Kate Habenicht

Sedro Woolley, WA | 

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What made you want to become a graphic designer?

“My high school Commercial Arts teacher made me want to be a graphic designer. His name was Ed: he taught me a lot of really cool things. I had a bigger connection with computers than I did with a pad of paper and a pencil. I just understood how to use the programs really well and quickly; I liked to experiment with them and figure out what I could and couldn’t do.”

What are your favorite aspects of being a designer?

“I always liked art, but I just like that idea that I can make something instantly and if I don’t like it, I can erase it and start again.”

Do you think school has helped prepare you for entering the real world?

“I like the computer programs we learned on, but I don’t like how there are four. I can make a 'flair' in one program, but I can’t do it in the other three -- I need all of them to make one page? I just want it to be one thing! I feel like there’s nothing stopping them from doing that.” ”

How would you describe your process when working on a project?

“Usually i start getting ideas when I start talking about a project. I’ll keep working on it from one idea, then tweak it until I’m happy with it. I don’t brainstorm, I don’t do thumbnails. As of late, I’ve been looking at a lot of other designs that are similar to what I’m doing right now-- it’s not a bad way to get inspiration.”

Would you say that you have a personal design "style" in your work?

“My work tends to be pretty blocky, very grid-like, but really 'organic' at the same time."

For designers, do you believe it's more important to work on projects you're passionate about or take whatever work is available?

“I'm not down with the commercial-business side of it. I don’t wanna make commercials. I want to be able to work someplace that gives me freedom to create new and interesting designs, but not for a mass audience. I want o create graphic design for designers. So, ultimately, I’d like to work at a small firm. I’m sure that I’ll have to do work at a large, corporate firm at some point to get to where I want to go, but ideally...”

The graphic design industry is doing more digitally-based work these days: are you excited about the evolution of design, or do you like more traditional mediums?

“I want to create print design: I want tangible things that people will rip from magazines and put on their walls. I’m really interested in package design, and I want something that is printed off. I think there’s always going to be that awesome niche of hand-drawn type and those elements that you can’t necessarily do with a computer to make them look authentic: to me, that’s what true graphic design is.”

Do you have any favorite designers, artists, or resources you like to get inspiration from?

“Definitely Bauhaus, and other early twentieth-century design.”

What are your plans for the future?

“You know, I don’t really have a plan. I’ll see what happens when I graduate. I have a vague idea, but an actual 'plan' may not come to fruition for, like, five years. If I work in a restaurant for two years, it doesn’t really matter-- I’m OK with that. But someday a small design firm will hire me, and love me-- and then I will leave with all of their clients and start my own firm.”

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