Team Spotlight: Shane

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Who are ya?

I grew up in Ballston Spa, NY which is a small town just south of Saratoga Springs. Ever since an early age I loved to draw and create things. It wasn’t until high school when starting a landscaping business that I realized how crucial of a role graphic design plays in marketing a brand or product. It was at this point that my love for design collided with a new passion for marketing and needless to say, I was hooked. I went on to study Marketing at SUNY Oswego while continuing to educate myself on the tools of the graphic design trade.

What other interests do you have outside of art/design?

A few other passions of mine outside of design include sports, beer, and antiques. I’m a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan and until just recently became an official season ticket holder (Go Bills!). I enjoy adventures with my soon-to-be wife, Brianna and our four-legged fur child, Augie. On the list of our frequent stops are sports games, breweries, food festivals and antique shops. I love visiting antique shops, even if I walk out empty-handed, there’s something about digging through old stuff that always leaves me fascinated and inspired to start designing.

What are you going to be doing at Iron Design?

I’m a designer with a digital focus. As Iron’s primary services shift farther towards digital experiences, the team was in need of a designer like me whose portfolio reflected strength in branding and website design equally. I’ll be adopting Iron’s digital design process and contributing my creativity and experience toward many of our current website projects and eventually leading various projects on my own.

What are you most excited about for your new role at Iron Design?

Ahh – there’s so much to be excited for. I am joining a team of incredibly talented designers, making things for a variety of awesome clients, and working in a town like Ithaca (which has already won me over.)

 

 

 

Intern Spotlight: Nghi

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My name is Nghi (pronounced ‘knee’) Nguyễn (‘win’) and I’m from Sài Gòn, Vietnam, which has a population of nine million people. This is my fourth year in the United States, having completed my undergraduate training at Illinois Wesleyan University in Psychology and Art, Graphic Design. My background in Psychology aids me in thinking methodologically and has allowed me to integrate those practicalities into my design process. Prior to the U.S., I was educated in the U.K. for two years for International Baccalaureate Degree (unfortunately, I did not pick up the accent.) As evidenced in my travels, my passion resides in being well-rounded and cultured.  I look forward to continuing to cultivate my knowledge of how people think and adding that to my design work.

Eventually, I hope to have completed a Masters degree in what I am most passionate about: people and design. I hope to continue to work on different challenging projects, where I am able to engage myself in different communities; much like the previous works here at Iron.

What first interested you in Iron Design?

I was drawn to Iron’s connectedness to the surrounding Ithaca community, its central location, and when I visited the studio in person, its cool yellow-accented studio.

What has been your favorite part about living in Ithaca?

There is a lot to like here. For me, it’s the food; good seafood like the Oysters at Simeon’s and authentic Southern Vietnamese food because it brings me home just for a moment. There are affordable donated sewing goods for me to grab just down the street from the studio. I love the seasonal activities here, like fishing at Cayuga Lake, cherry picking in the summer and making syrup in the winter, our small and easy bus system, walking around and taking in views of beautiful yet dangerous gorges next to vintage buildings, the board game community my husband and I have found, as well as interesting and friendly people from all over the world. Basically, Ithaca can appease my unreasonably wide range of favorite activities and needs. There’s always something to see and do.

Talk about something you’re loving as part of your current workload at Iron.

I am truly spoiled here at Iron, in the best way! I enjoy the challenges that I have been given, ranging from layout design and package design, to contributing to a startup brand project. You never know what you can create unless given the opportunity. I’m learning how to balance my time and work with real-world deadlines. I’ve had the chance to directly interact with clients which is a huge help with understanding their wants and needs. I learned to not dislike any task regardless of scale and type; every opportunity to work on something is fantastic. Sometimes it just takes a bit to understand the details and get my creativity flowing.

Internship Recap: Kevin Zampieron

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This past June, Kevin packed his bags and hopped down the road from Rochester Institute of Technology to join the Iron team as our 2017 summer design intern. As part of the program, our interns work on real-world projects along side us, present their progress during internal critiques, adopt our tight deadlines, and enjoy all the wonders of studio life, downtown life, and summertime in the town of gorges. Here’s what Kevin has to say:

What first interested you in Iron Design’s internship program?

I was drawn to the kinds of projects Iron Design took on. I had been thinking about the ethics of design a lot, and I appreciated that the studio did work for smaller local businesses and nonprofits. I think design should enrich a community, and I thought Iron Design’s previous work reflected that idea nicely.

What was your favorite thing about Ithaca?

I loved that I could just wander around finding nooks and crannies of a town that seemed to be untouched by chain stores and urban sprawl. I’d go walking in any direction to find bookstores, vintage shops, or places to eat. Or I could take a short drive to visit some of the most gorgeous and lush natural scenery I’ve ever seen; I drove over Ithaca Falls every day to get to work. It’s a quiet gem of Upstate New York.

Talk about one thing you’ll take away [learned] from your internship with Iron?

One takeaway from my internship is that sometimes the best design isn’t always the best design. Even though you might think something you’ve been working on is really great, it might not fit your client’s needs. And that’s the criteria design is ultimately judged on. So while you might be enamored with your super-abstract hyper-minimalist brand identity, at the end of the day it’s not up to you.

What are your plans for your next year at RIT?

Oh boy. I’m excited to delve into more specialized graphic design courses, including an independent study about type in motion and a class on calligraphy. I’ll be continuing my work at Reporter Magazine, where I’m a section editor, writer, designer and occasional podcaster. I’m also getting involved with our chapter of TAGA, where I’ll be acting as the marketing director. I’m helping plan the 2018 CIAS Honors Leadership trip to Europe. I also plan on sleeping once or twice but we’ll see about that.

If you had to give advice to a future Iron intern, what would it be?

1. Don’t panic. This was my first real design internship, and I was pretty nervous at first. But the more assured I became, the more easily I learned. The Iron team is more than willing to help you out if you feel out of your depth; you might be doing real work, you’re still an intern.
2. The Shop has great coffee and you need to go there.

A selection of works created by Kevin during his internship with Iron Design. (above) A selection of works created by Kevin during his internship with Iron Design