Communication Design Alumni Chat – Jonathan Girton

January 3, 2014 Alumni & Career Services, Alumni News & Events, General 0 Comments

Communication Design Alumni Chat – Jonathan Girton

Harrington Jonathan Girton at workWhat position do you now hold as a communication designer and what responsibilities does the position include?
I currently work as a Visual Designer for Accenture Experience Agency, which is an end-to-end user experience and design studio. Some of my responsibilities consist of creating concepts, artwork and layouts for Internet, intranet, and other online projects based on creative briefs and client meetings. I must be familiar with web protocols and markup languages and have a strong understanding of web design issues, including browser usability and cross-platform compatibility.
Also, I am the lead illustrator for a children’s website called Vivi LeDish ( This site provides interactive tools designed to give children a daily, digestible dose of kitchen and wellness education (served with a side of giggle)! It takes just a few moments to get through each day's online program.

What industry do you focus on, and what problems do you solve for your clients?
Working for Accenture I work with a lot of different clients. Ranging from hotel chains to energy companies. Depending on the needs of the client I am primarily responsible for delivering visual designs for the projects I’m assigned to. Though often I am able to utilize other skills like creating wireframes, site maps, schematics, feature lists, mockups, visual specifications, working prototypes and other tools to describe the intended user experience.

How did your Communication Design degree from Harrington prepare you for your career?
With Harrington’s unique and yet complex curriculum I was able to learn by practical application. The classes helped me prepare by giving me real world experience and have the opportunity to work with actual clients for class projects. It not only taught me ways to communicate affectively during presentations and client meetings but also how to deliver on very tight deadlines.

What class(es) at Harrington do you feel influenced you the most as a communication designer?
All of the drawing classes that I took and the web design classes. Having the ability to draw and sketch out my ideas make my process so much faster. The web design classes peaked my interest in further studying outside of my classes to learn more about web design trends and being able to write semantic code and communicate with developers about my designs.

What is one of your fondest memories of your Harrington experience?
Working with Jaime Sandoval on creating the brand identity system for a restaurant that opened in 2009 over in Wicker Park. The restaurant was called ‘Sabor Saveur.’

What is the most challenging aspect of being a communication designer?
I think it is different for every designer. What is challenging for some may not be difficult for others. I would have to say that some of the most challenging aspects for me is knowing when to transition into the next phase of the design process. Which ultimately results in strict time management. I’ve been able to resolve this by keeping a personal calendar for each day and the tasks that need to be completed by the end of the workday.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a communication designer?
Being able to wake up every morning knowing that what I am about to do with my day is what I love doing.

What piece(s) of advice would you give someone who wants to become a communication designer?
Figure out what makes you happy, communication design has so many different types of voices that as long as you know your voice no one can stop you. Learn a programming language, whether it’s web standards or something else. Knowing how to communicate with developers will make your design life so much easier!


What do you think?