Caleb Semeri

Caleb Semeri is one seriously talented and humble typographer who is currently working on a side project with Georgia Hill, cool! ... oh yeah and he is only half way through his course, this kid is killing it!

What advice would you give students starting out?

1. Get inspired and stay inspired. ALWAYS. There’s nothing worse than getting to a brief and not having a single clue about where to start. I have found that by staying inspired I always know which direction to go in when it comes to generating ideas.
2. SOS ASK FOR HELP! I seriously couldn’t stress enough how important it is to make your struggles visible to your lecturers. They’re there to help and they want to see you become the best designer you can be but we all know it’s hard to help someone who doesn’t want it.
3. Go all in. Commit! Don’t underestimate how much work it takes to get good results. I learnt that the hard way. You’re going to have to sacrifice a few things now so that you can benefit from your hard work later. I’ve seen it happen in my life and I couldn’t stress it enough. Commit! Don’t be half hearted when it comes to your studies!

Any personal projects you would like to share?

Yes! I’m so excited about this future project I’ll be starting this week with Georgia Hill as my guide, who is an amazing artist and illustrator. The aim of the project is to develop 26 unique letters or drop caps, where each letter is developed from my own research and areas of interest. Some letters might be simple, some might be highly illustrative, it all depends on the themes. I’ll also be showing my progress, process and research. If anyone wants to follow along with the process they can find me on tumblr at or on Instagram.

Design work by Caleb Semeri The Design Kids interviews Caleb Semeri work-2

When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?

To be honest, design had never crossed my mind until the end of high school in 2009. I had built a reputation amongst my school friends for being a “good drawer”. In my last year at school I was asked by some friends to design a shirt for them. I didn’t really know how to get started so I asked a friend to help me. I knew he was good at using photoshop so I told him what I wanted and he put it together for me and I remember just loving the whole process from start to finish. I asked my mum what kind of job would involve drawing and designing and she told me it was called graphic design. The journey has been interesting ever since. The year after I finished school I stayed in Hawaii for 3 months to do a graphic design internship with a church now called Inspire Church, their team helped to learn photoshop and illustrator and basic design principles. Three months in paradise wasn’t a bad deal at all! So that’s where it all started for me.

What’s the big goal in the next five years?

Thinking about the next 5 years is somewhat daunting but I’m pretty confident at the same time. The plan is to get a lot of experience under my belt. I want to work in a few different studios or agencies like Frost, Landor Associates and M&C Saatchi, places like that. ULTIMATELY I’d love to build my own agency and take on a wide range of clients from around the world. It would involve so much more than just design, I’d like to do my part in helping people like the homeless, people who need a second chance, youth and anyone else I can reach. That would be the dream!

Design work by Caleb Semeri The Design Kids interviews Caleb Semeri work-4
Design work by Caleb Semeri The Design Kids interviews Caleb Semeri work-4

Join a gang. I don’t actually recommend joining a gang, you’ll understand what I mean. I learned first hand the importance of surrounding myself with honest people who believe in me. People who see your potential and are willing to help guide you along the way no matter how brutally honest they have to be at times.

What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way?

1. You never stop learning. There is so much to learn out there especially with the ever-changing trends in the industry. You have to stay fresh and sharp and you do that by staying educated with what’s happening around the world in the industry and out of it too.
2. Join a gang. I don’t actually recommend joining a gang, you’ll understand what I mean. I learned first hand the importance of surrounding myself with honest people who believe in me. People who see your potential and are willing to help guide you along the way no matter how brutally honest they have to be at times. They may not be fellow designers or might be but I learned that I cannot get through life on my own. A healthy network and great friendships will show through in your work and your character will be better off for it.
3. Don’t give up. Stick with it. I say this because there were so many times I just wanted to give up. I was unhappy, unmotivated and there were decently high levels of insecurity and shame because I wasn’t doing so well. Personally, I’ve seen a glimpse where hard work can get you, I know what I want and it’s not going to be easy but it’s not impossible either. I just have to work hard and trust in God.

Design work by Caleb Semeri The Design Kids interviews Caleb Semeri work-5
Design work by Caleb Semeri The Design Kids interviews Caleb Semeri work-5

Where to find Caleb Semeri online.

Tumblr:  itsbigsole
Instagram: @calebsemeri

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