Christian Wharton

Graphic & Web Design

Sign Design Specialist for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta

Christian Wharton

[My education taught me] when and how to switch between the numerous Adobe softwares to complete a task. Christian Wharton , Sign Design Specialist for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Associate of Arts in Graphic & Web Design , 2014 , The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta

Sign Design Specialist for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Christian Wharton is a sign design specialist for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. He designs and creates signage for Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Water Country USA. “[My work includes creating signs for] everything from culinary needs to theming of new rides or attractions.” A typical workday involves working on multiple projects. After each design is approved, Christian prepares the files for printing.

He recalls the first opportunity he had to work in the industry—he was employed as a waiter and a customer offered him a job in his small but busy sign shop. This gave Christian hands-on experience designing vinyl signs. “It took a steady amount of getting myself out there, talking to people, and really thinking about how bad I want to be successful in my field of work [to get to where I am today].”

Christian explains that the biggest challenge he’s overcome in his profession is communication. “I used to jump the gun on design jobs [that weren’t fully flushed out], which means I wasted a lot of my time when I could have been working on other projects. I solved this issue by getting done what I know needs to be done.”

Today, he is making an impact by designing visuals that are seen by thousands of guests each day. “I design these signs in order for people to get a feeling or expression. Busch Gardens’ events Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town are the best time of my working environment.” He adds that his hard work is already paying off. “I get to come to a theme park every day and do what I love to do. I don't wake up dreading going to work every morning.”

Christian, who in 2014 earned an Associate of Arts in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, says that his education taught him how to use industry-standard software. “[It also taught me] when and how to switch between the numerous Adobe softwares to complete a task.”

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