"Think outside of the box and try new things."
When Taylor Carney was a kid, she fell in love with design by watching her mom scrapbook (ahh, the '90s).
Now a senior graphic designer, she shares how she approaches each design like a puzzle, why she swears by Adobe Creative Suite, and why she believes we ALL should be proficient in multiple arenas these days.
DesignRush: What inspired you to become a designer?
Taylor Carney: I think I first found my interest in design when I was a kid and always watched my mom scrapbook. She would make these amazing detailed books with all of our photographs and add fun lettering and borders to them. Once I was in high school, I took my first journalism class and learned about graphic design. I never had any idea that this was an actual job, but once I joined my school yearbook and newspaper as a graphic designer, I knew that's what I wanted to continue doing forever.
DR: What are five items you always keep on your desk and why?
TC: Hmm, I hate having a cluttered desk, so keeping as few things on my desk as possible is what I always try to go for. I most likely will always have a cup of coffee on my desk -- it helps me survive the day. I always keep Post-It notes close by, whether it be to jot down dimensions or photo names. In fact, my screen is always covered in them after a long project. I also keep a candle in my office with dim lighting. It is very important for me to have a stress-free and calming area when I work. I have my notebook with me all the time to draw sketches or take notes, etc. And lastly, I keep a giant calendar on my desk so I can visually see everything coming up for day or the week.
DR: How would you describe your approach to design?
TC: I begin all of my designs like a puzzle. I need to figure out who the audience is and all the assets to the piece (size, photos, fonts, etc). Once I can lay out everything in my mind, the actual designing part comes easy.
DR: What are a few of your favorite design tools and why?
TC: Photoshop! I think almost everything I design will get opened in Photoshop at some point. I love how much I can do in the program, and I am always learning something else that I can do in it. I also enjoy Final Cut when I need to create videos.
DR: What designers or brands speak to you and why?
TC: Nike and Vera Wang are two companies that I have always loved looking at because of the brand's simplicity. I have also always been impressed with Chipotle’s branding. The photographs they use of real fresh food, as well as their typography on their bags, is really cool.
DR: You have the day off. What can we find you doing?
TC: On my days off, you could find me riding my bike, at the pool, listening to live music, or cooking!
DR: Any final thoughts, comments, or words of wisdom you’d like to share with someone in the industry?
TC: My biggest piece of advice -- and one thing I am constantly trying to push myself to do -- is to work in multiple platforms. Design can be created in so many different areas that I never want to be stuck in just one thing. Whether it be print, digital, web, video, photography, branding, etc., I want to be able to try it all and I never want to hold myself back just because I don’t know how to do something. So definitely think outside of the box and try new things because you don’t have to just be stuck in one area.