Morgan Freeman

design ranch // senior graphic designer

What did you want to be as a kid?
Veterenarian, teacher...

Was there any person or event in your life that steered you in an artistic direction?
I grew up outside a small town, on a farm, and my mom was really creative. She made our costumes and I think her creative influence and then just using her imagination. She made for us this kind of creative outlet that I kind of just grew up doing.

At what point did you realize that you wanted to be a designer?
My first year of college I was in design 1 and drawing 1 electives. I still wasn’t confident that I wanted to major in business or what. And I just realized that I was really passionate about those classes and it just seemed like something I couldn’t not do.

What is a typical work day like for you? If there is such a thing.
Usually I get in and check my emails. We have a job meeting. Usually juggling maybe 2-3 different projects. You kind of have a priority list of what’s most important, so usually until lunch I’ll work on whatever I need to get done. After lunch it could be another project, on some days we could have a client meeting, or comping up business materials to present. I think it’s mostly just trying to prioritize the projects I’m working on.

What is your design process like?
Usually when we start a project we kick it off as a team and they give us a brief. And then from there I go and do a lot of research. Then brainstorming ideas and pulling inspiration and visuals. From there I sketch and do thumbnails. And then I just put all the pieces together before we present something in a meeting with our bosses first before we meet with the client.

FineFolk
FineFolk
it just seemed like something I couldn’t not do

I noticed a lot of branding and logo focus on your behance portfolio. Is this an area of design that you really love or just excell at?
We do a lot of branding here. Yeah, I do enjoy branding, coming up with the visual look for a client, materials they’re gonna use. I enjoy art direction, anything that involves making visual pictures for a brand.

For the Women’s Foundation book there was a lot of still life, conceptual, photography. Is there another area of design you like more?
I hold a lot of passion for photography, so anything that incorporates art direction and photography.

You obviously work with a team here at design ranch, and I’m sure you’ve worked with design teams in school and during your internships. How do you like working with a team as opposed to working independently?
We always start our projects as a team, then take off on your own and do research and brainstorming. So I guess I would say both. I do like to first come up with my own ideas, thoughts, and views on what the project should be for my inspiration and then after that we meet again as a group. It is great to get feedback from other people, bounce ideas, but I always feel like I have to come up with ideas before being influenced by other things or ideas from other people. I think between the two it makes the project stronger.

Women's Foundation
push the boundaries and be different

Is there a type of clientele that you do more work with? Or a type that you prefer to work with?
We do a lot of work with different small businesses. I like fashion when it’s the kind of client that’s going to involve a photo shoot and also clients that are just open-minded and really trusting, and they wanna push the boundaries and be different.

Where do you look to for your inspiration?
Usually starting from research and then I do a combo of looking at something, not in particular. I’d say modern art, fashion, any time I travel to a different city or something I’m always collecting different things or materials that really stand out to me. Looking online too, though sometimes it’s better to find your inspiration in other places so you’re not too influenced by what’s already been done.

What are some of the most challenging parts of your job here?
Probably, initially starting , being creative all the time. It’s not like a 3 hour class. It’s just from 9 to 6, being tired and coming in anyway, not feeling inspired and going to work anyway. And if you get behind it’s stressful... it’s just balancing the different parts.

What are some of the most rewarding parts of your job?
When your project is finished, it’s printed, you drop it off, and all the time and things that you were worried about, press checks... when you’ve handed it off and you have a finished piece that you’re really proud of, and the client is equally excited. The finished prodect is rewarding.

KCAI
KCAI

Is there a type of clientele that you do more work with? Or a type that you prefer to work with?
We do a lot of work with different small businesses. I like fashion when it’s the kind of client that’s going to involve a photo shoot and also clients that are just open-minded and really trusting, and they wanna push the boundaries and be different.

I like the branding you did with the Women’s Foundation. It has a clean, minimal look that has a strong impact. In your opinion, what makes a successful branding or logo design?
I think something that is simple, but people see it and they get it right away, it doesn’t take long to figure out. Something that is unique in the market... creating a unique font and then something that’s timeless too.

Have you made any mistakes in design that you feel you learned a great deal from?
Overpromising maybe. The project seems easy and you get started and then... I think it’s better sometimes to under promise and over deliver, because things seem to take longer in the end. It’s always better to allow yourself some padding to do a good job and not put too much on your plate.

it’s better sometimes to under promise
and over deliver
Women's Foundation

Do you have any words of wisdom for someone who is going into the design field?
I would say try to get internships if you can. I did an internship at Barkley and Design Ranch and I this is where I wanted to be, a smaller office versus big campaigns or corporate clients. So, I think getting as much experience while being in different types of design agencies. Know where you’re happy, so you know what kind of job you want to apply for.