to further design education nationally.

Laurie holds a BS in Visual Communication from the University of Delaware and an MFA in graphic design from Yale University. She also attended the AIGA/Harvard Business School Design Leaders program.


Frank Baseman | 2008

Mr. Baseman is the principal of the internationally recognized firm, Baseman Design Associates and is Associate Professor of Graphic Design Communication at Philadelphia University. His relationship with AIGA Philadelphia began with extensive service at the local level and led to his election to the National Board of Directors for AIGA (2003-2006). He is the founding chair of the steering committee for the AIGA Design Education Community of Interest (2001-2006) and was co-chair of Revolution: Philadelphia (2005), a national AIGA Design Education Conference. Additionally, he is a co-curator of the traveling exhibition “The Graphic Imperative: International Posters for Peace, Social Justice and the Environment, 1965-2005.”

Joel Katz | 2002
Ken Hiebert | 2001
Hans-U Allemann | 2000
Alina Wheeler | 1999