Alison Leake

Graphic & Web Design

Senior Graphic Designer for the Chicago Architecture Foundation
The Illinois Institute of Art — Chicago

[My education taught me to] approach a project in a logical, thoughtful way. It was a great simulation of how to tackle design challenges in the real world. Alison Leake , Senior Graphic Designer for the Chicago Architecture Foundation
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design , 2008 , The Illinois Institute of Art — Chicago

Allison Leake is working as the senior graphic designer for the Chicago Architecture Foundation. She’s responsible for the design of company materials and art direction. Allison says that each day includes communicating about design strategy with marketing co-workers and other departments. She also manages workflow in the design department and art directs design projects done by other designers, communicates with print vendors, and processes invoices. She enjoys solving design challenges and communicating with non-designers about how design can serve content and audience. “I am starting to enjoy logo design more after much practice. I have always loved layout projects like brochures and magazines because it requires an understanding of how people read through large amounts of copy.”

Recently, Allison re-branded “Open House Chicago,” a free annual architecture festival showcasing more than 150 architectural gems throughout Chicago. She applied the brand to a variety of collateral pieces including posters, flyers, print/digital/out-of-home advertising, onsite signage, and t-shirts. She looks to packaging design blogs for creative inspiration. “I think the best typography and illustration, as well as the thoughtful use of both in creating impactful POP display, pushes me to stretch my creativity and problem-solving within my own job.”

Allison, who in 2008 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications from The Illinois Institute of Art — Chicago, says that her education taught her the importance of being process-oriented. “Approaching a project in a logical, thoughtful way was a great simulation of how to tackle design challenges in the real world. Without it, I would be lost. Also, relying on my professors as mentors helped me to value the utilization of anyone around me as a resource to develop my own skills and career.” She tells current students that finding a niche in the industry may take time. “You will not necessarily know exactly what to do the first day or week or year out there. Your job is to take direction well, learn as much as possible and use whatever skills you gain over time to excel in what you do, in every way.”

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