Designer Profile: Abby Caron

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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Abby Caron, Senior Integrated Art and Design Major, INTP

Strengths Quest:

  1. Relator
  2. Empathy
  3. Intellection
  4. Developer
  5. Input

“I feel like I have a very open and inclusive personality, to where people come to me when they need help, encouragement, comfort, or even objective criticism. I have been told that I have a calming energy, and I’m typically more introverted and quiet but always open to love on people and tackle challenges and projects in the best way that I can.”

Designer Playlist:

  1. Play the Game by Beach House
  2. Late by Teen Daze
  3. Vanille fraise by L’Imperatrice
  4. Oh My God by A Tribe Called Quest
  5. Girl Like You by Toro y Moi
  6. All I Wanna Do by The Beach Boys
  7. I’d Rather Dance With You by Kings of Convenience

What is your spirit animal?
“I’ve always thought my spirit animal would be an otter, because they’re super chill and just float around all day and play and love on each other, but everyone else usually says I’m a flying squirrel or chinchilla or something. Probably because I’m small.”

 

 

What is your brain food?
“I have a huge thing for pretzels coated in pretty much anything. I love Barkthins Dark Chocolate because the chocolate and salty crunchiness of the pretzel are soooo good together, and the perfect snack to eat while working.”

What is your favorite color?
“My entire life is basically Pantone’s 2016 color pair, Rose Quartz and Serenity. I love rosy and mauve colors paired with light blue-greens. I’ve also become a sucker for more Valentine’s colors recently, like deep reds and pinks.”

What tools could you not design without?
“I definitely couldn’t live without tracing paper. It saves my life when I’m creating lettering and typography so I don’t have to re-do my sketches with every single revision. As far as my illustration goes, I use a Wacom tablet almost every day. I love learning more digital illustration techniques with Photoshop and Illustrator, I’m such a nerd for it all, and I’m always trying to be better.”

What’s in your bag?
“I always have some sort of sketchbook and pencil on me, whether a little Moleskine in my purse or a big one in my backpack. My laptop, planner, and a book (or multiple books) for pleasure are usually in my backpack. Oh, and HEADPHONES. Sometimes I’ll leave my place for school or work and forget my headphones, and it’s probably the worst feeling ever. I love a good tote bag, they’re just so easy. I always bring my favorite tote bag to work that says, “Dinosaurs eat man, Woman inherits the Earth.” It’s awesome.”

What would you be if you weren’t a graphic designer?
“From when I was little until like, my junior year of high school, I was positive that I was going to be a Marine Biologist or Animal Behaviorist. I love animals and have a lot of empathy for them. I would probably be working in animal conservation with marine life. Either that, or I would want to somehow work as an advocate for women who have been trafficked, abused, and oppressed. I have a huge passion for that kind of thing and making sure that these survivors know that they are worthy and loved. I still want to use my art and design skills to be a voice for women around the world that aren’t heard.”

 

FallCalendar

What is your favorite typeface?
“The Gotham family is pretty solid, I’ve used it a lot throughout my jobs. It’s just simple and has lots of different variations, so I could probably design an entire brochure just using the Gotham family. I’m also a sucker for Futura, mostly because it’s Wes Anderson’s chosen typeface for his films!”

What is your favorite thing about being a designer?
“I love graphic design, and it’s like something that I can never escape. I notice everything. I love that I can create graphics that bring beauty and whimsy to normal settings that aren’t necessarily beautiful or whimsical. I feel like that’s my purpose in the world, to make the world a little bit more beautiful and fun so that people can better appreciate art and design.”

You can follow Abby on her website and her Behance.

Designer Profile: Kate Douglas

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.

Kate1

KATE DOUGLAS, JUNIOR COMMUNICATIONS DESIGN MAJOR, ENFF UNION DESIGN WORKS

KATE’S STRENGTHS, ACCORDING TO STRENGTHS QUEST, ARE:

  1. Includer
  2. Ideation
  3. Activator
  4. Positivity
  5. Adaptability

“My job as a designer is to make abstract and often complex information easy to understand.” – Kate Douglas

WHAT SONGS ARE ON YOUR DESIGNER PLAYLIST?

