Carson Keeling

Congrats to Carson Keeling, one of our 30 TDK Awards winners for 2020! Carson is from University of Kansas in St. Louis, and their work was chosen by Chris Ballasiotes of @siotes in Seattle: 'Carson is bringing the heat! This Kansas native blends well-crafted typography with handsomely balanced color palettes for striking identities, packaging, and book layouts. I love her combination of different fonts, as well as the development of her own bespoke contemporary serif typefaces (which I would happily use any day of the week). I also am a big fan of her project posters for Bon Iver. Carson, I loved seeing your inspiring work and keep it up!'

What do you wish you’d known now when you started your design course?

Concept is key. Don’t just make something because it's pretty. That's boring.

What originally lead you in to design, and how has that changed - what do you want to do/are doing now?

I think I’ve always been a creative person. Growing up, I was always most interested in the creative part of every assignment. I enjoy making things. In high school, I was a designer for my school yearbook, and that really opened me up to the world of design. I entered college as a film major, but quickly switched to Visual Communications. Although my style has changed over the past 4 years, my passion for making has not.

Design work by Carson Keeling The Design Kids interviews Carson Keeling work-2

Any hot tips for getting ahead at uni?

Study abroad! I spent 4 months studying at Elisava in Barcelona, Spain in the spring of 2019. It changed my whole view on how accessible the world can be if you’re willing to take a risk. Packing my life into a single suitcase and moving across the world was not easy, but it changed my perspective as both a human being, and a designer.

I traveled all over Europe, saw some of the art I had learned about in my art history courses, and experienced many different cultures. The experience opened my mind and changed my perspective on the way I design. I have gained such an appreciation for spanish designers, and took a lot of inspiration home with me.

What do you love about the design scene in your city and what companies are on your dream list to work or collaborate with?

The Midwest has a great creative community that I have been lucky enough to be part of during my years at KU. My university has been so helpful because I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the best teachers, who taught me to think differently and work hard.

So many people create innovative and beautiful work that I see every day. There are too many to name here but a few that have really inspired me lately are: Made Thought in London, Gretel and Mother in New York, Hybrid in SF, Public Library in LA, and of course, Pentagram. I am also really interested in designing within the fashion industry, and it would be a dream to create work for Vogue.

Design work by Carson Keeling The Design Kids interviews Carson Keeling work-4
Design work by Carson Keeling The Design Kids interviews Carson Keeling work-4

Packing my life into a single suitcase and moving across the world was not easy, but it changed my perspective as both a human being, and a designer.

Where do you see your career in 5 years?

I want to move to a big city. I am not picky on where, but New York sounds nice. I hope to never stop learning and working with people who inspire me to create positive change through my work.

2020 for you in a sentence

High hopes.

Design work by Carson Keeling The Design Kids interviews Carson Keeling work-6
Design work by Carson Keeling The Design Kids interviews Carson Keeling work-6

Where to find Carson Keeling online.

Instagram: @carlson_kay

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