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Intern Stories 2018
CON·TRAST \ KON-’TRAST , ’KÄN-,TRAST \ The state of being strikingly different from something else in juxtaposition or close association.
Each year, a new group of BFA students emerges from their summer internships changed and strikingly different than the students that left the safe confines of the academic classroom. All twelve of these individuals are altered by this brief experience in the real world. In their respective internships the students learn how the adverse worlds of art and commerce can actually come together to make each better than they are by themselves. BFA students are no different – learning that they are much better by the close association with their classmates. Intern Stories is a product of this union. Invidual strengths are discovered, a group dynamic is established and a book is created to document their summer experience. The publication documents their individual experiences from twelve separate perspectives while combining it into a common message. Even the cover symbolizes this union of unbridled creativity and the restraint of audiences and deadlines. As always, we are indebted to the firms who partner with us and make this experience possible.
TAB L E O F C O NT E NT S
LIVE AREA LABS
BEN KINNEY COMPANIES
Reese Murakami SMASHING IDEAS
TEN GUN DESIGN
For more 2017-2018 WWU Design BFA content, visit our instagram @wwu_bfa and our website at wwudesignbfa.com.
I NT E RVI E W W E B
The Interview Experience
Matching the students with the appropriate firms is an important element in the process, and the interviews themselves provide a great learning experience. Each of the twelve BFA students interview with three different firms â€“ allowing them an opportunity to practice their presentation skills while broadening their professional network. Comments and rankings from firms are compiled to create the final placement for the summer.
TEN GUN DESIGN
INT E R N S H I P MAP
Seattle, Wa Seattle, WA
Bellingham, Wa Bellingham, WA BEN KINNEY
G R A PHI T I A S SOCI AT ES
BRA NDQUER Y
BEN KINNEY - BELLINGHAM, WA BRANDQUERY - MOUNT VERNON, WA DISNEY - SEATTLE, WA
L IV EA R E A
GRAPHITI ASSOCIATES - SEATTLE, WA HORNALL ANDERSON - SEATTLE, WA
S MA S HI NG IDEA S
INDIGO SLATE - BELLEVUE, WA LIVEAREA - SEATTLE, WA NBBJ - SEATTLE, WA RATIO - SEATTLE, WA TEN GUN - EDMONDS, WA SMASHING IDEAS - SEATTLE, WA
TE N G UN
RAT I O N A L DI SNE Y R AT I O HO RNA LL A NDE R SON INDIGO S LAT E
HAN NAH C H U T E - D I S N E Y
Hannah Chute While Hannahâ€™s interest in design is rooted in an obsession with typography, her appreciation for learning new things makes her interests broad. She gathers inspiration from history and enjoys referencing and reimagining the past in her work. She designs to find authentic visual solutions through research and creative exploration, and she enjoys puzzling out a solution in a practical and sensitive manner. Hannah is an outdoor enthusiast, unashamed type nerd and proud to call the Pacific Northwest home.
Disneyland Resort App CENTER
My Disney Experience App RIGHT
Shop Disney Parks Website
Disney Parks and Resorts Digital is an in-house design team responsible for designing the digital experiences for Disney Parks and Resorts. The websites and mobile applications are an important part of the guest experience in many of the Disney locations, including the Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, and the Shanghai Disney Resort in China. The team also creates websites for Disney Cruise Lines and brings guests the shopping experience of Walt Disney World online through the Shop Disney Parks website and app. YEAR ESTABLISHED
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Kevin Bauer James Dvorak
INT E R N S T O RY 1 O F 1 2
Disney occupies seven floors of the Fourth & Madison building. BOTTOM-RIGHT
The view from my desk. Where did everyone go?
The happiest internship on earth When I first walked into the office, I joyfully discovered that the space overflows with a magic that is undeniably Disney: conference rooms are named after characters and places; concept art decorates the walls; and on the desks, toys and figurines are piled high. As I finished first-day paperwork, I got to see how each floor had a different theme based on the branches of the Disney company â€“ Marvel, ESPN, and ABC to name a few. When the elevator doors opened, revealing a vintage photo of children running through the Disneyland gates, I knew I made it to the floor for Parks & Resorts. My manager Kevin told me that every new employee at Disney has two weeks of onboarding. These two weeks proved to be a valuable use of time, and I was really glad to get the opportunity to learn more about the work at DPRD. The Seattle office works primarily on the apps for Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney I DIDNâ€™T KNOW PRESENTATIONS COULD BE SO IMPRESSIVE
World, Shop Disney Parks, and Disney Cruise Lines. I often sat in on several meetings each day and started getting familiar with what was going on in the office and how projects move through the company. Sarah, who I worked closely with throughout my internship, helped me initially as my onboarding buddy to make sure I got set up and understood the projects I was assigned.
HAN NAH C H U T E - D I S N E Y
The Digital Design and Interaction Design teams work very closely with each other. What I enjoyed most about the onboarding period were my one-on-ones with the folks who worked on these teams. I asked how they ended up at Disney, what projects they’re currently working on, and if they had any advice for me. Looking back, I am especially grateful I got the chance to meet with everyone individually, since I wasn’t able to work on projects with everybody. I enjoyed learning about the passion Hillary, Abhaya, and Erin had in advocating for accessibility, the magic behind Mena and Rick’s animations, and the perspective Sarah and Garrett shared having gone through Western’s design program and their own BFA internships. Having twenty one-on-ones made me feel really welcomed as a part of the team. I could tell that what makes working at Disney so great is the people. Each day, an easy bus and light rail commute brought me to downtown Seattle. At the start of the day, the design team would have stand-up meetings, during which we each listed what we would be working on. I would usually get tea or a snack (Wednesday is bagel day!) as I checked emails and began working on my WEDNESDAY IS BAGEL DAY!
projects for the day. One of my first surprises was how frequently the Seattle team works with the Glendale and Orlando offices. It was pretty common to have at least one or two video conferences each day. Part of this had to do with the fact that the designers were assigned projects regardless of location. I wasn’t expecting to work on projects over video calls, but I’m glad I got the experience of communicating and working with a team remotely. Outside of the design team I was also a part of the office-wide intern program, for which we had weekly meetings to connect and discuss what we were working on. At the end of the summer, all of the interns went out to lunch and did an escape room. We didn’t successfully escape, but we were pretty close! I started off by doing processes such as documentation and redlining for the
I TRIED TO PERFECT MY ABILITY TO DRAW MICKEY MOUSE
Disneyland and Walt Disney World apps. It was neat being a part of a role that worked a little more behind the scenes and seeing how these processes connect designers and developers. I also helped prepare some content for a promotional video and the app store. One of the larger projects I was involved in required doing the visual design for new screens and working closely with the style guide to ensure that the new pages would adhere to Disney’s guidelines. It was crucial to get everything placed in the right spot, down to the last pixel. There were a few times when an element was offset by a very minuscule amount, as little as half a pixel, but it still was important and worth the time to make sure the finalized design was absolutely pixel-perfect.
INT E R N S T O RY 1 O F 1 2
Team lunch at Commissary Korean Kitchen to celebrate my last day as a Disney intern!
One of the highlights for me was working on a personal project with some guidance from my mentors, James and Kevin. I’m glad that I got to develop a concept and then pitch it; it was a learning experience in so many ways. James BRAINSTORMING WAS A LOT EASIER WHEN I WAS TALKING IT OUT WITH SOMEONE
helped me work through a lot of the early brainstorming. Brainstorming was a lot easier when I was talking it out with someone! It was really valuable to hear his and Kevin’s advice as experts on the apps and the guests’ Disney experience. During the last few days of my internship, I got to present this concept to the Seattle and Glendale design teams and directors and to at least twenty managers from different branches of Disney in the Seattle office. It was a little intimidating, but I was so happy to get that chance to present my own work and to get some positive feedback out of it.
The lessons I learned from this internship will definitely stay with me. I learned a lot about how important accessibility is when designing apps that are used by thousands of people every day. I was surprised at how product-driven the apps are, given there is still a huge emphasis on considering the guest experience. I learned so much about app design, seeing how in-house design works on this large corporate scale, how to develop and pitch a concept, and on top of all that I got to work with such an amazing team! Thank you to everyone. You made me feel so included, welcomed, and supported throughout my internship. Special shout out to Kevin for making sure I had a variety of valuable projects, to James for providing direction and insight on my personal project, and to Sarah for showing me the ropes and making sure I understood everything. I had such a great experience working with the Seattle design team on these unique products that get used by thousands of people every day. Thank you for everything!
P . 10 DAL L A S DYS O N - H O R NAL L AN D E R S O N
Dallas Dyson Dallas Dyson is a self-described type-obsessed minimalist originally hailing from sunny San Diego. Although she has focused her studies on user experience (UX) design, she has recently found her passion in branding, editorial, and packaging design. When her face isnâ€™t buried in her laptop or a good book on design, she can be found playing with her pitbull rottweiler mix, cooking, playing video games, or adventuring through breathtaking forests she is inspired by.
