If you've read this blog for any amount of time you know that I am a solo designer. But I haven't always worked alone. Let's take a minute and I'll catch you up on some of my work history.
I went to Syracuse University and graduated with a degree in design from the College of Visual and Performing Arts. While in college I had a coveted work-study job in the department of Visual Communications lab. My final summer as a college student I worked at a small magazine publisher. Immediately after college, in the midst of a recession I did a smattering of short-term freelance stints in small design shops in New York City and suburban Connecticut and Westchester.
In the years since I have held four jobs:
My first gig was as a designer in a large corporate identity firm in New York City. I was one of 25+ designers. We mostly designed logos and complete identity programs for Fortune 500 financial institutions. The work included interiors, signage, advertising—you name it. Today we would call this branding but in the mid 80s this was corporate identity. We also did some interesting packaging work specifically that involved molded plastic. The environment was exciting because everything was design-driven. And being bright, young and enthusiastic (and frankly because unlike most of the office I wasn't stoned) I was involved in lots of presentations.
My second position was at a small state college in the communications department, under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President of External Affairs. I was the junior person on staff. And unfortunately the position was arranged in such a way that the designer was under the writers. Of course, this was at a school with a strong design program—so the organization was strange to say the least. The highlight of this job was supervising interns—a great group of students that kept things interesting and fun. I didn't stay long.
My third job was here in the greater Capital District at an elite college in the communications office. It was a short-term staff position made shorter because I was bored out of my skull.
My fourth and final staff position was as the first hire at a start up design firm. I know I've written about this job before. It was an invaluable learning experience. The partners brought unique talents to the business. One was a true designer's designer—one of the best I know. The other was a savvy business manager and promoter. Watching from the inside was amazing. We worked long and crazy hours but I got to see every aspect of the business from pitching clients to writing proposals to creating invoices. For four years I soaked it all in—and learned as much as I could.
After the birth of my daughter on January 1, 1993 I decided to leave my beloved firm. I needed to take care of me and somehow carve out more time for my new family. And less than one month into the new year I went out on my own and filed papers to start Aurora Design.
Since then I have completed over 1875 jobs for 130+ clients.
Watch for my post next week when I'll write about some of the changes in tools I've experienced while completing those jobs.