I’m a Graphic Designer, typography teacher and lover of paper goods, living and working in Atlanta, Georgia. I spend most days designing graphic identities, deliberating over paper samples, colors, and typefaces while working hard to cultivate happy and long-lasting relationships with my clients.
It’s my favorite time of year. I can’t sleep during the summer, so I get up super early and since the days are longer, I manage to get so much more accomplished. Lately, I have been waking up at 7am and answering emails and tackling admin work before 11. Then I like to go for a quick swim. It is a great way to take a break and squeeze in some exercise. I work from home and I spend a lot of time sitting at a desk so it is really necessary for me to get out into the world every day. Human interaction, sunlight, and movement help me break my work into more productive chunks. I really get into the deeper tasks that require more focus around 1pm. This is when I spend most of my time on the design elements or problem-solving aspects of a project like research, building or producing. Very regular kind of schedule, ya know. I did recently remove everything in my office and I’ve been working on the floor. It’s a nice change of scenery from down here…
I’m all for them. An internship is perhaps the closest thing to an apprenticeship. I’m definitely pro-education but I maintain a firm belief that a good skill set is something you acquire through observation and practice. Learning “how to see” from a person whose perception you value and trust is very important. School allows you to be exposed to ideas and people but building relationships within the industry with the so-called “masters of their craft” is much more educational.
I look for work that is authentic, precise and subtle. I also look at the attention to detail. I have a strong appreciation for projects that you can get deep into and really see an entire system of choices and how each one supports the outcome visually. A successful project is contingent on so many factors and when you can see those things from start to finish, it really elevates the work. I appreciate people with talent and that some people can just sit down at a computer and make a really great thing on their Cintiq, but I am more interested in seeing the successful management of client expectations, production and delivery of well-designed print pieces and how each item in the system works to form a unified whole. I also really appreciate the mixture of old and new technology. There is something really nice there.
I teach typography. It has been pivotal to my own growth as a designer. In order to be a successful teacher, I must have a solid understanding of what I am teaching. Over the years, I have developed a much deeper understanding of letterforms, and the elements of design. I also feel as if I am paying it forward. I was lucky to meet some really outstanding people in my local design network, people that were willing to mentor me and answer all of my questions. I would like to give back in that way—to provide a little guidance and a discerning eye when students need it.
Designers are promoting themselves, learning skills on their own and functioning a lot more independently these days. There is a lot of energy there but I wonder what this says about how we interpret taste. In such a saturated industry, full of talent, there is a level of criticism missing that comes with exposure, experience and opportunities—things that are so beneficial to being a good designer. I feel that the future of design will be more ambiguous and adapting will require a constant reframing of identity and the ability to stay lean.