Inside the Mind of a Graphic Design Intern: Q/A with TIS Intern Kendall

You know the summer has flown by when it’s your summer intern’s last week! We had the pleasure of having Kendall Hart as our summer design intern for the past three months, and sadly, yesterday was her last day. We threw a lot of various projects at Kendall, and she did a great job of jumping into each one without hesitation. She also provided some fantastic creativity to our brainstorms. We wish her all the best but wanted to ask her a few questions before she embarked on the path to a career in graphic design!

What's something unexpected that you learned during your internship at TIS?

First of all, there are a lot more people who help with the production of a project than just graphic designers! I feel like in school we’re so design-centered that I never realized there are also copywriters, web developers, and task managers all helping to get a project to come to fruition. There’s also a lot of research and brainstorming that goes into the very beginning of projects that I didn’t expect, but found really helpful. I tend to always jump head-first into designing a new project, but it was nice to sit in on brainstorming sessions with the TIS team and research different subjects and designs before getting into the heart of the project. I had also never paid much attention to branding guides or branding snapshots, but they are serious design lifesavers.

What was your favorite project you got to work on?

Right off the bat, I got to work on creating a new menu sign for Squibb Coffee & Wine Bar. It was a fun first project that was printed and installed pretty quickly. Seeing something you designed in the “real world” is an awesome feeling.

But overall, my favorite client/projects to work on was anything for Forty Acres Soul Kitchen. I really liked the design style that had been established for them before I started at TIS, and being able to use their branding guide and help create large pieces like 8-foot “Coming Soon” signs and tablecloths was a great experience.

How do you think your internship experience at TIS will help you in your career?

This internship really changed my career path completely. I had always been interested in being an in-house designer for a corporate company, but after spending three months here with the small TIS team, seeing how everyone interacts with our community and having such a variety of clients, I’m more interested now in working for another design firm in the future. In terms of what design knowledge I’ll take with me—definitely all things branding. I came into this internship thinking I knew what branding was and am leaving with a much more in-depth perspective. You can never know too much about branding!

What's one thing you think young designers should know to be successful in an internship/career?

It sounds like such a cliché, but don’t be afraid to ask questions! You’re there to learn and you’ll realize quickly that everyone around you is a wealth of knowledge. If you’re not sure what to do or you don’t like how something is turning out ask someone what they think. Fresh eyes on a project should always be welcome. You can even learn a lot of different techniques/skills by asking how to do something in Illustrator or InDesign that you wouldn’t have learned in class.

Who’s your favorite designer?

Lissa! Tehe. ; ) I go through spurts of admiration (bordering obsession) with different designers, but I’d say right now one of my favorite designers is Lauren Hom. She’s a designer based in L.A. and NYC who does some amazing hand lettering compositions. She uses bright colors (which I love) and the different kinds of lettering she comes up with amazes me. She also speaks a lot on passion projects and always making sure you have time for projects that bring you joy, which I think is extremely important when it comes to keeping your creativity flowing. But also, let’s not forget the queen Debbie Millman. She’ll always be a hall of fame favorite of mine.

Favorite font?

Univers, always. I use it way too much, but it’s so versatile! I’ll even force myself to go on google fonts and find a new font to use for each project, but, let’s be honest, I always end up back with Univers.

What are your plans for the future? And what you will look for in a career?

Oh man, my plans change daily… probably even by the minute. But overall I’d really like to move to a new state. Currently, I have my sights on Milwaukee because it’s such a beautiful city with a lot of design opportunities. I’ll be looking for a firm that’s heavily involved in their community and working with non-profits and community organizations, like TIS. I’d like to work for a place that donates their time—not just their money—in helping their people and environment become better and healthier.