Donald Austin, Professor, Art

Donald Austin



33 Collegeview, A115

Donald Austin has been practicing design for 35 years beginning as a graphic designer and later pursuing knowledge in mechanical engineering and industrial design. He has a passion for aeronautical engineering and spent 13 years building his own aircraft that he now flies around the country. Teaching is his first priority. He considers himself a student of design along with the students he teaches—he just adds his experiences to the class and helps students realize the necessity of “being curious” about everything.

Donald’s teaching aligns students’ skill building with our culture and society’s continually increasing demands on visual communication specialists. Today, Graphic designers are asked to integrate print and electronic graphics into industrial applications such as furniture, architecture, way-finding systems and city planning. Identities or branding systems are no longer just about logos and advertising. Almost everything we now see is about “image” and how that “image” is communicated through many different methods and mediums. These new challenges are very exciting for all of us involved in the discipline of visual communication, and Otterbein’s unique combination of liberal arts education and arts professional training allows students to engage now with creativity and skill building.


  • BA, College of Wooster, 1980
  • MA, Western Carolina University, 1986
  • Yale Summer Graphic Design Program, Brissago, Switzerland, Post Graduate, 1994

Research, Creative, & Professional Work

Graphic identity aligned with furniture design, residential and corporate space designs, and passive house design. He teaches Art 1100: 2-D Design, Art 2600: Graphic Design 1, Foundations, Art 3600: Graphic Design 2, Media Applications, Art 3650: Special Topic in Graphic Design, Art 4600: Advanced Studio Projects, Graphic Design, FYS 1038: Identities, Dwellings and Living Off The Grid.

Affiliations & Awards

  • Columbus Society of Communication Arts
  • Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
  • Experimental Aircraft Association
  • Trout Unlimited
  • Creative best, Columbus.