  1. Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin
  2. Snow (Hey Oh) by RHCP
  3. Cowboy Dan by Modest Mouse
  4. Fly by Sugar Ray
  5. Freeway by Flux Pavilion

“That’s a tough one. I usually go with classic rock most of the time, but I am stuck in the 90s, so Sublime, 311, Red Hot Chilli Peppers get me and the creative juices flowing. Upbeat usually.”

WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?

“I figured this out with Emma actually. It’s a Bowerbird. It’s a bird that collects blue things for its nest. It’s kind of obsessive about all things blue and makes this very pretty home for itself. I’m pretty OCD and like to nest and I’m pretty flighty too, so I feel like a bird is fitting.”

WHAT IS YOUR BRAIN FOOD?

“Granola. Just granola, in general, it’s the easiest thing for me to snack on when I am doing stuff and doesn’t get my keyboard all messy and greasy. If it wasn’t for that, it would be fries.” 🍟

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?

“Cerulean. It’s an ocean blue with a little bit of green in it. It’s one of my favorites. I also like coral-really orange coral, but with a little bit of red in it.”

WHAT TOOLS COULD YOU NOT DESIGN WITHOUT?

“Pencil and paper for sure! That’s where I choose to smart all my things. I feel like if I don’t get it down on pencil and paper, then that my ideas don’t fully come together. That’s where I start. After that, definitely a Waccom tablet and obviously my computer, but definitely start with the pencil and paper.”

WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG?

“Ooh inside my bag: my computer, my sketch book, a knife, my headphones, whip stuff, a carpal tunnel brace because I have carpal tunnel even though I’m 21, and gum for sure, and a tablet. I live out of my backpack, so it usually has a lot more things in it like clothes and stuff.”

KateMDouglasWizardingWorldofUNTKateDouglasUNTUPCChineseNewYear

KateDouglasUNTUPCHouseOfScrappy

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

“Ooh. I have always wanted to fly a helicopter. That would be really fun. Or a dive instructor. I would get my masters certification for scuba diving and just live somewhere and show everyone the local reefs.”

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE (OR LEAST FAVORITE) TYPE FACE? 

“One of my go to ones is Knockout just because there are a lot of styles, so it can either be very narrow and skinny or very fat and blocky, so it has a very good range. I find that to be a very useful font. Cooper Black. It’s what people iron on their t-shirts. It was very popular in the 70s and 80s and everyone thinks` that it’s outdated, but I really like the look of it. It’s very friendly and  I think it can say a lot and people don’t give it much credit, like Comic Sans, as they should.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A DESIGNER?

“I like being able to communicate ideas. My passion is to give people information that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them or it understandable. I like making complicated things less complication or making things more tangible for people, so taking big data and making charts and visual elements. That part is really our job [as graphic designers] to facilitate how people understand it. At Design Works, a big part of my job is to make sure the audience understands what’s happening.”

You can follow Kate on BehanceTwitter, and KateMDouglas.com.

Almuni Throwback: Caleb Ward

Caleb Ward, ’14
Video Editor/Producer from 2012-2014

Caleb

 

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

Opportunity and fun

What was your first memory of working at Design Works? 

My very first project was an overview video for the UNT Union. We had this little-bitty closet on the top floor of a dark building, with no windows, and it smelled like fifty years worth of must and mold. You combine that with the fact that it’s kind of quiet up there. We were doing very creative work while other people were doing accounting work and doing things that were completely necessary for running the business, but it was a weird vibe. We did the best we could with what we had. We did incredibly awesome things from a closet.