Hornall Anderson LEFT
Starbucks VIA Packaging CENTER
Alaska Airlines Rebrand RIGHT
Red Hook Packaging
Since 1982, Hornall Anderson has been designing how brands and people come together. As a collective of strategists, designers, writers and connectors, they imagine and craft enduring, brand-driven solutions to complex business challenges that draw from and contribute to the human experience. Over the years, they have designed and transformed brand identities and iconic packaging for global companies such as Madison Square Garden, Starbucks, Alaska Airlines, and many more. YEAR ESTABLISHED
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INT E R N S T O RY 2 O F 1 2 P . 1 1
Brands, brews, & beautiful people I had no idea what a remarkable adventure this experience would be. It was a mix of anxiety and excitement — getting the chance to learn at such a rockin’ company in a city I wasn’t too familiar with but have always wanted to explore. Being born and raised in San Diego, I saw this chance of living and working in Seattle as a thrilling new opportunity. I felt truly grateful for the chance to gain experience and knowledge working as a professional in the design industry before graduation. Sure, I was nervous but so ready to get to learn from and be inspired by the incredible, creative people that would soon welcome me in. Every morning when I arrived at work, I was met by a gorgeous, historic bank building located between downtown Seattle and Pioneer Square. From the moment I entered, I was charmed. Above me, a tall, curved ceiling with ornate gold flowers embellished the ceiling. In front of me, a long hallway with a row of elevators along marble walls topped with decorative molding. Every morning I played a game with myself to guess which one of the approximately ten elevators would arrive first. I found it so I NEVER GUESSED THE RIGHT ELEVATOR
fascinating to think about what modern and innovative ideas are coming out of a space with so much history. The elevator opens straight into Hornall Anderson’s modern lobby on the thirteenth floor, which is in the center of a long hallway with many wings. My mornings always began at the end of the hall in the café with a cup of tea or coffee, where I always seemed to meet someone new and share a few laughs before it was time to dive into the day’s work. No two work days, however, were ever the same. It seems as if every day there was a different mix of meetings, critiques, and work time for many different projects that were constantly changing and adapting over the course of my short nine weeks.
P . 1 2 DAL L A S DYS O N - H O R NAL L AN D E R S O N
I was surprised they had the confidence in me to immediately throw me into an individual project, as well as multiple project teams. Initially, I was working a lot of high-level conceptual brainstorming, moodboarding, and strategy. The biggest I LOVED GETTING TO LEARN SO MUCH ABOUT BRAND STRATEGY
learning curve for me was learning how to effectively communicate complex ideas in a team setting, which was probably one of my favorite parts of the whole experience. Getting the chance to brainstorm creative concepts with strategists, designers, copywriters, and directors about real-world projects was invaluable. I got my biggest charge and felt like I was my most creative in fast, messy, face-to-face collaborations. This honestly was a huge insight for me since I tend to work independently. Everyone I worked with was extremely supportive and encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and really make space for my own voice. I felt that my ideas were valued just as much as anyone else’s in meetings and critique. I didn’t feel like the intern; I felt like I was truly part of a larger team doing influential work. The small unicorn figurines scattered around the office are a great representation of the people working at Hornall Anderson, always reaching for the horizon. I have to say, it truly is all the unique, hilarious, goofy people that make HA such a special place. I knew this was no ordinary workplace when, on one of my first days in the office, one of my directors set a Nerf gun on my desk and said, “Here, Dallas, you’ll need this.” I got a lot of use out of my handy Nerf gun when the daily all-out Nerf war would
LOVE FOR LETTERS When not caught up in brainstorming, meetings, moodboarding, or creating presentations, you could most likely find me working on a series of illustrated letters inspired by my time living in the city.
commence as a welcome mental break from all of the work and deadlines. From team meetings on the gorgeous rooftop of the Dexter Horton building to all of the times spent around the cafe tables during lunchtime talking about which celebrities we dislike most or what music was our guilty pleasure, it felt as if I was part of a family. The many fun times laughing in the office and adventuring out on the town through Pioneer Square were invaluable – they helped drive the collaboration needed to solve the tough problems. Monday walks to get flowers from an adorable café were a reminder of how the little things really do affect the work you do. Even the little flowers in a tall pint glass on my desk were a reminder of the beauty and support of my colleagues.
INT E R N S T O RY 2 O F 1 2 P . 1 3
THANK YOU !
To those I had the chance to work with at HA, each of you has made such a unique and special impact on me. I truly cannot thank you all enough for this opportunity. My time spent at HA has helped carve my path as a designer and inspired me to be just as kick-ass as all of you that I learned from and worked with. I always felt pushed a couple steps outside of my comfort zone, and I canâ€™t thank you enough for that. In leaning into that discomfort, I found so much growth within myself. I want to send a special thank you to my lovely and inspirational mentor, Katie Lee. You always made me feel right at home, and you are such a badass woman in the industry to look up to. I canâ€™t wait to see you again very soon. A special shout-out to Jacob, Damien, Lauren, Jay, Emma, Amber, Max, and everyone else who guided and inspired me along my journey at HA. Thank you all so much for making this new adventure one I will always remember. ^-^
P . 1 4 M I R IAM G O O T HE RT S - L IV EAR EA
Miriam Gootherts Miriam Gootherts is a young and hopeful designer always looking for opportunities to expand her horizons by putting herself outside of her comfort zone. By pursuing an internship at LiveArea, she challenged her fear of web design. Through this experience, she has learned to chase those fears and that visual design for web can be liberating and exciting instead of daunting. Miriam hopes to pursue web design, motion, photography, and branding, as well as continue to pursue a more confident design mentality.
Unauthenticated Nav RIGHT
Based in Seattle, LiveArea Labs is a design firm working internationally with PFS Web. By blending together strategy, design, and technology, they deliver frictionless commerce experiences for clients and consumers. Whether it be fashion, beauty, or consumer goods, LiveArea creates opportunities for any brand using innovative design. YEAR ESTABLISHED
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INT E R N S T O RY 3 O F 1 2 P . 1 5
Thanks for the memories I assume that most interns are nervous on their first day, but I definitely felt like I stuck out, being the only intern at LiveArea. The second week after my internship began, the firm gathered for the first of many monthly meetings, and the team formally introduced themselves to me. I was very nervous but, embracing it, introduced myself: “Hello, my name is Miriam, I’m the intern, so if you need anything, let me know!” I started out feeling anxious, but it wasn’t long before I felt at home working with the other designers and project managers and getting to know clients and their respective projects. The designers’ desks are grouped together on one side of the open-floor office, which I found maintained a healthy flow of collaboration, communication and teamwork throughout the day. Where I was situated, I could easily stay well-informed with our project managers, UX designers, visual designers, and our amazing coder (shout-out to Tyler). The team at LiveArea is very supportive and always encouraged me to think outside the box. I felt as THEY ENCOURAGED ME TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
if I was being led down a path of self-improvement. I discovered that web design is more than just code or a grid that guides you through a site; it’s the same as print and layout, but you explore these layouts freely by clicking them, expanding them, going wild with them and interacting with them. The opportunities are endless! At the same time, Jim, one of my supervisors, said it best when he said, “We’re designers, so we want to design something pretty, but sometimes it just has to be functional.”
SOMETIMES IT JUST HAS TO BE FUNCTIONAL
These words resonated with me, giving me a new understanding of web design and bringing me out of the artistic block I had been experiencing within web design.
P . 1 6 M I R IAM G O O T HE RT S - L IV EAR EA
I quickly learned that, at LiveArea, every day was different. Some days I would dedicate my time to research, which meant everything from creative and practical UX to industry-shaking web designs. LiveArea is a firm of designers who strive to shift expectations of web design, encouraging designers and clients to think outside the box, all the while making compromises for various reasons: users aren’t ready for a dramatic shift, e-commerce is evolving but slowly, or sometimes it’s just not what the client has in mind. Regardless of the compromises, LiveArea designers are constantly making themselves aware of their competitors and what e-commerce websites are doing to go above and beyond our expectations of a standard website. The research I did as I began to redesign Kate Spade’s website at LiveArea gave me a better understanding of visual design for web. Although the project was IT ALLOWED ME TO EXPLORE WITH CREATIVE FREEDOM
assigned purely as an exercise, it allowed me to explore with creative freedom. I was able to get feedback from the team and apply what I learned to the client projects I was a part of during my time at LiveArea. Occasionally, the project managers would even request a side project that I would manage myself, such as photographing LiveArea’s workspace for PFS Web, their parent company. On client projects, I worked closely with my mentor, Peter Van Dam, to keep the visual designs updated to meet the client needs and the deadlines that were approaching. Some days, we would maneuver meetings with clients and teams at Live Area’s other locations to bring the visual design closer to the finish line. Other days, we spent our time updating desktop and mobile versions of designs continuously, preparing new screens based on what was discussed in the meetings and translating the UX wireframes into high-fidelity screens. From my time at the internship, I learned to appreciate group projects at school in new ways by applying what I learned from LiveArea’s team structure. Although
AN ARTICULATE AND COLLABORATIVE TEAM IS ESSENTIAL
project deadlines could have been anywhere from six months to two years longer than ours at the university, it was evident at LiveArea that an articulate and collaborative team is essential to keep client work on schedule. My goal for my last year at Western Washington University is to integrate that same structure into my own projects. Once, Jim also said, “it’s hard to design with someone else’s stuff because you just wonder why the fuck did they do that!” And he was right; I realized at
SOMETIMES IT’S MORE IMPORTANT TO BE THE SUPPORTING CHARACTER
LiveArea that it’s okay to divide up the roles more, letting one person handle the majority of the visual design while another person assists using the developed visuals. You can’t do the exact same thing as one designer, but you can help them make progress by being there to assist them as a supplementary designer. You also don’t always need to be the designer driving the decisions, because sometimes it’s more important to be the supporting character.
