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Article :: The Birth of a Graphic Designer

I recently found a copy of my first Graphic Design job in a box of mementos. It wasn’t terrific but it did show how long I’ve enjoyed designing. To give you an idea, it was a handwritten newsletter with hand-drawn cover art. It was written and designed by me and reproduced by me in a single color on a mimeograph machine. That should tell you how long ago this was. I can even remember the smell of the ink and how the hand-crank felt when I was making copies. I also distributed it myself - to all the classrooms in my elementary school. I was in sixth grade at the time. The newsletter, the first of its kind at that school, was my idea and my sixth grade teacher, Mr. Weingard, gave me his blessing. I should credit him for my early interest in Graphic Design.

Although the newsletter was crude, the experience made by me realize how much I liked writing and designing. I realized the importance of printed communication, even at an early age.

Throughout the years, computers and Wacom tablets replaced pen and paper and software and graphic subscriptions made my job both easier and harder. Printing went from only local companies to worldwide vendors with incredible products that continue to make me feel like a kid in the middle of the biggest toy store in the world. I’m a self-admitted font junkie with more than 2,000 typestyles installed on my computer. Certainly better than the single one on the printed page in my sixth grade handwriting.

Those are the technical aspects of the birth of a Graphic Designer. Combine that with a dash of psychology to understand clients’ needs, a liberal dose of brand strategy and healthy mix of creativity and you have the perfect combination to individualize designs and enhance the marketing material of each client.

But, at heart, I’m still the same sixth grader who did something no one at the school had done before and created something unique that people were excited to see each month. It’s funny how something that had started as a simple idea and not thought about until adulthood became something so integral and incredibly important to my future.

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