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

I got a job as a marketing coordinator at Premium Beat. When I started that job, I thought I was going to be ill prepared, but the opportunities I had working for the Union really did prepare me. From there, I worked my way up the company and became the content manager for Shutterstock. Using my knowledge from the Union, I was able to thrive there. After I left that job, I moved on to work at a company called School of Motion. We create content for motion designers. All of these jobs would not have been possible for me had I not worked at the Union first.

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

Back when we were in the closet-office, we had the idea to do a little bit of professional development. In times when we didn’t have many projects going on and had some down time, we worked together on our resumes. We helped each other with putting together portfolios, talked about how to email people well, and updated our LinkedIn profiles with professional headshots and other details. Everybody in the office did that. 

What about Design Works had the greatest impact on you?

There were fantastic leaders who offered amazing opportunities and made it fun to be a part of. There was still structure, like any other business, but there was never a day where I wasn’t excited about going to work. I never had that dread because we were doing incredibly fulfilling work and we were helping people along the way.

What was your favorite moment at Design Works?

We released the UNT rap anthem on a Tuesday or something, in the morning. I left for class, came back, and had 14 views. We hit refresh and it had 100 views. Hit refresh and it said 300+, because at the time YouTube didn’t have live analytics. We watched as people started sharing it out. Though we couldn’t see how many views we had, we could see people sharing the video online and literally hundreds of people were commenting and sharing it. Later that evening, KERA radio station called us up and wanted to do an interview. We came back to the office the next day and the video had 40 thousand views. That was one of my favorite moments. That was my favorite project.

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

It is more important to do good work with people you enjoy than it is to do incredible work at the expense of relationships with others.

What do you wish other people knew about Design Works?

I would want other people to know that Design Works isn’t a random print shop. It’s a creative place where incredible things are happening that reaches beyond just UNT. People leave from there and go on to do things that affects the world. It allows students to fulfill their dreams and pursue what they came to college for. Design Works offers experience that is relevant and interesting.

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

I miss how easy it is to make friends at UNT because everyone is so friendly. That is really a blessing you don’t realize until you’re not at UNT anymore.

What’s your power/What’s your spirit animal?

My spirit animal is a mythical dragon.

What is your brain food?

My brain food is mediation.

What’s on your playlist?

While I work, I listen to podcasts, specifically Disney World related podcasts. My favorite one is Hardcore History. Stuff You Should Know is good.

What’s in your bag?

In my bag, I have a to-do list, Mac Book Pro, water bottle, 3 pairs of headphones, Emergen-C, and a cool new fountain pen.

What’s your favorite color?

My favorite color is light blue.

What is your favorite thing about your job now?

My favorite thing about my job now is because I get to help hundreds of thousands of people. My content is inspiring people to create, which makes the world a more beautiful place.

Advice for current students?

Don’t think that your school work is what gets you your job. It’s not going to be your GPA and it’s not going to be your ability to write essays. It’s going to be your passion and drive. Don’t sit around waiting for a job offer. Follow your passion and find experience right now while in school. If you do good work, good things will happen.

Maddie Migis

Profile: Maddie Migis

Curious about the creative forces behind UNT Union Marketing? Maddie Migis has worked for UNT Marketing for nearly 2 years and has been one of the driving forces behind Humans of UNT, UNT Valentines, Snapchat golf cart t-shirt giveaways, and so much more.

Maddie just graduated from UNT with top honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations (hire her), but we couldn’t miss this opportunity to show her how grateful we are for her service by honoring her with her own UNT Union blog post.

Maddie Migis, INFJ

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MADDIE’S STRENGTHS, ACCORDING TO STRENGTHS QUEST:

1. Strategic
2. Futuristic
3. Ideation
4. Connectedness
5. Relator

As a strong strategic thinker and relationship builder, it’s no wonder she worked so well on our marketing team!

 

MADDIE’S STRENGTHS, IN HER OWN WORDS

“I think that my strengths professionally are social media, content creation, writing, and coming up with good ideas. I think that I am really good at changing gears if something happens. Taking an opportunity is what social is all about.”

