Featured Designer

Kayley Kemple

June 2019

We recently caught up with designer Kayley Kemple and talk about how to use internships to build a great network and get a taste for the industry, and how asking for advice from peers really helped her develop her style. Plus, we discuss how Design is changing, and Kayley shares the ways in which she's upskilling to prepare for what seems to be a digital-heavy future.

Did you have a plan for graduation and what actually happened?

I tried not to think about it for as long as possible to not stress myself out, to be honest!

I realised after a while and after seeing my peers getting their lives together that I needed to start planning for what I was going to do once I finished college. I made a list of all the places I really wanted to work and I reached out to them.

I was lucky enough to get an internship lined up before I finished, at Post Studio in Dublin. The design community, especially in Ireland, is incredibly social -- don’t be afraid to reach out because you never know what might happen!

Any hilarious stories about you as a kid being creative?

As a child I was so intrigued by all things creative, I was always cutting and sticking and making things from other things. I’ve always been a romantic and as a child, I made my Mam so many love letters she has hundreds of them still, they are hilarious. I would spend hours cutting and sticking, obsessing over the card, I would write poetry for her and everything haha

I was never very interested in other kids or playing sport but if you had put some paper in front of me and scissors I would be entertained for hours! When I was a teenager I spent lots of time trying to make graphics on Microsoft paint for my blog that I had at the time, they were all awful and took me hours haha. When eventually I realised what graphic design was, I just knew it was the right path for me.

What’s your take on internships? (Do you take interns now?)

When I began my degree I was really eager to start working in the ‘real world’ as soon as possible, I got my first internship when I was in my first year and I mostly did internships every summer throughout college. I loved learning from people with years of experience in the industry and spent my time trying to soak up as much as I could. Internships are great, they open lots of doors and build relationships. It’s really important however to value your time and make sure you are benefiting by partaking in one.

Something I learned along the way is that college and industry are very different, so it takes a while to get used to that change. Once you’re in a studio, always be open to learning new things and take all the opportunities that arise!

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My advice would be to put what you want into the universe, make a list of achievable goals you would like to accomplish when you graduate and work as hard as you can to achieve them.

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How did you develop your style as a designer and what tips would you have for others?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given is to iterate. Iteration is so important to my process, I always start with an idea of what I want and I work from there. It’s important to keep working on something until it is refined to a point you’re happy with. One thing I have learned is that you will never be fully satisfied with a project, there will always be something you would change, however, when you begin to notice these changes and the changes become more critical you know your starting to really develop your eye. That’s the really great thing about doing something you are passionate about, learning new things is so enjoyable and exciting!

I found asking my peers for advice really helped my design style to develop, it's so invaluable getting constructive advice from people who are in the same boat as you. My boyfriend and I @tom_campion work together a lot as we are both designers, it's a bit of struggle sometimes but we have both taught each other so much through helping each other.

What advice would you give students graduating in 2019?

My advice would be to put what you want into the universe, make a list of achievable goals you would like to accomplish when you graduate and work as hard as you can to achieve them. Use your friends and work together, you can learn so much from the people around you. Experiment with different styles, college is the time to express yourself, explore all ideas that interest you and challenge yourself! Don’t be afraid of getting messy, it's so important to try everything before jumping to polishing the design. Exploring your concept fully adds so much depth to the final output!

Don’t compare yourself to others, it’s so easy to feel competitive in our industry but the best lesson I’ve learned is to try not to worry too much about what other people are doing. You’ll end up being more creative and enjoying your practice more.

Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?

Our world is increasingly becoming digital, and design is not spared from this. Having some digital skills are really appreciated when you’re out looking for work. I personally love print and the tactileness of it, but unfortunately as much as I would love to spend most of my time creating books the future seems to be digital. In order to keep up with this, I’ve started to really enjoy website design, learning to properly code as well as learning some motion skills is something that I would like to accomplish by the end of this year. One day, however, I will definitely be creating publications for a living!

Website: kayleykemple.work

Instagram: @kayleykempledesign

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