INT E R N S T O RY 3 O F 1 2 P . 1 7
TOP LEFT: The boss, the Mentor (Mark, Peter) TOP RIGHT: Peter and Prezels BOTTOM LEFT: The Workspace
Although I began at LiveArea as an apprehensive intern, I am so thankful for the encouragement and mentorship I found there. I learned how to be a team player and what it’s like to communicate with clients abroad. I want to say thanks for all the patience you had and confidence you instilled in me to work on your Anastasia concept with you, Peter. Thank you as well for the encouragement when I succeeded in something and for the Peter Pan references (“You’re doing it, Peter!”). Thank you for the support and patience as I went through the awkward transition of learning to use Sketch instead of Illustrator. Thank you, Jim, for being the uncle figure and for putting up with my jokes and cat gifs. I still laugh when I remember how convinced I was that a Montana strip club was actually your next client. Thank you, Julien, for always including me in lunch escapades and asking how my morning was. One of these days, I’ll learn how to accurately shoot a Nerf gun instead of accidentally almost shooting at everyone. Thank you, Alden, for being the comic relief and the no-bullshit person that you are. I hope one day you recover from post-lunch yawn syndrome and you had better start selling that “have a fuckin heart” illustration, because the world needs more of that. Stay vibrant, stay sassy, vape away, and I’m sorry I couldn’t find you chocolate-covered gummy bears while I was abroad! Thank you to the rest of the team at LiveArea for accepting me and bringing me into your projects, sharing your wisdom, and giving advice when I needed a second eye. Lastly, thank you for the beers and the delicious potlucks! If there was one thing you take away from having me there over the summer, I hope it’s an understanding of how much I love carbs.
P . 1 8 S O PHIA GR E I F - N B B J
Sophia Greif Sophia, dedicated to exploring the strange, is a designer from Seattle. Born to two architects, she was raised to appreciate the structural integrity of life. Her design starts with a base of wild ideation and experimentation. Whether her ideas achieve physical state or simmer in the ether of conception, they always guide her into new places. With a multidisciplinary mindset, she hopes to build upon her experiences and better understand human connection.
Microsoft Living Well Health Center CENTER
Living Computer Museum RIGHT
Amazon; Day One
NBBJ’s Environmental Graphic and Experience Design team, known as Studio 07, comprises two design practices, Environmental Graphic Design (EGD) and Experience Design (XD). EGD, a focus on the intersection of communication design and the built environment, it employs multidisciplinary design methods to communicate stories, inform people, activate spaces, and organize places for efficient navigation. XD, design is driven by consideration of the “moments” of engagement between people and an organization’s goals, and the emotions and memories that these moments create. YEARS RUNNING
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Learning to navigate Before my internship I had never heard the term “environmental graphic design.” NOW KNOWN AS EXPERIENTIAL GRAPHIC DESIGN (XGD)
Even after doing my research it was still unclear to me what that actually entailed. So, when I arrived on my first day, I was more curious than anything. The building is nothing less than what you would expect from a modern architecture firm. I sat in the lobby on a low grey-wool couch surrounded by glass windows, a set of tasteful wood building blocks on a table in front of me. The receptionist sat behind an illuminated desk with letters NBBJ burning in bright orange. She informed me that Rosa, my mentor, was on her way down.
THE NERVOUSNESS WAS DEFINITELY THERE!
Rosa emerged from around the corner. She started to lead me up to the studio but paused. “I need caffeine,” she said, so we waited in line to grab coffee before setting off on a tour. The office was definitely one of the best aspects of my internship. NBBJ’s office space is located in the first two stories of a building running the length of the block. Stationed in Seattle’s South Lake Union, they had pretty much everything a creative, food junkie or tech buff could ever want. Studio 07 sits in the far back of the office, on a raised platform looking across the open floor and the rows of architects below. As we walked the half a block to the studio, Rosa explained that NBBJ designed the building about 10 years ago and
P . 20 S O PHIA GR E I F - N B B J
all the meeting rooms are named after jazz albums. After what I’m sure was an extremely awkward introduction, Rosa led to me to my desk and looked down apologetically at the massive PC brick. “We’re working on it.” The computer, with a battery that seemed to take up most of the desk, sat looking like some spy IT WAS SOON SWITCHED OUT FOR A MAC
device from WWII in contrast to the sleek new Macs the rest of the studio was sporting. I tried my best to conceal my laughter with a sincere “Thank you, it’s perfect.” Studio 07 is NBBJ’s one and only XGD studio. Powered by 13 designers, the core of the work can be broken into two categories: Environmental
ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHIC DESIGN
The physical environment and way finding and signage for built environments.
Graphic Design and Experiential Design. The breadth of work ranged from wildly conceptual to very practical and functional. The two principals, Sam and Eric, and each of the designers come at it from different angles. Even with such a small studio there was no shortage of ideas and experience. All of the designers came from a wide range of backgrounds in design, from architecture and industrial to graphic, which sparked interesting and insightful
Design that is experienced and leaves a remarkable and lasting experience on the viewer.
conversations. I got to learn about things beyond XGD. My first solo project was assigned to me a couple weeks in. My job was to design a series of elevator lobby graphics for one of Amazon’s new buildings. One of my goals over the summer was to see a project start to finish, so I was thrilled at the opportunity. This is when I really started to get into the mindset of XGD. Shifting my brain from graphic design into experiential design was much more challenging than I thought. I finished an initial set of designs and scheduled a meeting to receive input from the lead architect on the project. After a solid approval from him and a few tweaks and refinements, I was ready to present. Presenting my ideas was by far one of my favorite moments at NBBJ, and having them get the stamp of approval was the cherry on top. Without going through the process from initial ideation to preparing the artwork for the fabricator, I don’t think I
would have developed the mutual love and hate for the field.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
Each studio has a distinct number which originated from the floor on which they where located in the original building in Seattle’s Pioneer Square.
Each week was unpredictable – I never knew what type of project I would get pulled into. I was lucky enough to get to dip my toe into a number of different projects at various stages of development. I worked on creating a few idea pitches, created presentations, participated in countless brainstorm sessions, and a whole slew of what might be considered mundane tasks but were new and exciting in my eyes. I can’t speak for all design firms, but at Studio 07, XGD is not dependent on one’s expertise in a single area but requires problem solving and random idea generating from numerous areas.
INT E R N S T O RY 4 O F 1 2 P . 2 1
I had the opportunity to visit several construction sites along with the other interns at NBBJ architectural studios.
* THANK YOU!
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O1 O2 / 04
PLAYING MUSICAL CHAIRS
Over the course of my internship I sat in four different locations in the studio.
Though I came in with few expectations and no idea of what was to come, I left with a passion for way-finding and XGD, made many new friends, and had one of the best experiences of my life. The other designers could not have been more awesome about letting me pick their brains over lunch, look over their shoulder, and join in on their conversations. Huge shout out to Rosa and all of the other designers who would always take the time to sit down and explain something to me. Thank you for teaching me that XGD is so much more than slapping signs and maps on the side of a building. The rigor of thought and energy that I saw go into every aspect of designing was truly inspiring. This experience helped me to become a more thoughtful, expressive, and daring designer. Thank you, Rosa, Sam, Eric, Yuske, April, Choang, Daniel, Celeste, and Brooke for encouraging me to take risks and push myself. I have only begun to scratch the surface of the world of XGD and I am I eternally grateful for my time at NBBJ.
P . 2 2 BAI L E Y L E HT I N E N - R AT I O NAL
Bailey Lehtinen Bailey Lehtinen is a designer with a focus on empathic design and concept development. Her background in gender studies gives her a unique perspective on attacking social and political issues through a creative lens. If you happen to catch Bailey at a time when sheâ€™s not designing or sleeping, sheâ€™s probably throwing a tennis ball for her dog or deep diving through Wikipedia articles.
Predator Training Room CENTER
Acer Keep Asking RIGHT
Predator Disruption global campaign
Rational Interaction is a creative consultancy born from a desire to help clients solve problems and grow their businesses. Their approach includes systematically addressing challenges with knowledge and rigor, then bringing solutions to life with wonder and imagination. This intersection of logic and magic is the duality that sets them apart.
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INT E R N S T O RY 5 O F 1 2 P . 2 3
My Emmy speech, for Rational. I interviewed for my intern position at Rational in June 2017. The office is located on the 52nd floor of the 1201 3rd building in downtown Seattle. While waiting, I thought about the idea that people have to budget time for their THERE WERE LIKE NINE LAWYERS IN THERE EVERY MORNING.
morning elevator ride. I remember thinking about how cramped it must feel in the mornings with so many people trying to get to their offices. Sitting in the lobby waiting to be called in, I stared out the building windows, moved by the intimidating views around me. In the coming months, those views would become just another part of my workday. Though beautiful, the city skyline was only the backdrop to the exciting and challenging adventure I was about to embark on.
