A little background on our graphic designer Alex:
She has worked for DI since June 2014.
She has had a passion for design since she was a young girl. She would save images of her favorite bands or TV characters on her computer to make her own "posters" using text and patterns on Microsoft Paint and then hang them all over her bedroom.
She got her BFA in Communication Design and minored in Marketing and Advertising at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
Now, let's see what a typical day of work is like for her!
Arrive to work.
Alex checks her emails and calendar for important information, and makes a to do list for the day.
Today’s task: design product packaging and labeling for the storage catalog.
Alex says she has always had an interest in product packaging, along with magazine and catalog layout, which she was first exposed to in Junior High and High School as a member of the yearbook staff.
Cut different sizes of product mock-ups for new holiday tabletop décor.
Alex will review the mock-ups with Chris, our design director, and make any necessary changes before sending the information to the factory for manufacturing.
A good graphic designer has to be willing to be wrong and accept criticism. Alex says, "It can be hard to get used to but it’s something designers deal with daily. Everyone has an opinion, you just have to learn how to take their criticism and come up with a better solution."
Alex typically takes a half hour to an hour break from work to run out and get lunch!
Collaborate on a DI design manual.
Once a week the design team brainstorms processes that need to be noted in order to create instructional guides for either new design team members, or existing members to be able to follow if needed. "You have to be willing to adapt in a career in design."
Quick trip to our other warehouse.
Alex grabs a few of our already existing holiday ornaments. She'll use these as size comparisons to print and cut out more of her nutcracker designs that will be incorporated into the holiday collection.
The design team meets not only with Chris, but also, Randa, our director of Sales and Marketing, and Andy, the founder and president of DI. They are working on the development of home products for the catalog.
Some advice from Alex: “Be open to learning everything you can about the field. The possibilities for jobs are endless. Don’t worry so much about narrowing down your curriculum to cater to a specific job you think you want while you’re in school. Everything evolves so fast, and you never really know what you’ll end up doing in your career. Don’t be afraid to break outside of your comfort zone and try something new.”
Work on updating the Lucy Wastecan collection.
These wastecans come in tons of different styles that design makes for our sales team to sell to custom clients like Shopko and 5 Below. Alex created the designs you can see on the screen and sent an email to all DI's employees in order to get feedback on everyone's personal favorites!
To unwind after a full day of work, Alex tends to stay creative and often works on crafty projects around her house. She does admit though to sometimes binge watching Netflix before going to bed!
When asked what her favorite part about working for Design Ideas is, Alex says, “All the opportunities I’ve been given right out of college. Because we’re a product design company I’ve had the opportunity to dabble in that aspect of design a bit. I never thought I’d have products being sold at Nordstrom, or Urban Outfitters, especially right out of school. It’s been a great learning experience as a first full time job out of college.”
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