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Davis, California

Friday, March 1, 2024

Aggies in the Area: Malena Ortiz

Meet the design director of the KDVS 90.3 FM radio station


By FAITH DEMEULENAERE — features@theaggie.org


Found in every corner of the UC Davis campus are posters that look like they’ve been taken right out of a DIY zine, advertising the multitudes of events hosted by the student-run freeform radio station, KDVS. Malena Ortiz, a fourth-year design major and the KDVS design director, has been the hardworking Aggie behind the designs since May 2021. 

Inspiration for the KDVS design brand, according to Ortiz, comes from 1980s and 1990s punk and indie music culture.

“The station is a great place to see cool, old graphic design in person,” Ortiz said. “We also have a large collection of show flyers hanging on our walls, and I like looking at them for inspiration.”

Ortiz also works on KDViationS, the station’s quarterly publication. Much of Ortiz’s work has a classic cut-and-paste look and integrates bold fonts and graphic line drawings.  

“Most of my work is made digitally,” Ortiz said, “but I am inspired by the roughness of analog graphic design and the different textures it can incorporate.”

Ortiz said that she is grateful for support from the KDVS community. 

“At KDVS I work mostly with our events directors, public relations director and community coordinators,” Ortiz said. “I’m lucky I get to be around a community of people who value music, art and DIY culture.”

Ortiz said working at KDVS informed much of her college experience at UC Davis, and “creatively challenged [her] more than anything else ever has.” 

Ortiz’s designs can be found at @malena.digital and @kdvs903fm on Instagram. 

Written by: Faith DeMeulenaere — features@theaggie.org