t started with a dream to work in magazines. From a young age, I began tearing out editorial layouts with bold fashion photos and flirty typography, then plastering them to my wall for inspiration (well... this was a time before Pinterest). Eventually, I got into journalism school at Ohio University, later adding a dual major in Visual Communications, concentrating on Publication Design. I graduated in May 2014 with 2 degrees after internships with publications National Geographic, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and Veranda. Since starting my design career in the magazine industry in New York City, I had the chance to work on editorial layouts, strong typographic treatments and working with photographers and writers. But I also had to learn to be flexible with my design skills after discovering the digital emphasis that so many companies are looking for in strong designers. That's why I decided to go the digital route and leave my magazine design days behind. I now work at beauty brand Moroccanoil as a digital designer, creating e-mail blasts and social media content for our audience.
Through my experience transitioning from a print to a digital designer, my advice to aspiring designers is be to be adaptable. With the web and the digital space being so crucial to our lives, it's great to have web design or coding experience, even if it's just a little bit. But companies also want designers to be a jack-of-all-trades. This can be difficult for some, but any and all design experience you can bring to the table can be and is relevant, whether you know how to design layouts for print, do packaging design, work on brand identity, or create an infographic. It's all important. So is looking for inspiration everywhere you can. Be open and limitless. Look in museums, catalogs, your dreams and even random conversations you have with your friends. Don't be afraid to look everywhere.
Another key piece of advice I would give to future designers is to reach out to those whose work you admire. I hate the word "network," but you do have to put yourself out there. I got my first internship by cold-emailing an alumna from my school and telling her I loved her design work. I asked, "What can I do to get to where you are?" She ended up being the person I went to for career questions for years and years. if someone you know is doing something cool and you're interested, ask them about it! You are not bothering anyone.
Ultimately, visual communicators and graphic designers will always be needed for visual clarity. We're all visual people. As a teenager ripping through fashion magazines, I was. So are you. Design plays a colossal role in all of our lives, and I can't help but think about how amazing it is to be a part of that.
You can view my work at KaitlynRichert.com. Feel free to reach out!