 

WHAT SONGS ARE ON YOUR DESIGNER PLAYLIST?

WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?

“An otter because they hold hands when they sleep.”

 

WHAT IS YOUR BRAIN FOOD?

“Wingstop Fries.”

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?

“I really do like green.”


 

WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG?

“Receipts.  I have more cash than I usually do because I just graduated. My wallet, my pencil bag, and my planner. I have a sewing kit that I did use the other day, so in that moment, I feel like its value was intrinsic. I also have some hand sanitizer and some lipsticks”

 

WHAT WOULD YOU BE IF YOU WEREN’T IN PUBLIC RELATIONS?

“I wish was better at science because I probably would have done marine biology. I feel like a lot of people say that, but I scuba dive. I’ve been on dives and seen the coral has become bleached. You can see it happening. It think it’s sad because our oceans are serving as a barometer for what’s happening to our earth, but not a lot of people see it because not everyone is a scuba diver, and not everyone cares. ”

 

WHAT IS YOUR WRITING STYLE?

“I would say casual. People like to read in a style that they can relate to, so I’ve taken that approach even in my academic writing.”

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?

“I use Instagram the most personally. I like to explore Instagram. If I’m tired and in public and I need something to captive my time, I like to scroll because it’s stimulating to me, but I don’t have to think about it.”

 

UNTViewsDrake

 

GOALS FOR THE FUTURE?

“I want open an non-profit with my boyfriend in the inner-city or a food desert to educate and feed kids. I have a vision of what it would look like: a complex with a prep area for groups of kids, and garden in the back. A lot of people don’t eat well because they don’t know how to cook for themselves and they don’t have access to healthy food.

It would be an after school program, so instead of parents paying for daycare, the bus would take the kids to our program and they would do is either work in the garden or the kitchen and be taught how to cook a meal. Then they would eat it. It checks off a lot of boxes: not only are they learning, spending time outside, but they are also getting free dinner.”

 

You can find Maddie on LinkedIn, Twitter, and on her website MaddieMigis.com.

Designer Profile: Michael Ryan Wood

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.

MichaelRyanWood

Michael Ryan Wood, Junior Communications Design Major, ENFJ, and Graphic Designer at Union Design Works

Michael’s strengths, according to Strengths Quest, are:

  1. Futuristic
  2. Strategic
  3. Activator
  4. Ideation
  5. Connectedness

“What I would consider my personal strengths are ideas and ideation. I just enjoy it a lot, and it’s one of those innate things that I think I’m good at. I would say that I have some sort of innate leadership skills, I always tend to find these leadership positions and get put into them. They’re fun, sometimes it can be stressful, but I like taking the challenge and guiding people to one vision because I think it’s really fun and rewarding to everyone. Other than that, I think just being likable and empathetic of other people and having an open mind to how everyone feels and what they believe in. That’s something I really pride myself in. Ideation is a big skill I have. I love color choices and things like that. Even though I wouldn’t call myself an illustrator, I would say that I am an illustrative designer. I think of things in an illustrative way, even when I’m doing things with typography I’m thinking about it in an illustrative way. Just explaining myself, I have been told by peers that I can really pitch something, and I think that I can. Even if I’m not 100% on a project, I can pitch it like I am.”

What songs are on your designer playlist?

  1. The Most Immaculate Haircut, Metronomy 
  2. Bloodflood pt. II, alt-J
  3. Droopy Remembers, C418
  4. Desired Constellation, Björk
  5. Laura Corporeal, Geotic
  6. XR2, M.I.A.
  7. Coat of Many Colors, Dolly Parton

What is your spirit animal?

“It’s kind of funny, I think this goes into my appearance as well, but I think it would be a Cinnamon Bear. You’ve got the outward appearance of kind of being large, and feeling like there’s a wall there, but I’m actually very open. They’re crafty, at times, and they’re just cool animals, everyone likes them.”

