Alumni Throwback: LaMia Stormile

LaMia Stormile, ’15

Shop Assistant, 2012-2015

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If you could sum up your experience in Design Works in one-two words, what would it be?

Awesome sauce.

What was your first memory of working at Design Works? 

Getting hired. I was not expecting to get hired in a print shop, so I remember that very well.

What have you done since leaving Design Works and graduating from UNT?

I’m currently a teacher at a charter school. Oddly enough, I’m a technology teacher. I tutor kids in math and reading, mostly on computer programs. Sometimes I like to do old school exercises so they’re not on the computer all the time.

How did your time at Design Works prepare you for the future?

It has helped me create a program on Publisher, which is a skill that I picked up at Design Works. It also reinforced my customer service skills because that job is just helping people and communicating with others.

What about Design Works had the greatest impact on you?

It prepared me for what is really out in the real world. Even if it is an on-campus job, the supervisors here really want us to get the most out of our experience.

What was your favorite moment at Design Works?

It was when we did the cut-out heads of ourselves. It was super cool and fun, everyone had their own blown-up cut-out of our faces.

What was the most important lesson you learned during your time at Design Works?

Continue to let your haters be your motivators. We’re all trying to find ourselves and be the best we can be, but there are always going to be people in your path who try to bring you down. Let that motivate you, because you’re better than that. Don’t let that negativity get to you.

What do you wish other people knew about Design Works?

The chance to work for some very sweet people. Our supervisors really care about the employees here and what we’re doing here. They really want their employees to know that their work matters.

Thing you miss about UNT?

I just miss college. Going to class and walking around campus has a different type of freedom. Being a college student is fun and I miss that.

What would be your super-power?

To go back in time.

What is your brain food?

Tomatoes.

What’s on your playlist?

Chris Brown.

What’s in your bag?

I must have my wallet, some loose change, phone, planner, and some snacks.

What’s your favorite color?

I don’t have a favorite color.

What is your favorite thing about your job now?

The fact that I’m making a difference. I’m helping children from all ages and doing so much work. It’s so worth it because I know I’m making a difference giving them a good education.

Advice for current students?

Like I said, let your haters be your motivators.

Alumni Throwback: Shana Hagemeyer

Shana Hagemeyer, ’14

Graphic Designer, 2013-2014

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If you could sum up your experience in Design Works in one-two words, what would it be?

Learning Experience

What was your first memory of working at Design Works? 

It was a brochure or something that someone wanted me to do. I was surprised by the quick turn-around. In comm design, it takes like four months to do a project. My first assignment here needed to be done in a week. That taught me what professionals expect in the real working world.

What have you done since leaving Design Works and graduating from UNT? / What do you do now?

I’m an art director at Sq1/Ansira. I do mostly digital work, but I did some packaging and a TV commercial. I’ve done banner ads, billboards, and kind of touched on everything.

How did your time at Design Works prepare you for the future?

Working faster. Learning how to go through the thinking process at a quicker speed has helped me succeed at my job. School doesn’t really teach you that kind of work experience, so this job helped.

What about Design Works had the greatest impact on you?

It helped me get a feel for what working with others was going to be like. In school, you’re collaborating with the same students every year and not getting too much experience working with strangers. Design Works taught me how to work with people who were coming in and out. I learned their skills, how to work with them, and how to get feedback from people.

What was your favorite moment at Design Works?

When Jonathan got that Rihanna clock and cried. That was just so funny.

What was the most important lesson you learned during your time at Design Works?

Accountability, I think. When I made a mistake, I had to own up to it and try to do better because we were dealing with real clients.

Favorite project you worked on?

There were calendars and posters that had a lot of creative freedom and I enjoyed that. Some Fine Arts Series projects were fun.

Thing you miss about Design works and UNT?

I miss the community and people. In Dallas, it’s hard to feel connected because there are so many people and it’s so big.

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What’s your power?

Freeze time.

What is your brain food?

Lonestar beer and queso.

What’s on your playlist?

It’s usually the Shins or something, but I let Pandora decide for me since I’m so indecisive.

What’s in your bag?

Koozie, laptop, and hair brush.

What’s your favorite color?

Teal.

What is your favorite thing about your job now?

There’s always that satisfaction of seeing what you do for clients out in public. Being able to point at it and say, “I did that!” I love that there are websites I have designed from scratch on the internet. Working with a whole bunch of people in UX is so great because we get to come up with unique and cool ideas.

Advice for current students?

Learn how to not take things so personally. Once you get emotional about a project, you have lost everything. And you’ll lose everyday if you let it get the best of you.

Alumni Throwback: Veronica Newell

Veronica Newell, ’16

2015-2016 Graphic Designer

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If you could sum up your experience in Design Works in one-two words, what would it be?

Exciting.

What was your first memory of working at Design Works? 

