Graphic Design Alum Works with U.S. Department of State

By: Shannon Sankey Filed under: Gaming & Technology

May 10, 2016

Derrick Davis, Graphic Designer 

Maryland-based graphic designer and illustrator Derrick Davis graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2014 with a B.S. in Graphic Design. He owns and operates the freelance design company Designismydrive and works as a Contractor Graphic Designer for the U.S. State Department. We caught up with Derrick to learn more about his successful career after graduation.

Describe your current position. What is your daily workflow?
My role as a Contractor Graphic Designer at the U.S. Department of State includes but is not limited to working with a multitude of offices; briefing and advising them with regard to design style, format, print production and timescales; assuring the uniformity of aesthetics and branding across designs; and developing concepts, graphics, and layouts for product illustrations, campaign logos, and websites. Every morning, after sorting my “AM Playlist,” I visit several design sites for my daily inspiration. Next, I check my emails, then straight to my design request form. After reviewing, I create my daily to-do list.

What professional or creative tools do you use?
I mainly use Adobe products, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Muse.

What are inherent challenges in your discipline and how do you overcome them?
The main challenge, I would say, is communication between the client and creative. Having a clear sense of the project makes for a more accurate and overall more effective deliverable.

Describe a trend you have noticed in the field of graphic design.
I’ve noticed a trend of clean, flat design. I personally have welcomed this minimalistic aesthetic with open arms. I expect design to get even more minimalistic.

What is the developing role of technology in your discipline?
I have seen an influx of apps and extensions that allow a designer to stay connected to projects and project files. As a team, we use a project management app called Slack. Slack helps better the communication within our team.

What project or accomplishment are you most proud of?
I was recently tasked to create a logo for one of President Obama’s initiatives: 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit–Silicon Valley.

Describe an intense project or deadline and how you worked to deliver it?
While tasked with two other logo designs and various projects, I had to make a logo for an upcoming award ceremony, International Women of Courage (IWOC). Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry were the speakers. The deadline was less than a week, so time was a major factor. There were a few different directions I wanted to go, but because of the time constraint I opted to simplify as much I could. I was able to work up a few concepts pretty quickly, but it took a few additional rounds before we decided on the final. In the end everything turned out great. Once we had the final logo and color scheme, I created other collateral for the ceremony, such as the PowerPoint slides and social media graphics.

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By: Shannon Sankey Filed under: Gaming & Technology

May 10, 2016

alumni success Pittsburgh