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