Hometown: Urbana, IL
Year graduated: 2002 (didn’t graduate, just got a job)
Currently working at: Wolfram Research, Inc. (Champaign IL)
How does it feel to be a professional designer:
Designing for me is like swimming. It flows so naturally from me but sometimes swirls around me so fast I have to fight to keep my head above water. I get frustrated by not having enough time to design everything I want to for myself. It’s a compromise though, being an artist in a commercial business!
How do you like your job:
Love it. I’m totally spoiled with fancy printers, fabulous graphics, metallic inks and a wonderfully creative and understanding Art Director. I have a lot of creative freedom within our corporate look.
How did you get this job:
I applied, sent in a portfolio and pestered the Art Director for a good month. I also talked to people in the company. I was offered another job the day before my interview with Wolfram. I really hit it off with all of my interviewers and after my interview I explained about my other offer and they offered me the job on the spot!
How did you start your own business?
I started scuba studio with another Parkland student. We got work from places we had done student projects for and our names got passed along. We now each have our own businesses. My partner freelances full-time and hires me when things get out of control. I still have my own clients but do a lot of volunteer design for local not-for-profits I deem worthy.
What was the most exciting project you've worked on since graduation: I’d say working on the branding for our latest version release, Mathematica 6. I got to design the packaging and print pieces for most of it and work with new materials, papers and inks. I love working in the third dimension for packaging and nice, tactile printed pieces. It’s rare getting to do this since design is more and more cyber-driven.
What were some of the most important things you learned while at Parkland: Typography, I was lost before I learned that. I also learned to work with clients and how to take a project from an initial meeting to final delivery and invoicing! Oh, and web design, because EVERYBODY wants a website!
Who is your favorite designer and why: Isamu Noguchi has been a favorite designer of mine since I was a sculptor in art school. His functional and minimalist designs are a culmination of my favorite design periods: Japanese Modernism and Mid-Century Modern.
Web link: megangillette.com