PRO TIP: THE TRAIN IS FASTER.
My first day, I took the bus from Everett to Seattle, walked two blocks to my building, took that same elevator up those 52 floors, and sat at my desk. My desk was located in what my mentor, Tina, lovingly referred to as “the sad corner.” I was just happy to be there, no matter my location within the firm. It didn’t take long for Tina to grab a table from a common space and stick it right next to her desk. Although it was a simple gesture, sitting with the other creatives at Rational had a huge impact on my experience.
P . 24 BAI L E Y L E HT I N E N - R AT I O NAL
The first three weeks of my internship, I felt out of place. I had no idea where I fit in or how to interact with any of my coworkers. Despite getting to be heavily Photoshop learning curve
involved in a photoshoot on my first day, I still was unsure of myself. Was I doing everything right? Did my coworkers like me? Was I showing up early enough? I didn’t always have enough work to do. I spent a lot of time trying to sit in on meetings and offer help to everyone around me. It wasn’t until the end of my third week at Rational that my creative director, Kerry, asked me to do research on some video game characters for an upcoming campaign. I didn’t think much of it, maybe that she was just trying to give me something to do. Although I felt unsure, I took the task very seriously. I brought my work home with me and did everything I could to try and impress Kerry. I
I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE THIS INTERESTED IN LEARNING ABOUT MASTER CHIEF.
called my boyfriend and spent hours talking to him about video games. I read Wikipedia pages and game reviews until I was fully exhausted. I presented my work to Kerry and found out that she was asking me to do this research for Rational’s first global campaign. This assignment was my first step into the campaign that would define much of my experience at Rational. I started attending meetings every morning at 9:30. During these morning
WE CALLED THESE “SCRUM.”
meetings everyone on the team presented their work, asked questions and communicated with each other about the status of the campaign. I learned about deadlines and client calls and how to be a true part of the team. I had work coming in every day, and I felt people were depending on me. It was incredibly validating to be involved in the work that Rational was doing. Our team was often referred to as “skeletal,” which meant that we ran very lean, with only three full-time designers. Because of this, I had many opportunities to grow. Oftentimes I was asked to execute work on my own. This was challenging and even scary, but the support of my coworkers made it possible. These
I’M THE LUCKIEST.
opportunities made me feel sure of myself. Coming to Rational allowed me to have an internship full of successes, failures, frustrations and triumphs.
Basil took an unexpected photo of me on a friday afternoon.
INT E R N S T O RY 5 O F 1 2 P . 2 5
Tina, watching the eclipse from the office.
While everyone I met at Rational deserves a mountain of thank yous, my team on this project really deserves some extra recognition. You are all such badasses and I can’t believe we made this happen. Kerry, thank you for believing in me. You have affected me in profound ways. Heather, thank you for being my friend. When I felt out of place or frustrated, you did everything to be there for me. Claire, you are such a kick-ass person to work with. Your drive and resilience are so inspiring. Tam! I honestly don’t know how you do it. Working on a team that was just you and me was one of the best times I had at Rational, despite being the most exhausting. Cat, you and I have the same brain. Thanks for teaching me how to keep a project in line and for always giving me the confidence boost I needed. Dennis, you are great at what you do. I am so fortunate to have worked with such a down-to-earth, supportive and humble boss. Basil, Jacob and Alex, thanks for showing me the ropes and always being open to talk about the amazing work you do. Tina, thank you for always having my back. I wouldn’t have picked another mentor, I truly learned a lot working with you. Thank you for always giving me space to talk, lime-flavored La Croix, and the best deviled eggs in Seattle. And, of course, I have to give special shoutouts to Cliff, Alex, Jacob, Nathan, Thomas, Berri, Trev, Nick, DJ and Anthony.
P . 2 6 K R I S T I NA MAT U S KA - B E N K I N N E Y C O M PANIE S
Kristina Matuska Iâ€™m a Washington State native with Slovak roots. In my younger years my family traveled back and forth between Europe and the Pacific Northwest, and as a result I am bilingual and have a unique perspective on culture. I enjoy creating distinct and dynamic solutions for complex problems. Subsequently I can usually be found with my thumb on the command key, zoomed all the way on my monitor, adjusting a handful of pixels to the left and then to the right and then slightly to the left again.
Ben Kinney Companies LEFT
Brivity Platform CENTER
Brivity Branding RIGHT
Founded by nationally known mega-agent and innovative entrepreneur Ben Kinney, Ben Kinney Companies strives to maximize the real estate experience for realtors, agents, home buyers and sellers. The Ben Kinney design team works in house not only creating promotional material for the company and its many Keller Williams Realty brokerages across the nation but also with developers and real estate agents to create user experience solutions for its suite of award-winning tech products. YEAR ESTABLISHED
NO. OF EMPLOYEES
INT E R N S T O RY 6 O F 1 2 P . 2 7
A real estate of a Summer Being a young adult who has never purchased a home, I was fairly anxious and unsure of what to expect from my summer internship at a real estate tech company. I went into day one having carefully investigated their website, ready to ask all the questions I could think of and learn as much as I could to make my time at Ben Kinney Companies all the more valuable for both myself and the firm. Obviously, this wasnâ€™t as easy as it sounds. Unexpected learning curves came up, from figuring out how to effectively communicate on new platforms to establishing user experience design workflows and conducting thorough user testing. This meant for the first couple of weeks I was adjusting to communicating on Slack, having remote meetings, and moving out of Illustrator and into Sketch. Overall, though, I had many opportunities ILLUSTRATOR TO SKETCH
to articulate my design reasoning not only to my fellow designers but also to the sales, support, and development teams. The work itself held the essence of a fast-paced startup. I got to see new processes developed, implemented, and even replaced just in my brief time as an intern. I learned to speak up immediately and question everything to constantly push things further, though at the same time I learned itâ€™s also
OVERCOMMUNICATION IS GOOD
important to know when to stop pushing. This is entirely thanks to my incredibly supportive mentors and a company culture of honesty and feedback. I was continually encouraged to overcommunicate.
P . 2 8 K R I S T I NA MAT U S KA - B E N K I N N E Y C O M PANIE S
Having daily stand-up meetings (during which we were pretty much always sitting) about progress and blockers not only aided this development but also helped me settle into a productive workday routine. I learned to articulate a priority project and time-block it for my mornings, while leaving the rest of the day open for pretty much anything else that was thrown my way. I always strived to be vocal about wanting to take on a variety of projects, and so throughout the summer I got to work on everything from designing new product features and being included in their development kick-off meetings, to designing a billboard for an expansion partner in Vancouver, British Columbia.
USING BRAND IDENTITY IS QUITE THE BALANCING ACT
One of the only projects the entire design team got to work on together was a promotional brochure for the companyâ€™s main tech product, the Brivity platform. A huge part of this involved pairing with the marketing and sales departments as we figured out content for what would essentially be a sales pitch in brochure form. For me, it was this project that brought brand guidelines to a level beyond just typefaces and colors. There was whole mood to capture, and I struggled to find it simply because I couldnâ€™t get out of my own perspective. I realized that using brand identity is quite the balancing act between personal aesthetic preferences and the essence of the brand itself. One of the main projects I ended up working on was creating customized websites for new and existing clients, a design process that actually began implementation right around the beginning of my internship. This was one of the processes that was built and rebuilt a few times as company-wide priorities evolved, and it was very educational and exciting for me to witness the company grow throughout this. This played a huge part in teaching me the vitality of documenting my process and working to better communicate my design logic at a later time.
INT E R N S T O RY 6 O F 1 2 P . 2 9
STUFF I WORKED ON OVER THE SUMMER!
Overall, a huge thank you goes out to Ben Kinney Companies for welcoming me with such open arms, taking me on, and letting me learn and grow so much over the course of just a handful of months. I had a blast getting to know everyone, particularly our little design team. I am so thankful for being included in projects right from the get-go, especially with everyoneâ€™s constant support. Josiah, thank you for being an inspiration in your constant motivation and going above and beyond as my mentor in not only guiding me throughout my internship but also helping me figure out career and life goals. In a nutshell, I learned so much.
P . 30
1000 + 12
Ben Kinney Companies
Ten Gun De
ADVERTISING APP DESIGN BRANDING CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT E N V I R O N M E N TA L I L L U S T R AT I O N MOTION PAC K AG I N G PHOTOGRAPHY P R E S E N TAT I O N P R I N T/ P R O D U C T I O N RESEARCH UX/UI WEB DESIGN
M I L E S / T R A N S P O R TAT I O N
car, train, bus
Ten Gun Design
bus, light rale
Ben Kinney Co.
