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

“Some days I can’t believe I get paid to do this stuff.”

Chris Sims

Alumni Profile:
Chris Sims


Chris SimsHometown: Sidney IL
Year graduated: 2004
Currently working at: Horizon Hobby (Champaign IL)

How does it feel to be a professional designer: Some days I can’t believe I get paid to do this stuff. I feel so lucky to have a career doing something I feel so passionately about. That said, there are days that are so stressful, I wonder how much more I can take. But, who doesn’t have those kinda days, right? Even with those days, I feel truly blessed.

How do you like your job: I love it. Every day is full of new challenges, new problems to solve, new ideas, etc. I love the team of people I work with and I’ve learned so much in my time here. I’ve been able to grow as a designer and creative thinker and I truly feel that I have made a positive impact on the marketing of our company and its brands.

How did you get this job: Fellow Parkland alum Jennifer Davis recommended me to the creative director. She contacted me, I sent in my résumé, had an interview and was hired all within one week. It came at the perfect time for me.

What was the most exciting project you've worked on since graduation: A recent project I had was for a complete redesign of a company catalog. The company, located in Southern California, wanted a look that was more indicative of their locale. I did massive amounts of research (source files!) and borrowing from the youth culture of skateboarding, surfing, BMX, etc. Only then was I able to create a catalog that met their needs. So far it has been very well received and in the process I was able to take the company’s image to a new level in the marketplace.

What were some of the most important things you learned while at Parkland: "Graphic design is disposable art." This practical statement (I heard it from Paul Young) has really helped me keep my sanity. It keeps me from getting too hung up on any one idea. Another thing I learned is how invaluable reference materials are. I’ve become somewhat of a "junk mail junkie." I sign up for all the free brochures/catalogs I can get my hands on to see how other designers creatively solve problems. It keeps me inspired. Really.

Who is your favorite designer and why: He’s more of an illustrator, but I really enjoy Felix Sockwell’s work. His minimalist logo solutions have always appealed to me.

What is your favorite typeface and why: My designs are often dictated by style guides, so I use the appropriate typeface for the job. However, I do like Avenir quite a bit.

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