We were still in Stovall and the first thing you guys asked me to do was design the logo for the new union. I was so nervous. I remember doing one hundred sketches and I worked on them all day. That project was huge to start on, but it was a great start.

What have you done since leaving Design Works and graduating from UNT?

After leaving UNT, I took a break. I didn’t start looking for a job right away. I probably waited two or three months before applying for jobs. For a brief time, I worked for a company that designed custom stamps. After that, I started at Fossil. I’m a web designer, so I’m working on the website, updating content, visuals, and web layout. I send out promo emails sometimes to customers. I’ve been doing emails for a couple of months and am now the official email designer.

How did your time at Design Works prepare you for the future?

It was a really good representation of what working at an agency or company is like. We’re working on deadlines, collaborating with other designers, and presenting ideas to our higher-ups in administration. It was really helpful to introduce students to a professional field because it wasn’t too formal.

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What about Design Works had the greatest impact on you?

When I think about Design Works now, I think, “Wow, that was a really great place to work.”

What was the most important lesson you learned during your time at Design Works?

Learning how to ask for help and taking criticism. Sometimes I get weird about that because the communication design program is so competitive and its hard to ask for help. I learned to not be afraid to ask for help or seek other people’s opinions at Design Works.

Favorite project you worked on?

The “Cheers to the Union,” ad we did with the albino squirrel posing like Kim Kardashian. That one was fun and crazy and I enjoyed propping up a squirrel in a  sequin dress while my boss took photos. I was shocked that we were even able to do it. I also enjoyed making icons for an interactive screen. That was so different from anything else.

Cheers to the Union

What do you wish other people knew about Design Works?

I wish people knew how fun it was to work there. When people think college jobs, they don’t think they sound very interesting. But this job was so different. There were so many projects to work on and we got to express ourselves creatively. There are no other jobs like this on campus. People probably see it as “just-another-office-job-on-campus,” but it’s really not.

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Thing you miss about Design works? Thing you miss about UNT?

I miss the environment of UNT and college in general. For one thing, it’s really nice to be in the same city as your friends. Also, the atmosphere was so inclusive and quirky. There was just something about living there that was great.

What’s your super-power, if you had one?

Knowing the exact tubber-ware size for your leftovers.

What is your brain food?

Going to museums.

What’s on your playlist?

Leon Bridges, Nick Waterhouse, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, and just a lot of energetic music.

What’s in your bag?

Laptop, sketchbook, pens, pencils, makeup bag, and bobby pins.

What’s your favorite color?

Indigo, but more purple.

What is your favorite thing about your job now?

I would say that the open, collaborative, laid-back environment is my favorite. It’s not super corporate. We try to have fun around the office, like Spring Festival and the all-out Halloween decorations and costumes. It’s a great place to express your creativity in so many ways and we’re always trying to spend time together. We go on two-hour lunches just connecting and collaborating. It reminds me a little bit of Design Works, but we have way more deadlines.

Advice for current students?

It was so hard in the communication design program and I felt like I didn’t have a lot of fun because I stressed myself out over assignments and homework. I was a little boring and too serious. Have more fun and do much as you can. College doesn’t last long, so enjoy it and get the most out of it.

Designer Profile: Kori Webb

If you don’t know what UNT Design Works is, you’re missing out. Run by Union Marketing, Design Works is a print shop that prints large and small format specialty print jobs, as well as operates as a graphic design firm. Services are available to students, departments, and the public. Design Works produces a lot of really great designs (hence the name) so we would like to take some time to profile the excellent designers we have on staff not just because they’re awesome but so you can see their past work and find insight on their personal style, should you like to hire them.

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Kori Webb, INFP

  1.  Input
  2. Intelection
  3. Empathy
  4. Futuristic
  5. Individualization

“I guess that I like solving problems. The harder the problem, the more rewarding it is to find a solution. I like to kind of test my limits in that way, and there have been times where I’ve bit off more than I could chew, but I think it’s made me a stronger designer as a whole because I know exactly what I can and can’t do, and when and how to take risks.”

WHAT SONGS ARE ON YOUR DESIGNER PLAYLIST?

Sad Machine by Porter Robertson

You’re On by Madeon (feat. Kyan)

Under Stars by AURORA

Self Control by Frank Ocean

WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?

“Probably a cat. Because they sleep a lot, but also because they seem like very thoughtful animals, and you never really know what they’re thinking. They’re just doing their own thing, staring off into space and knocking cups off of tables.”

WHAT IS YOUR BRAIN FOOD? 

 “Fruit roll-ups. It’s not uncommon for me to go through an entire box when I’m particularly stumped on a project. It’s probably, definitely unhealthy.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?  

“Blue, specifically turquoise. I also really like pastels, like dusty pinks and pale yellows. Basically any color that’s kind of soft and muted and easy on the eyes. They’re so light and whimsical.”