Wild Ginger Kitchen
The People’s Burger
BL › Tofu Veggie Stir Fry
HS2 › Malai Kofta
OR › Backyard Burger
216 Union St. Seattle
The London Plane
14625 NE 24th St. Bellevue
922 Occidental Ave S Seattle
300 Occidental Ave S Seattle
203 5th Ave S, Suite 1 Edmonds
DD › House Fermented Kombucha
KQ › Caprese Sandwich
RM › Half Baked Role
Comsy. Korean Kitchen
HC › Bibimbap – Dumpling + Kimchi
KM › Caspian Pizza
SP › Smoked Turkey Panini
521 3rd Ave Seattle
2925 Newmarket St. Bellingham
2207 1st Ave Seattle
606 S 1st St. Mt. Vernon
462 N 36th St. Seattle
122 Elliott Ave W Seattle
400 Fairview Ave N, P001 Seattle
HS1 › Roxy’s Classic Reuben
MG › Bagel + Breve
SG › Poke
Our Favorite Places
P . 3 4 R E E S E I S AM U M U R AKAM I - S MAS H I N G I D E A S
Reese Isamu Murakami Reese Isamu Murakami is a multidisciplinary designer / reality TV junkie. He was born in Ohio, raised in Chicago, but calls Seattle home and has lived in the PNW for 8 years. He loves music and has hosted a radio show on 89.3 KUGS-FM every week for the past 5 years. Though he studies UX design, Reese has a fascination with branding and has experience with marketing and social media. He can most likely be found checking up on music news, visiting his friends, or at the bar sipping on a vodka-soda.
Smashing Ideas LEFT
Learn To Quit CENTER
Amazon Alexa: Digital Nurseâ€™s Assistant RIGHT
Philips Sonicare for Kids
Smashing Ideas is a digital agency that specializes in partnering with clients and helping them break through business and design problems. They offer strategy, research, UX design, visual design, and development services, allowing clients to build their digital product from start to finish without breaking continuity. Smashing Ideas values collaborative work between all team members and their office setup facilitates that. The team at Smashing is always looking for ways to improve what they do and new ideas and philosophies are always being discussed.
NO. OF EMPLOYEES
Chris Hannon Andrea Pollock Paola Reyes-Sanchez
INT E R N S T O RY 7 O F 1 2 P . 3 5
Mythical creatures for an unreal experience To say that I was anxious on my first day as an intern is a true understatement. HI! I’M REESE I’M VERY NERVOUS IT’S SO NICE TO MEET YOU
I walked through the lobby of the World Trade Center East building with a cool demeanor masking my anxiety and sweaty palms. I was rehearsing hello-nice-tomeet-yous in my head and was completely unprepared for the glass doors to the Smashing Ideas office to be locked. My eyes darted first to the keycard sensor adjacent to the doors, then to the woman at the front desk who glanced up at me and smiled. Before I could even lift my arm to knock, I heard a soft beep and the door allowed me through. After chatting briefly with Joy, the office manager who let me into the office, I met with mentor No. 1, Andrea Pollock, the Senior Talent Manager, to fill out paperwork. She is vivacious, genuine, and immediately made me feel welcome, which was what I needed at the time to keep my heart from jumping out of my chest. I was finally able to get a tour of the space and was blown away. The Smashing Ideas office sits on the first floor of a medium-sized building on Elliot Avenue. The west wall is all floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the
5 MINUTE WALK TO PIKE PLACE / 3 MINUTE WALK TO THE WATER
Puget Sound. The office itself is sprawling, and scooters are strategically placed for team members to quickly get from one end to the other. A large mural of cartoony, mythical creatures adorns the east wall closest to the front door, each one the namesake of a different conference room in the office: Sasquatch, Unicorn, Kraken, etc. Aside from the mural, many of the walls are covered in style guides and sticky notes for the various project teams to consult. The creative, collaborative energy in the office was palpable. There is a kitchen on the north
LEMON-LIME, PEACHNECTARINE, AND NATURAL
end fully stocked with Snapple and sparkling water, which I took advantage of every day.
P . 3 6 R E E S E I S AM U M U R AKAM I - S MAS H I N G I D E A S
My workspace where I sat most days. Smashing encourages project teams to sit with each other to promote cooperative, iterative processes.
I was brought to my desk on the south end of the office and introduced to mentor No. 2, Paola Reyes. She would end up being my closest friend from Smashing, and she kept me from falling apart when I was struggling. She has eagle eyes that can spot the tiniest details out of place. Her expertise is remarkable, and I was constantly in awe of how quickly she would get work done. As soon as I set up my work computer I was quickly briefed on my first project: a website revamp for a Seattle-based data storage company. My first meeting of the day was with the rest of the team working on this project with me. I met the producer, Telford Burts, who helped me navigate through Smashing’s communication/process/hour-logging programs and whose desk was adjacent to mine and Paola’s. The rest of my first day was filled with meetings. I attended the weekly creative team meeting and met all of the directors, leads, and designers from the other WHO I WORKED WITH
projects Smashing was taking on. I also met the other intern, a lovely man named Ashish from the University of Washington’s Human-Centered Design Program. I sat down with Telford and Paola and we talked about what tasks I should be assigned and how their task organization worked. After that I packed up my stuff and headed toward 4th and Pine to catch a bus back to Issaquah.
My first day was definitely one of the most eventful, but I learned a ridiculous amount during the entirety of my internship, most of it nothing that I could have read about in a book. I was lucky to sit by Telford because, as a producer, he was able to give me a lot of advice on time management, working with teams, and using organization and transparency to hold team members accountable for their assigned tasks. I also had weekly meetings with mentor No. 3, Chris Hannon, who is
INT E R N S T O RY 7 O F 1 2 P . 3 7
contagiously driven and filled to the brim with design knowledge. Chris gave me ALL THINGS THAT I DEFINITELY WILL TAKE WITH ME FOR WHEN I DO GROUP PROJECTS IN THE FUTURE
sage wisdom on a multitude of subjects from my iterative process to my online portfolio to how to keep a team motivated. I looked forward to my meetings with Chris because I knew that I would learn something new and applicable. I was able to participate in several projects and I got to work with different teams each time. Everyone that I had the chance to work with helped me through new processes and I honestly never felt overwhelmed. I looked forward to work every morning and to every time I scanned my keycard, “temporary card no. 4,” to get into the office. I felt like this was somewhere I could picture myself. I felt like Smashing was the perfect place for me to spend this internship because I was able to shed my doubts and insecurities. I left every day feeling validated and satisfied. I’m honestly tearing up just thinking about it. I want to thank my mentors, who were able to answer all of my questions no matter how inconvenient my timing was. Andrea, thank you for getting me onboarded and making sure that I felt included. Chris, thank you for always
STAY COOL! I LOVE YOU ALL! LITERALLY TEARING UP RN...
making me smile with your peppy demeanor and for giving me the critique that I needed. Paola, special shout-out to you for being my guide through this whole internship. You always made time to talk to me, and I don’t think I would have had as an amazing of an experience without you there. Telford, although you weren’t one of my official mentors, I really felt you should have been. You always had wisdom to share, not only about task management but just solid life advice in general. I’m grateful I was able to sit next to you during my time at Smashing.
The coolest creative team I could have asked to work with this summer! I can’t wait to see y’all again!
Shouts-outs to Joy, Antonio, Jasmine, Harry, Adam, Drory, Katy, Jeremy, Patrick, Nick, Amanda, and Kevin Wick for making this the best internship ever! I can’t wait to see everyone again very soon.
P . 3 8 S E AN P OW E L L - B R AN D Q U E RY
Sean Powell Sean was born and raised about an hour north of Portland in Longview, WA. His current design interests are branding, typography, and motion graphics. Stylistically, he is partial to anything dark with minimal color, sleek type, and complex geometry. That being said, his love for large amounts of fun colors and cute, bubbly graphics is slowly cultivating. When Sean isn’t working on design projects, you’re likely to find him playing guitar, listening to music, or watching Netflix with his wife, René!
Skagit Bank Dollars in a Box MIDDLE
Cascade Valley Hospital Window Graphics RIGHT
Kenworth Trucks Power Management
BrandQuery has been a leader in the enhancement of meaningful brands for more than 24 years. Their clients range from the public to the private sector (Skagit Bank, YMCA, PACCAR, Kenworth, King County, etc.) and include those seeking to connect with their audience, increase sales and visibility, or reinforce relevance through strategic positioning. From simple campaigns in traditional print to those that are more integrated and complex—featuring print, digital, social, video, broadcast, and outdoor—BrandQuery is adept at creating and developing work with measurable results. YEAR FOUNDED
NO. OF EMPLOYEES
INT E R N S T O RY 8 O F 1 2 P . 3 9
Anything I say can (and will) be held against me From my first day as an intern at BrandQuery, I felt as though the whole team really valued having me there. Everyone was willing to take time aside from their projects and help me get up to speed. It wasn’t long before I felt less like an intern and more like a regular part-time employee. It was nice not having to take too much time to get situated. In just a few hours, I had been set up with a computer and briefed on my first project. Since there were only six employees plus my mentor Jacque, I was quickly able to learn about everyone’s roles and responsibilities at the firm. One of the first things I noticed about the office itself was how clean, updated, and professional everything was. It was an incredibly comfortable work environment, and it didn’t take long at all to get into a creative mindset each day. On Fridays, there was a team ritual where everyone would stop working half an hour early, clean their desks, and prepare everything for the next week. It was HOW IS MY LIFE SO BORING COMPARED TO WENDY’S?
a great way to maintain consistent cleanliness and eliminate unwanted clutter around the office. Those Fridays, along with company lunches on Thursdays, were also some of the best opportunities to socialize with the team and hear about what was going on in everyone’s lives outside of work.
