This week we’re introducing you to Luke, senior graphic designer at Martin Communications in Shiremanstown, PA.
How long have you been in the field?
I’ve been working professionally for about eight years, but I started doing freelance work back in 2002.
Where did you go to school/what for?
I graduated from The Art Institute of Philadelphia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design.
What important milestones do you credit to getting to where you are now?
When I was in high school, there was an open slot on my schedule my junior year and the only class that was available was “Graphic Communications”. I didn’t really know what it was, but after my first week I knew that this was the career path I wanted to pursue. Designing logos and CD covers, printing t-shirts and note pads, I loved everything about it. And my teacher, Bill Turner, really taught me to challenge myself and to try things I have never done before. I ended up winning the “Graphic Design Award” at my graduation and put the money towards my first Powerbook.
Why Central PA?
Except for my time in Philadelphia, I’ve lived here my whole life.
What design advice do you have for newer professionals and students?
Don’t hold anything back. Work as hard as you can and spend as much time as you can on your projects. And learn to take criticism. This is big. Trust the opinions of people who have been in the industry longer than you because they know what they’re talking about.
When it comes to my love-of-design, I owe it all to my uncle Aaron and aunt Jill. When I was a kid, they would have all of their nieces and nephews over to their house every summer for an “art day” where they would let us create anything we wanted. We painted, made tie-dyed t-shirts, decorated cakes … every year it was something different. And I loved it!
Favorite part of the job?
I like the variety of projects that being a graphic designer allows me to create. Every day it’s something different. I don’t think I’d be able to handle a job where I’d be doing the same thing every day. And I love seeing the finalized project—like driving to work every day and passing billboards that I designed. I still get excited every time I see them.
Why should someone be an AIGA member? How has it benefited you?
It’s great to meet people with similar interests. I really enjoy the events, such as the “Coffee & Critique” meetings held monthly. I not only love to hear feedback on my projects from people who know design, but I also get to see what other designers are working on. It helps me to keep up with current styles and trends and also inspires me to keep getting better at what I do.
Know a local designer who could use some recognition? Nominate a member for a Feature Fridays post by emailing Bri.