WHAT TOOLS COULD YOU NOT DESIGN WITHOUT? 

“My Wacom tablet. Props to designers who can create awesome work with just a keyboard and mouse, because I can’t do it. I’m too illustrative.”

WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG? 

“Laptop, Wacom tablet, sketchbook, tracing paper, umbrella, earphones, and too many gel pens.”

 

WHAT WOULD YOU BE IF YOU WEREN’T A GRAPHIC DESIGNER?  

“A writer. I love design and I’m very happy with the career I’ve chosen, but It’s been by dream to publish a novel since I was seven.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE (OR LEAST FAVORITE) TYPEFACE?  

“Currently FF DIN. It’s pretty versatile, clean, simple but with just the right amount of character to set it apart from default faces. I have a special hatred for Bleeding Cowboys. Not only is it objectively hideous, but I grew up in tiny East Texas town where everyone thought it was great, so I associate it with every barbecue joint within a 50 mile radius of my childhood home.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A GRAPHIC DESIGNER? 

It’s such an amazingly useful and important skill. Design has the power to persuade, teach, raise awareness, and inspire change. There are a lot of great ideas out there, and sometimes those ideas need a voice in the form of visual communication to help make them heard. I can use my skills to put clothes on those ideas and extend their reach and deepen their impact, which is pretty cool. That design is something I’m really passionate about and enjoy doing is even cooler.

You can follow Kori on Behance.

Alumni Throwback: Nikki Darling

Nikki Darling,

Copywriter/Social Media Coordinator/Marketing Assistant 2012-2015

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If you could sum up your experience in Design Works in one-two words, what would it be?

Beautiful hot-mess.

What was your first memory of working at Design Works? 

Going on golf-cart rides around campus and having deep life conversations with my coworkers.

What have you done since leaving Design Works and graduating from UNT? / What do you do now?

After graduating, I became a Junior Account Executive at a PR agency. I was there for a year and a half until I was offered a job at the Dallas Market Center. I have been there since as a Marketing Content Coordinator. I manage things like copy, PR, social media, and traditional and digital marketing tactics. This is definitely what I want to be doing.

How did your time at Design Works prepare you for the future?

Two things are really important when finding a job: teamwork and versatility. Since Design Works is a small community, we would strategize, conceptualize, and work together through many projects. Before that, I liked solo work. Design Works really taught me the value of working in a team because any marketing job requires that. Also, versatility is really important. Design Works allowed me to learn about the different parts of marketing. Having a broader understanding of how marketing works is so beneficial for me in the real world. I work with designers and a video team all the time now, so being able to have that experience at Design Works helped.

What about Design Works had the greatest impact on you?

Being surrounded by extremely creative people. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone. Sometimes, I would be too realistic and not think out of the box enough. Working with so many creatives stretched my thinking. I think that challenged me to go further and has made me a better creative.

What was your favorite moment at Design Works?

Any time we were working on a video. Filming was so much fun because we were so excited and sometimes tired. We got so silly and collaborated very well together. And, also, the times we pranked our boss.

What was the most important lesson you learned during your time at Design Works?

To keep my ego in check. I think I know what I’m doing and that I’m always right, but I was surrounded by people who thought differently than me. They would often challenge me to think differently or see something from another perspective. It taught me that I’m not always right and the input of my teammates is important.

Favorite project you worked on?

It was really stressful, but I liked working on the Christmas Carol spoof. Making the cutouts was fun because it was challenging and new.

What do you wish other people knew about Design Works?

People don’t understand how much work we put into what we do. Nothing was done casually. We went big. And people don’t realize how big these projects were to us. And that it’s a fun place to work! It’s a great community with amazing, creative, caring people.

Thing you miss about UNT?

Everything! Being in college is so much easier than being an adult. The sense of community that’s on campus is also something you don’t really find anywhere else. There’s a sense of belonging on campus and everyone is so friendly. After you graduate, the world becomes a “every man for himself” kind of place.

If you had a super power, what would it be?

Invisibility.

What is your brain food?

I drink a lot of Moroccan Mint tea.

What’s on your playlist?

Metal and death core. Or super indie acoustic stuff. So, complete opposites.

What’s in your bag?

I always have 5 pens, a notebook, Band-Aids, Ibuprofen, lip gloss, cell phone, earbuds, and little bottles of coffee or energy drinks.

What’s your favorite color?

Black.

What is your favorite thing about your job now?

I have a  really awesome team and they’re all creative and intelligent. They inspire me.

Advice for current students?

I could write a book on this. Put 110% of yourself into everything you do. If you fail, at least you know that you gave it your best. Opportunities will come to you when you work hard. Don’t be afraid to say yes to those opportunities. Fear can hold you back, but go for it. Take advantage of your youth and freedom.