P . 40 S E AN P OW E L L - B R AN D Q U E RY
President & Brand Strategist Project Manager
Throughout the summer, there wasn’t a single project I was assigned to that Communications & Media Coordinator
Office Manager & Bookkeeper
was boring or underwhelming. Of course, there were challenging moments, but overall, the work was very enjoyable and on many mornings I felt excited to
Director of Strategy
come into work and pick up where I had left off the previous day. I had numerous opportunities to grow as a designer and do things that stretched my comfort zone.
Intern (Me) Environmental Graphic Designer
As far as projects go, the one I worked on the longest (basically throughout the whole summer) was a timeline of the history of Mount Vernon. Although it wasn’t my favorite project overall, it was still interesting to research and learn about the
Graphic & Web Designer
town where I was working. At first it seemed as if there was an overwhelming amount of information that needed to be researched and compiled, but Sebastian and Travis had my back and helped me break down the process into more achievable steps. I ended up learning far more about Mount Vernon than I ever would have expected going into the internship. Although I felt like a welcomed and valued team member from the beginning of my time at BrandQuery, it wasn’t until a little more than halfway into the internship that I began to feel like a real part of the team. That was mostly due to the fact that it took some time to learn the firm’s workflow and understand where I fit into the equation—a completely natural progression in a new, unknown environment. It was also at that halfway point where I had both my greatest shortcoming as well as my most important learning experience as an intern. I made a mistake by failing to properly follow directions on a project and FUTURE INTERNS, LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES
worked further than Jacque, my mentor, had envisioned without reviewing my progress with her or Jennifer. It was a difficult experience to learn from, but it was definitely the point in my internship where everything clicked. From that point forward, things went much more smoothly from my perspective. Learning from my mistakes challenged the way I approached my design process in a professional environment and ultimately led me to become much better at communicating with my mentor, project manager, and the team as a whole. I was able to contribute to projects a lot more effectively and also began developing stronger friendships with my coworkers. Even though I’m sure I made everything as awkward as possible for the first month, by the end it seemed like we had all been working together for years.
INT E R N S T O RY 8 O F 1 2 P . 4 1
My mock-up for a potential redesign of the entry wall at BrandQuery. BOTTOM-RIGHT
Lots of great tunes playing throughout the office.
My time at BrandQuery was an absolutely invaluable experience and a MANY THANKS!
time I will always remember. Having the opportunity to be immersed in a professional design environment helped me drastically improve my process and understanding of design. It’s nearly impossible to properly thank everyone for their individual contributions to my internship experience, but I just hope each of you know how much your insights, feedback and encouragement helped me become better as a designer, a problem solver, and a team member. Thank you for sticking it out with me, even when I put a trash bag with no bottom
SORRY, MICHELLE I STILL OWE YOU!
(still wondering why that’s even a thing) in the trashcan, when my car ran out of fluid and Wendy had to come find me on the side of the freeway, or when I didn’t recognize Jacque’s voice over the phone. Yikes. Embarrassments aside, I learned so much from each of you and want to continue applying the knowledge I acquired during my time with you this summer. Jacque, I also want to thank you for consistently pushing me to become a more focused and efficient designer and for never going easy on me just because I was an intern. Learning from you and the rest of the team allowed me to develop a much better capacity to solve design problems and become exponentially more confident and efficient in my creative process. Thank you again for the opportunity; I’ll do my best to stay in touch!
P . 4 2 K E L LY Q U E S N E L - T E N G U N D E S I GN
Kelly Quesnel Kelly Quesnel is a type lover with her heart set on branding & identity and digital experiences. When sheâ€™s not designing, you can find her taking in the views on Chuckanut Drive, digging for new music or playing soccer with friends!
Ten Gun Design LEFT
Xbox One X & One S branding and packaging CENTER
Microsoft HoloLens RIGHT
Adopt-A-Soldier Platoon (pro bono)
Ten Gun Designâ€™s legacy knowledge in the product, entertainment, and retail space has helped shape visual guidance and campaigns for big brands such as Paccar and Xbox, and Microsoft devices such as Surface, HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality. While heavily steeped in brand execution and management for larger clients, Ten Gun has never shied away from fledgling companies looking to change the world. They constantly find themselves in unknown territory, happily forging new paths.
NO. OF EMPLOYEES
INT E R N S T O RY 9 O F 1 2 P . 4 3
Thanks for a great summer, TG! My typical day during the summer of 2017 started out with my alarm going off at 6:30 AM in the East Renton Highlands. By 7:30 AM I am on the road with Brooke and Jubal turned up on the radio. An hour later, I arrive at the newly moved-into and remodeled Ten Gun Design, located in the heart of Edmonds, a small city just north of Seattle. I park my car, take out my key card and walk through the front doors of the studio. I drop my things off at my desk, turn on my computer and walk towards the coffee bar. After making myself a cup of coffee, I sit down at the counter where I’ll spend the next few minutes talking with Tracy, Carmela, Holli, Sam and Brandon. 9 AM hits and it’s time to start the day as a TG design intern. Going into this internship, I wanted the experience of working as a professional in the field as much as I could. I only had ten weeks until my time would end and I BEST PART OF TG: FULLY LOADED SNACK BAR. 24/7.
would return to school to complete my BFA degree. I have always loved all areas within design – branding, web design, packaging and illustration to name a few. With that being said, I had no single skill I wanted to improve. All I knew is that I was ready to learn a lot about myself this summer.
My coworkers and I at the Steamroller Smackdown. We won 3rd place!
Being part of a studio collective was a new experience for me. I admire the efficiency TG practices on team projects. Oftentimes, team members will pump out multiple explorations individually, then come together to provide feedback on each other’s work, branching off separately and coming back together until we are ready to present to the client. So much goes on in a design agency behind closed doors that really makes the wheels turn – that is exactly what I was hoping to get a glimpse of this summer. Ten Gun has an open-office floor plan with a few large meeting rooms dispersed around the area. It made the team feel very connected and collaborative, HOW YOU PRESENT YOUR IDEA TO A CLIENT HAS A LOT OF POWER.
enabling team members to more readily give help to one another. It is very noticeable that the designers at TG are constantly pushing each other to improve. I would always witness team members taking the time to sit down at each other’s desks, ready to give feedback on other work even when their own project deadlines were approaching. I worked on a broad range of projects. My first task was to create graphics that would be used as an opportunity to unite the look and feel of a Microsoft store. Through that, I quickly learned that conceptualization is easy, but creating a concept that stays true and is cohesive to an existing brand is challenging. I also quickly realized that how you present your idea to a client has a lot of power in regard to the final decision. My next task was probably my favorite of all. Ten Gun has grown in size in recent years and, as a result, it has led them to many exciting opportunities with a broader range of clients – one being Seattle’s football team. In June, the Seattle Seahawks asked Ten Gun if we would like to participate in developing a
I ALWAYS FELT LIKE A TRUE CREATIVE AMONG MY COWORKERS.
secondary logo for the team. We quickly responded with an enthusiastic “YES!” and got right to work. It was during this project that I really felt I was part of the team (I never felt like an intern). I always felt like a true creative among my coworkers. Side by side, we put our work up on the critique wall and began giving each other feedback for the next round of refinements. I felt honored to be given as much responsibility on projects as I was. One thing I miss most about Ten Gun is the people who work there. The team is more than half of the reason why I enjoyed my time working there so much. The unity and encouragement I felt from the moment I walked into the studio every day made getting up and driving to work so very worth it. I feel very fortunate to have worked at such a special, accepting place.
Thank you Ryan, Chanda and Mark for making this internship possible at all. Thank you Mat, Jeremiah, Arthur, Lizzy, Jeff, Aaron, Johann, Chris, Jackie
and Taylor for your guidance on projects and patience when it came to my plethora of questions about anything and everything. Thank you to Tracy, Carmela, Kristina, Aly, Sarah, Holli, Sam and Brandon for being my friends at TG, for giving me lots of laughs and positivity as well as great lunches and good conversations. And thank you to Fern (+ Aimee) for giving me a reason to smile at any time of the day. All around and in all truth, I wouldnâ€™t change a single thing about my internship. I was able to boost my skills on a wide variety of projects, such as branding, illustration and presentation to name a few. I also got to see what it was like working as a professional on a creative team. What more could I ask for? I feel very blessed to have been able to spend a whole summer working with such a driven, hard-working team at Ten Gun Design. This team will always have a special place in my heart.
P . 4 6 OWE N R I C HAR D - R AT I O
Owen Richard Owen is a Florida native but has spent the past 6 years out in Washington. He is passionate, driven, and energetic – an autodidact eager to get thrown right into things, unafraid of getting his hands dirty. He strives to ask big questions, and solve big problems and he is eternally addicted to learning and exploring. What he doesn’t know excites him and drives him to push into his work and craft. He never wants to stop growing in his career.
