Feature Friday: Joshua Buckwalter

If you’ve been to any AIGA Central PA event from the last few years chances are you’ve met this week’s Featured Designer. Joshua is a former AIGA Central PA President and currently our Design for Good chair. He is also a senior designer for San Francisco-based company, Lucidworks. Have an idea for how design can benefit the local community? You can email Joshua here

Joshua Buckwalter

How long have you been in the field?
12 years. Damn it. I’m getting old.

Where did you go to school/what for?
Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts. Graphic Design.

How long have you been an AIGA member?
6 years.

What important milestones do you credit to getting to where you are now?
Joining AIGA was a huge turning point in my career. I wasn’t thrilled with what I was doing professionally prior to 2009. It wasn’t until I joined that I found designers locally who thought about and appreciated design the same way I did. Getting involved helped me make connections with people, who without my even looking, led me to jobs were I could learn and grow and ultimately succeed. If I hadn’t started showing up I wouldn’t have met people who were kind enough to pass along a recommendation or come to me with a chance to take on a new challenge. It gave me an opportunity to show people in the industry that I cared about design and that I knew how to get things done.

Why Central PA?
I was born here. I increasingly think about taking off, not because Central PA is a bad place (far from it) but just because there’s so much of the world to see. The trouble with that is I have so many friends and colleagues that I would miss. So here I am. Working remote is a nice balance.

What advice do you have for new designers?
Whether it’s people I graduated with or students I’ve met over the years the one thing I’ve seen, consistently over 12 years, is this: The folks who stay in the field are the ones who did more than the course work. They fuel their creativity and skills with knowledge of all sorts, not just design but science, psychology, film making, business, politics, music, architecture, computer science, programing and engineering; all things that can inform and influence the work they do. They’re makers at heart, they care about the world beyond Photoshop and typography.

Why Design?
Originally it was to be my back up if I failed to become a rock star (p.s. having a back up is a sure way to fail at being a rock star). Though it turned out by my second term in art school that I really loved it. Design is equally rational and subjective. I like this: Art ≠ Design, but Design ≈ Art.

Favorite part of the job?
Solving problems.

Why should someone become an AIGA member (if they’re not already)? How has it benefitted you?
Your willingness to contribute to an organization that works to promote and further the profession demonstrates your commitment to that profession and this is important for folks starting out. Though mostly, I think people should just come out and be a part of it. Meet people, help out and see how that can affect their experience as a designer. If it’s worth something to you then join. It’s made the difference for me and I can’t justify not supporting it.

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Know a local designer who could use some recognition? Nominate a member to be a Feature Friday designer by emailing Bri their name, company and contact information.

By Bri Piccari
Published March 27, 2015
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