What is your brain food? 

It’s not a food, but I would say iced coffee is my go-to. I have to have it when I’m working. Which is actually kind of bad, because I do a lot of work at night, and it will be like 8:00 and I’ll have coffee and do work but then be up all night. It’s a good and a bad thing.”

What is your favorite color? 

“As of right now, pink. I love a hot pink. This is the pink that’s like my go-to pink: it’s like a coral that has more orange in it, and also red. So it’s like this electric-red-coral, but it’s also pink. I use it on my website, it’s what I like a lot. I like a lot of colors, but I tend to go to pink, or go to blue. In fact, one of my professors actually forbade me from using blue one semester in any of my projects, so that kind of steered me away from using blue, but I still like it. Pink is definitely my favorite though.”

What tools could you not design without? 

“The main one isn’t actually a tool. People could consider it a tool, but Google drive is my number one thing that I credit to staying organized as a designer. Tool wise, I use my Wacom table to draw, all the main software. Google drive has made my life and my well-being as a designer so much better. I would credit that, because it makes printing processes faster, it double-backs up all my files, and it has taught me a lot of organization methods as far as projects that I think are really crucial as a professional designer. It’s an over-arching tool that has helped me organize myself better, and that has showcased itself in my design.”

What’s in your bag? 

“Holy crap, there’s a lot. My backpack, I don’t use it just for school. It’s like my life bag. Everything I need is in there. My laptop is always in there, I have one folder that’s just all of my school stuff, I usually have my Wacom tablet with me, I have a charger, my laptop charger, I have rulers and circle templates, a big bag of pencils and pens, usually a magazine or a book, I have a flashlight, a first aid kit I’ve never used, a comb, it’s a lot of Utilitarian stuff that I need throughout the day. To be prepared. My favorite thing about my backpack though is that it has a built-in rain cover. It has a bottom pocket, and you pull it over, so that it protects your bag from the rain. I’ve had it for almost five years, it’s a good backpack.

What would you be if you weren’t a graphic designer? 

“If I wasn’t a graphic designer, there’s three things I could be. I think if I wasn’t doing design, I could see myself studying sociology as a profession. I don’t really know where that would take me, but I could see myself going for that as a major. Advertising and marketing is something I could do, I have some things in my head that aligned with it, but I have always also wanted to be an engineer. I’ve always been really interested in industrial design. Design and engineering have parallels. I’ve always been intrigued in it, but if I wasn’t in design I could definitely see myself going down that path.”

What is your favorite (or least favorite) typeface? 

“I love ugly typefaces. The thing I don’t like the most is uninspired typefaces. So, there’s a beauty in things like Helvetica, and really foundational, modern, types, and they can be used in really exciting ways, but like the default type faces can be used really well, but in most cases, they tend to be uninspired and badly designed. I think typography is the art of finding ways to express what you’re writing about. It’s the visual manner to showcase what you’re thinking about what you’re writing about. So there’s really good inspiration that can be taken from it, no matter where you get your type from. And so when I think that someone just uses a default or something that isn’t appropriate for the selection, that’s what irks me the most.”

What is your favorite thing about being a graphic designer?

“My favorite thing about design, wrapping up to what I’m saying about my skills, are the ideas. The ideas that go behind design, and the research that it takes, and the information that you pull, I think that’s the most exciting part of design for me. Conceptualization is definitely one of my favorite things just because there’s so much data available, online, in libraries, in books, and I love that. It’s so exciting to me. Because you can take so much information from what you have and what you are thinking about. It really helps mold what you’re doing.”

I am not afraid to pull from weird references and combine things that aren’t traditionally put together. I tend to see design and art mixed together. That’s also how I approach research and things like that. I pull from a lot of things. I pull from fine art, actual design that’s being made, ideas and things that have happened in history, and I see what can be made from it. It’s just like connect-the-dots, and I love that.  

– M.R.W.