Signal Platform CENTER
Star Wars on Xbox RIGHT
Ratio is “a multi-screen agency for a multi-screen world.” They are a crew of people passionate about creating incredible digital experiences. Ratio has worked for companies/brands such as HBO, Turner Broadcasting, iHeartRadio, Star Wars, and more. Ratio provides digital strategy consulting, design, development, and system integration services to clients to help them create innovative consumer-facing experiences across all screens. The company we know today has been operating since 2013 in Seattle. YEAR ESTABLISHED
NO. OF EMPLOYEES
Aaron Johnson Nathan Broyles
INT E R N S T O RY 10 O F 1 2 P . 4 7
The chalk wall on the storage room doors. I sketched up a mural soon after arriving.
“It’s just a flesh wound.”
— THE BLACK KNIGHT, MONTY PYTHON
Going into the summer I was very anxious. I had a lot I LIKE FOR-REAL NERVOUS AS SHIT
wanted to prove to myself, and I needed to know where I stood when it came to working in the high-level professional world. I was ready to jump in. The first day was a bit of a blur with the onboarding. Learning all the channels of communication, what the company does, who my team is, and what software I’d be using left me with more questions than answers, but I got the hang of it quickly. It was a bit like learning how to stand on a ship on my first voyage out to sea. Ratio’s office was one large space with a couple of meeting rooms. All the teams were clustered in groups and you could see everything that was happening in the office. Whether you were in the kitchen, the main meeting area, or at your
I GOT PRETTY GOOD AT SNIPING THE DEV TEAM
desk, you always felt the mood of the room. The space made you feel more a part of the company and more connected to the other teams. More accurately, it helped you get a good shot with your Nerf gun from across the room.
The view of 5th and Pine from the office.
P . 4 8 OWE N R I C HAR D - R AT I O
The community at Ratio took my experience to a whole different level. People
were so friendly and welcoming that by the end of my first day the jitters were gone. I honestly can’t begin to say how much I enjoyed my time working there because of the people. The atmosphere at Ratio allowed me to flourish and grow exponentially more than I imagined. It was the perfect fit for me. Every day was meaningful, and I never grew tired of being there.
The work was exhausting, but my coworkers enabled me to push further and harder than ever before. The internship at Ratio was the longest amount of time I had spent consistently working in design, every day non-stop pushing.
My mentor Aaron played a huge part in facilitating my growth. His guidance allowed me to get the best learning experience I could have asked for. I had a lot of questions and a steep learning curve with the UX practices. At the beginning of the internship I asked Aaron to toss me in. The more things I could
get my hands on the better. Boy oh boy did he throw me in. I got to see nearly every facet of the workplace, worked on a large variety of projects, and was exposed to tons of UX practices and processes. 2 Ambushes
My day to day was pretty consistent. I usually came in before most people, when I HAD TO GET UP PRETTY EARLY EACH MORNING
it was nice and quiet. This was mostly due to parking availability at the Tukwila Light Rail station, (which I commuted from). Taking public transportation really helped me wake up and clear my head before I stepped into the office. When I arrived, I’d find an open couch. I’d sip tea and catch up on daily design news articles, new posts from some of my favorite artists, or new tech announcements. I like to keep my ears to the ground.
An all-hands meeting on the main meeting floor.
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Mornings were usually for meetings and stand-ups. Every Monday morning there was the all-hands meeting. We would get updated on the goings-on around the company, upcoming events, notices, stuff like that. Everyone also got the chance to give shout-outs, talk about their kid graduating from 4th grade, or share about their wedding anniversary. It was an opportunity to be involved in each other’s lives, not only in the workplace (seeing what other projects people were working on), but what was happening on a personal level. This time also served as a safe space to discuss tragedies, national news, protests, or other happenings. Everyone had equal say and a platform to say it. From then on, the day was hustle and bustle, working on various projects, planning ahead, and meeting WE’D GET LUNCH TOGETHER OFTEN
with clients. I frequently interacted with the IOS dev team at Ratio. During lunch on my first day Nathan, the IOS practice lead, came and introduced himself. We then spent hours nerding out and talking about our new favorite video games.
IF THE WALLS HAD EARS THEY’D TELL ALL SORTS OF FUNNY STORIES.
My days were often full of odd conversations: arguments over the best kids shows, how to properly wear a scarf, stuff like that. I loved the banter that happened on my team. A lot of laughs were had this summer. There was a week of fun each month where we all would compete in games for prizes. There were team lunches, all-hands brunches, and tons of free food. People would often go out for a drink on Fridays, and every other Thursday there was game night. Most of these events spawned out of employees’ desire to hang out. Ratio employees really know how to have a fun time.
I want to speak directly to the people at Ratio who might be reading this. There isn’t enough space in my magazine spread for me to write all my thoughts and thank yous. My time at Ratio has deeply impacted me, not only as a designer but as a person. The growth I experienced with all of you is nothing I could have imagined in my wildest dreams. The warmth and acceptance I felt made every day an absolute joy. Being there was by far the most amazing part of my year. I’m the luckiest guy in the world
I MISS YOU ALL
to have gotten to spend my summer among you all. It was an honor and a privilege to get to leave my mark on the company. Thank you for continuously pouring into me as I worked. I wouldn’t be the designer I am today if you all hadn’t. I love you all. <3
P . 5 0 HANNAH S HAFFE R - GR APHIT I AS S O C IAT E S
Hannah Shaffer Hannah’s original plan was to go to Western to study oceanography. How times have changed. She’s thrilled to be finishing up the Design program and her French minor. She has a love for cel animation, aspen trees, and Kuretake brush pens. She’s focusing on motion graphics and web design in her last year at Western.
Graphiti Associates LEFT
Evolution Press CENTER
Uncle Ike’s RIGHT
Established in 1989 by Kelly Pensell, Graphiti is a small but nimble multidisciplinary design agency located is the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. Making clients’ brands shine in the name of the game, through strategy, content and brand development, digital experience, and packaging.
NO. OF EMPLOYEES
Kevin Berger Kelsey Boyce
INT E R N S T O RY 1 1 O F 1 2 P . 5 1
With a “ph” Prior to this summer, I’d never spent time in Seattle and had barely stepped foot in any design firm. My geologist parents raised me in Denver and probably expected me to follow them into science. However, instead of staring at rocks, I found myself peering into a new world of design-agency life in sunny Fremont. Admittedly, the first week left me wondering if I was a fool who had chosen the AHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHH!
wrong career, not because the team at Graphiti was anything other than warm and welcoming or because the work was overwhelming but because I felt slow and ungainly. The first project I received was a simple motion graphic for the monthly newsletter’s header, which could have taken an hour or two to complete but instead took me the whole day plus some of the next. I felt frustrated and embarrassed about my lack of progress on projects the first few days. I had a lot to learn and I was in the right place to do it. Things turned around during week two. I pinned up concepts for icons in the critique room, presented them and pitched the idea of animating one set. Being able to justify my choices and being backed up by senior designers relieved some of my imposter syndrome, which was thankfully gone by the end of the summer. That day, I took myself out to lunch beyond the comfort of the nearby Co-op and walked around the block to meet my fate with the best sandwich I’ve ever had from a shop under the Lenin Statue. Graphiti is a smaller company, and because I was the only intern, opportunities presented themselves that I might have missed elsewhere, such as direct contact with clients and solo projects. My mentor and Principal, Kevin, and project-
Kevin’s desk on the first floor of the office. I sat on the second floor.
manager, Kelsey, brought me to client meetings, photo shoots, and a voice-over recording session and allowed me to present my work to clients regularly. The most satisfying project I worked on was an animated video for Ringtail, an e-discovery software that organizes and analyzes data for legal teams. It was satisfying in part because I’d never gotten to collaborate with a team on
motion work, and more so because I had my hands in it from start to finish. It included script editing, rough concepts, high-fidelity storyboarding, asset creation, music choice, voice-over recording, feedback, feedback, feedback, and finally, completed. It wasn’t a fictional short film packed with colors and textures and odd characters, but it reaffirmed that I enjoy the process of video-making regardless of the subject matter.
P . 5 2 HANNAH S HAFFE R - GR APHIT I AS S O C IAT E S
By the end of the summer, the number of projects I had a hand in designing versus the critical smaller tasks balanced out nicely. It’s exhilarating to work on the creative end of design, but I learned the most from production-type projects with file organization, asset export, remaking bread roll packaging to new guidelines, and even the dreaded stock photo search. Never again will I mistakenly save a Photoshop file without the file extension. I worked closely with two designers over the summer, Jesse (who sat next to me) and Josh (who worked from his home in Florida). Their mentorship was invaluable. They had a talent for knowing when to step back and let me experiment and make mistakes and when to step in to teach me how to make my work stronger. So far I’ve painted a picture of Graphiti entirely based on work, which is hardly all they do. They have fun, they support each other through tragedy and celebration. Every person in the office had something going on, whether it was Kelsey and her special-effects makeup, Kelly and her sailing competitions, James and his passion for festivals, or the three who got married (not to each other). They’re just nice people who want each other and me to succeed, and wanted me to succeed. Thanks y’all.
