Communication Design Alumni Chat – Emma Baum

December 18, 2013 Alumni & Career Services, Alumni News & Events, General 0 Comments

Communication Design Alumni Chat – Emma Baum

Harrington Emma Baum workingWhat position do you now hold as a communication designer and what responsibilities does the position include?
I am a graphic designer for the transportation company, Hub Group. I work with the marketing team to develop graphics for the company as needed. Such responsibilities include: designing social media ads for Facebook; updating web banners; creating print materials such as invitations, postcards, name tags, posters, and other collateral; editing and manipulating photos for company use; creating customizable presentations and one-sheets; developing ads for new announcements and promotions for the company and its affiliates; and maintaining and enhancing the company brand within all of its materials.

What industry do you focus on, and what problems do you solve for your clients? 
Hub Group focuses on the transportation industry and works with other intermodal and logistics companies to provide the best customer service for any type of shipping need. The company recently updated its entire brand, portraying the importance of improvement and progression and setting itself apart from its competitors. What I provide for our clients is consistency, keeping every design piece within the brand and using my design knowledge to communicate what the transportation industry provides for its customers. I solve what problems our clients have with communicating a message while maintaining the company brand(s).

How did your Communication Design degree from Harrington prepare you for your career?
I would not be where I am now without Harrington. The CD/GD program was most successful with its hands-on approach. The professors not only work in the field, but they also give their time 100% to their students, offering help both in and out of classes. Constantly being pushed and critiqued from my professors and peers may have felt stressful at the time, but it made me (and everyone else) a better designer and paid off in the end.

What class(es) at Harrington do you feel influenced you the most as a communication designer?
It may have felt elementary, but courses such as Color, The Design Process, and Intro to Computer Graphics were probably the most beneficial. The basics gave me the initial knowledge to then better my skills. Once I got further along in my degree, the Typography I, II, and III classes personally interested me. I loved learning the specifics about lettering, fonts, and typefaces, and how to use and experiment with them. Typography is still one of my greatest passions in graphic design.

What is one of your fondest memories of your Harrington experience?
One of my fondest memories was probably in Typography II with Dan Elliott. As a class, we were doing an exercise studying leading. We would use various typefaces in different point sizes and print out sheets in lorem ipsum in different leading lengths. As we were all huddled around a table spread with sheets of the same repeated paragraph, Dan said, “Wow, I can’t imagine what this looks like to someone who has no idea what we’re doing.” Truthfully, to someone who didn’t know what difference the leading made to a paragraph, it would look like a bunch of students and their teacher just looking at sheets of paper in Latin. And although the exercise may have not been the most exciting one, it was very interesting and made us all feel like a part of the graphic design community.

What is the most challenging aspect of being a communication designer?
The most challenging aspect of being a communication designer is keeping up-to-date with everything. It is not only important but essential to be updated in any type of software, methods, technology, etc. that comes with being a graphic designer. You need to be connected in every social media outlet and put yourself out there as much as possible. You must constantly update your work and your life, and remember to let your personality shine.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a communication designer?
The most rewarding aspect of being a communication designer is definitely seeing your work in person or in its final state rather than in front of your computer. Seeing your work out in the real world makes you feel both accomplished and proud knowing that you have created something for everyone to see and interpret.

What piece(s) of advice would you give someone who wants to become a communication designer?
One piece of advice I would say is to not underestimate yourself. Everyone is good and bad at something, and there will be people out there better than you. I promise that almost everyone has points where they don’t feel good enough, but if you have the drive and the love for graphic design, you only need to try your best and never give up. You will find your niche just as everyone else. Also know that it may be full of long nights, strong commitments, and plenty of second-guessing yourself, but it’s always worth it in the end; seeing your work influence the lives of others and knowing how much you put into it is an addictive feeling. Once you go CD/GD, you never go back (and it’s amazing!).


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