Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

“There is nothing more fun than being able to work while doing what you love.”

Katie Balch

Alumni Profile:
Katie Balch


Katie Balch
Hometown: Champaign, IL 
Year Graduated: 2014
Currently: Freelancing

How does it feel to be a professional designer: Wonderful! It's always fun to see your designs being used in real-world applications. And there is nothing more fun than being able to work while doing what you love.

How do you like your job: Love it. I get to work with great people, and it's a fun and personal process because there aren't several people between me and the client. Being able to work out of my own home is convenient and fun. I get to set my own hours and it allows me to be flexible with my time.

What was the most exciting project you've worked on since graduation: I've been able to do some really fun projects, but I believe my favorite thing has been working with some clients internationally. I've had 2 projects that have been with clients out of Germany and Korea. It is a great challenge and very satisfying to see that your designs can have international interest and usage. And working with people with different backgrounds and cultural context is a very edifying experience and a good challenge.

How did you find these international clients? So far, they have found me, generally through people I already know or have worked with. The advantage to having lived and worked abroad is that I have premade connections that allow me to expand beyond a purely local business (which I love as well), and offer some challenging variety.

What were some of the most important things you learned while at Parkland: I think the best thing I learned is to not get stuck in my ways, but to stretch myself and to try new things when it comes to design.

What is your favorite designer and why: This is a difficult thing to answer. I don't really have a favorite designer, I get inspiration from many places and designers. One of my favorite artists is Allen Crawford. I really like his whimsical and clever illustrations.

What is your favorite typeface and why: Oh goodness! So many typefaces, so little time... I can't say I have a favorite on this either. Their are some typefaces I tend to use more than others: Avenir, ITC Octone, and Bebas.

Do you have any advice for current students: Don't treat your teachers like they are the enemies, despite how much work they give you, that work and those teachers are your best allies; use them!! Research, explore, discover what is out there. Don't get comfortable in your own little design world, get out and see what other designers are doing. And get feedback on your work, and be willing to be stretched.

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Last updated: 1/8/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young