INT E R N S T O RY 1 1 O F 1 2 P . 5 3
I wrote these notes for you before I left and didn’t send them because they didn’t feel right during hectic goodbyes:
Kevin, thank you for taking a chance on me through the BFA internship program. Thanks to your support and willingness to push me and my work, I left with a wealth of knowledge and goals for my final school year. I appreciate that you made the effort to find projects suited to my interests and worked hard to make this a fulfilling two months. Kelly, it’s hard to imagine many companies would give an intern the opportunity to present their work to a client firsthand while having the constant guidance and support of such a talented team. Graphiti is a gem of an agency and I’m grateful to have been welcome here. Good luck with your sailing adventures. Kelsey B, you’ve been such a role model professionally and personally, and I’d like to find the same determination and enthusiasm you bring to work every day. Thanks for taking risks on me, for reaching out, and always giving your advice. Kelsey, you’re a magician. Your skills as a designer and artist are wild, but your humor and passion take the cake (you actually make the cake more often than not). Thank you for showing me the ropes and supporting me during the summer. I’m excited to see what you make in the future. Jesse, you took me under your wing most of all, and I’m grateful for your positivity and guidance. Observing your process, learning new tricks, and getting your feedback has been invaluable. Don’t let Game of Thrones stress you out too much; the Starks will be okay. Or they won’t. I’m stressed too. Josh, it’s safe to say I collaborated with you most this summer. You have been patient and supportive, and I have so much respect for you. Working remotely, raising a family, renovating your house, making lovely art in your free time, and doing it all like you’ve got a secret power of super speed. You’re great. Bryce, you’re a funny dude. You make a fine pot of coffee and I missed seeing you around. Royal, thanks for working with me with such patience and care. Thank you for introducing me to Big Thief’s “Shark Smile,” which is still stuck in my head. And thanks for saving the chocolate factory. James, whenever I tell someone I interned at Graphiti, they wonder if they know anyone there and I always end up mentioning you. It’s got to be chance that I’m bumping into people who know you every single time, but the consensus is that you’re one of the nicest designers around town. Thank you for your insights about the industry and your jokes throughout the day. William, our interactions were but brief hellos and confusion over strange lines on SVGs. Best of luck and may your dog never fall off a chair again. Jesi, you are a force to be reckoned with, your smile absolutely fills the room. It’s been exciting to see where you’re headed, and I wish you the best in San Francisco. To you all, I learned more than I could have possibly expected. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to spend a few months with you and I’m proud to have been a part of the team.
P . 5 4 HU NT E R S M IT H - I N D I G O S L AT E
Hunter Smith Hunter is a design warlock, having sold his soul in exchange for problem-solving prowess. His favorite bits of this whole designer-life-choice thing are: observing and note taking, ruminating on concepts, feigning complacency, and experiencing print registration that is oh so crisp. Catch him casting hexcodes and invoking trendlist.org late at night. 67% Designer, 31% Artist, 2% Undead.
Indigo Slate LEFT
Heroes of the Cloud CENTER
Bing Ads Experience Innovation RIGHT
Founded in 2006, Indigo Slate has deep roots in consulting and creative services for some of the worldâ€™s largest technology companies. From experience design to audience activation, theyâ€™re guided by a simple, singular vision: create amazingly smart experiences that bring brands closer to their customers. YEAR ESTABLISHED
NO. OF EMPLOYEES
INT E R N S T O RY 1 2 O F 1 2 P . 5 5
It was indigo great! I arrived in Bellevue about an hour before my interview at Indigo Slate, so I stopped to get coffee at a stand on a busy road. I sat on a bench in the sun, pleasantly doodling and going over my notes: a list of my strengths and a list of areas for improvement, the things I wanted to gain out of this internship. At quarter till the interview, I walked back to my car to head over. Dread slowly washed over me as I dug in my pocket for my keys and tried the door handle. Pale-faced, I peered into the driver-seat window and saw my keys, along with my portfolio, in the middle of the seat. Oh boy. One emergency roadside assist later (retrospectively known as a $218.65 mistake I will never make THE ALMOND MILK LATTE WAS ALMOST WORTH IT THOUGH
again), and I was back in business. I’d shamefully emailed my Indigo Slate contacts to let them know I ran into a hiccup and would be late, hoping it wouldn’t be a red flag on my interview. Seeing as how I’m writing this now, I suppose it wasn’t. Indigo Slate is a digital marketing agency. In short, this means they work with companies to better their customer experiences and relationships, with an expertise in tech. Rob O’Dell, Indigo Slate President, has a handy visual explanation of Indigo in a nutshell that really helped me get the gist of it. The office is on the second floor of a shared complex, composed of 4 main areas with a dozen or so meeting rooms interspersed. The main neighborhoods are tech, strategy, web, and creative (design + video) laid out in a long, curved hallway, colloquially dubbed the “candy cane.”
P . 5 6 HU NT E R S M IT H - I N D I G O S L AT E
In the design zone—the hook of the candy cane—I sat on a row of 4 designers, with 3 rows behind me and a row in front of me. The design team at Indigo Slate was 26 strong while I was there and I studied under the wing of Jeremy Bonner, Creative Director extraordinaire. Though Jeremy was my primary mentor, I had several guiding lights on this journey. Erin Dimry, resource coordinator, kept me on top of projects and helped make ends meet. Whenever there was a down moment in my workday, she had a project to put me on. Tyler Cutforth, graphic designer and pixel wizard, always gave me great feedback and put up with my incessant questioning. He took the time to explain the background of each project I was working on in depth, and gave me quick pointers and tutorials on working in PowerPoint. Katie Pelicano, graphic designer, made me feel supersupported when I first joined the team and was always available for help and a fantastic chat. On my first day, I met the other interns I’d be working with in Indigo Slate’s intern program, their first ever. Respectively, they were in different departments: Engagement Services, Copywriting, Video, and CXJ. I was the only Design intern. After filling out a dozen pages of new-hire paperwork, finding my desk, and picking up my laptop, I headed to a pizza lunch and sat with my mentors. The topic of chatter switched to video games, and I mentioned that I recently picked up Magic: the Gathering. Jeremy tells me there are a few dozen team members here who’d throw down for a duel. He speculates that Indigo Slate is maybe the biggest conglomerate of nerds at a single firm in the Northwest. Bunny day with the other interns
As work started to pick up more, I grew familiar with the timeline of a project: 1. Something comes in to the designer, either by email or in person from your director, 2. The designer makes progress as far as they can, then waits for one of a few reasons (A. They need assets, images, or copy to continue; B. They need a review before sending it or continuing to work; or C. someone is working on it before sending it back to them), 3. The designer iterates step 2 until the project is complete, 4. The designer gets confirmation from the director that their part is done. I often found myself at stage two, in an odd limbo of wanting to stay busy but not having something concrete to accomplish. By my third week into the internship, I felt much more adjusted to the flow of things. I started to journal about my internship less, as I got busier and more into the routine. I switched to taking the bus rather than driving across 520 and garnering toll fees, and I did more meal prepping than before. The part of the
I’D MADE A SPREADSHEET TO COMPARE ORCA CARD, BUS FARE, AND GAS PRICES
work grind that hit me hardest was definitely the time it took to commute by bus. It did however leave me with plenty of downtime to draw and write out rules for the game I was developing for a side project. Spawned by illustrator Chad and art director Catherine, “Project Sandbox” was a fun, low commitment way for the design team to share progress on passion projects with each other.
INT E R N S T O RY 1 2 O F 1 2 P . 5 7
So, what did I glean from 45 days of working in the real world? Well, certainly a few nuggets of wisdom ALWAYS FIND OUT WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP THE TEAM MAKE THE WORK BETTER. IDLE HANDS ARE THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP.
from various team members and experiences. Executive Creative Director Michael Bartley told me that to be a creative in business, you absolutely have to love the work. You have to have a certain tenacity—an eager readiness to get recognized—that around the office they call “alacrity.” Near my last week, my mentors graciously took me out for a portfolio review over lunch. I got some crucial feedback on how my work was displayed and advice to only show the work that I truly want to do. I spent 6 weeks working with the other interns on a pitch for Amazon that only lasted 16 minutes; that was huge insight into the amount of time it takes just to make those 16 minutes count. More than anything I learned just from observation and participation. I learned how to function as a designer in a firm of 100 plus, and how projects move between desks. What was most surprising to me in that aspect was how small of a slice you might end up contributing to a much larger project, especially compared to classroom design projects. In a collective effort, some hierarchy also must be established or else everyone would be running around in circles of indecision for the whole project timeline. I learned about the inner workings of an effective creative team. Indigo Slate offered an intriguing perspective on how design can be extended and applied to strategy and consultancy-oriented fields. In running the fiery gauntlet that is billable client work, I have grown to be a better communicator, to get a clear understanding of the page I’m on with my team, and to always be seeking opportunities to help get the job done.
The intern team RIGHT
Last day luncheon with the design team
I’d like to give a heartfelt thanks to my design team for being so welcoming (and taking a chance on a flaky intern who was 15 minutes late to his interview because he locked his keys in his car); for giving me the space to stumble, ask questions, and grow; and for giving me wisdom and a journey I simply couldn’t have gained anywhere else.
The 2018 issue of Western Washington University's Design BFA intern stories publication.