Intern Spotlight: Katie Kamper



Maybe you noticed the Iron Design social media accounts have been a little more active recently. This is thanks to Katie. She’s a rising senior majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications at Ithaca College, and this summer she’s been interning as our marketing strategist. In the past 11 weeks she’s been creating and posting social media content, working to improve Iron’s SEO, and doing outreach for and tracking the responses of our first in-house research effort. 


What interested you about Iron Design?

I was interested by the active role interns take on with Iron Design. The internship posting described responsibilities and expectations that allowed more room for creativity and inspiration than opportunities from other organizations. I was also interested in Iron’s far-reaching presence in the city of Ithaca and Cornell. Their client list was filled with names I recognized and respected (including some of my favorite spots for grabbing a bite to eat: Ithaca Coffee Company, Purity, and Pasta Vitto).


What are your plans for your last year at IC?

Oh man I have a lot planned. Aside from the obvious academic course load, I’ll be writing grants and running the social media for a nonprofit based in NJ, working as president of Ithaca’s Open Mic Night, and getting more active in Ithaca’s chapter of AMA. I’m really taking the year to build up my resume and portfolio before I start applying for actual jobs. So I’ll be busy, but I’ll be sure to fit in some fun too. I plan on seeing a bunch more shows at The Haunt and, of course, hitting the gorges a few more times.


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

Learning the ways to find  what a client will respond to has been my greatest takeaway. A great experience I had was sitting in on a 2-hour meeting where Iron picked just about every piece of information they could from the brain of a new client. I see this foundation being built off of in every interaction Iron has with returning clients. Even a minute detail like a specific shade of blue gets built into the structure of knowledge Iron keeps for each client. It’s inspiring to see the positive effects this yield in Iron’s work and their client relationships, and I plan to incorporate this same mentality in my own work. 


What was the best part of your internship with Iron Design?

The best part of my internship was the independence and responsibility. I would get some parameters to follow for a task and I could set right out to do it. Then it was up to me to check in with the team to get a little more guidance. The idea that I was assisting with the marketing of a branding agency could get a little daunting at times; no one wants to see a branding agency whose own branding is obviously made by some college kid. But in the end I was able to deliver quality work that met Iron Design’s criteria, and my work has only benefited from that high standard.

A non work-related part of this internship that I loved was the music constantly playing over the office speaker. And it turns out the Iron team and I have a similar taste in music– Talking Heads, Low Cut Connie, and Bruce Springsteen just to name a few.

Hiring: Summer Interns


Iron is hiring two internship positions for this summer. Details below!

Graphic Design Intern

We are seeking a digital-focused student designer to extend our small team’s capacity for summer 2019. This student’s portfolio should be focused on branding and website ui/ux. We expect our student interns to have a confident understanding of what a brand is today as well as an eagerness to develop their ui/ux process and understanding. Our workflow is fast and we will teach our interns to prioritize effectively. You can expect to touch on 1-3 projects any given day. This is a full-time position based in Ithaca NY at our studio.

Our process involves deep research and design exploration, well-informed design thinking, and flawless presentations to clientele. Our interns will have a hand in the work we put in front of our wonderful clients. Student designers who love data and research and who still believe in the power of sketching past your first, second, and third idea will fit in well at our studio.


  • An upperclassman (Current Junior or Senior)
  • Intermediate experience in Adobe CC Suite
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Basic understanding of a user interface design software (Sketch preferred, others accepted)
  • Strength in typography
  • Great time management; able to arrive to work on time every day and adhere to project deadlines
  • Ability to speak clearly about one’s work with an emphasis on the problem(s) solved and specific examples of said solutions (This is something we will help students develop further!)

To Apply

Our formal job posting is on Handshake. We welcome students to login with their Handshake account to apply there.  Otherwise, please submit a cover letter, resume, and an online portfolio url, or digital pdf portfolio that includes 5-10 pieces of your best work to A follow-up interview will be mandatory to finalize the process (preferably in-person interviews).


Marketing Strategist/Business Development Intern

Iron Design is in search of a highly-motivated, data-loving, marketing strategist/business development intern to add to our small team this summer. This person will be tasked with helping grow our creative agency’s online presence and book of business, all while honing in some real-world marketing strategy, data analysis and business development skills of their own. This must be someone who is quick-to-learn, eager-to-grow, and who has a strong interest in building a career in the marketing industry.

Our summer session starts in early June and runs through late August (11 weeks), with a weekly commitment of 20 hours/week. We are able to be flexible with start/end dates but feel that the hourly commitment is fair and gives students the most valuable experience during their time with us while still being able to enjoy a gorgeous summer in Ithaca.


  • An upperclassman (Current Junior or Senior)
  • Someone with experience in social media management
  • Someone with experience in digital marketing, SEO, content management, business development
  • A critical thinker who approaches problems and assignments with a can-do attitude

Brownie points for candidates who have familiarity with Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Moz SEO tools.

To Apply

Our formal job posting is on Handshake. We welcome students to login with their Handshake account to apply there.  Otherwise, please submit a cover letter, resume, and an online portfolio url, or digital pdf portfolio that includes 5-10 pieces of your best work to A follow-up interview will be mandatory to finalize the process (preferably in-person interviews).

Team Spotlight: Shane


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


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.

Hiring Summer Interns


It’s that time of year again: #thattimeiworkedatiron season. Perfect those pixels and send them over for consideration as our 2018 summer intern.

As part of Iron’s intern program, interns will get to develop design concepts, present ideas, and produce final production artwork for some of our real-world projects and clients. They are expected to contribute to the research phase and apply rational ideas to functional and beautiful designs with close one-on-one guidance from our design team. Interns may work on a range of different projects and project scopes, including brand strategy and logo families, user interface design, after effects animation, print collateral, signage, and a host of other project types.

Our summer session starts in early June and runs through late August (11 weeks), with a weekly commitment of 20 hours. We are able to be flexible with start dates, but feel that the hourly commitment is fair and gives students the most valuable experience during their time with us.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Interns work side by side with our designers, who will provide thorough project briefs, and equip interns with the information and tools they need to develop successful designs. Project assignments vary, and are consciously customized to match the skill sets of each intern, while still challenging them to broaden their thinking and push their creative explorations.

Interns will gain experience in presenting concepts, mocking-up designs, and preparing final artwork. Our interns will be trained to explore their research and creative process at a much deeper, professional level. Lastly, interns will advance their skills in Adobe Creative Cloud tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, After Effects and Acrobat, as well as Sketch, as they will be working in many of those daily. Creative experience with media platforms like Instagram, WordPress, Facebook, iMovie, and Twitter are a plus.

Think you can add some spark to the studio? Email us your resume, cover letter, and a link to your portfolio before May 1.

Internship Recap: Kevin Zampieron


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