Featured In-House Designer:
Senior Interactive Designer | Hayneedle
Meet Adam Casey! A freelance designer and former in-house designer for Hayneedle in Omaha. Learn about the path Adam took to find himself in the field of design, why his process always begins with research, and learn about the most gratifying thing he’s done with design.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and what kind of design you do?
While my job title at Hayneedle was “Senior Interactive Designer,” I designed for all creative avenues of the business: print, interactive, and UI/UX. Hayneedle also has a photography studio, where I had the opportunity to give creative direction and work closely with photographers and videographers.
How did you get into design?
I’ve always worked within the realm of advertising. In Australia, I worked in the photography industry with a focus on advertising and commercial photography. I have had great opportunities to work with talented art directors and creative people – it is these people who inspired me to pursue design. I was always interested in design, but wasn’t really sure of my own abilities. I actually thought to be a designer you have to be able to draw, but lucky enough you don’t.
What inspires you as a designer?
A combination of music, social issues, graphic design, and art. However, I find that my peers and the people around me inspire me to design. I also feel that the work I am doing can always improve—self doubt maybe– so a constant desire for improvement plays a big role. Inspiration when working on a project comes from research. Research often drives the actual design and plays a big role in my design process.
Do you have a design process that you go through?
My process begins with research on whatever company I’m working for and their competitors. Sometimes you’ll discover an angle that wouldn’t normally be found. Knowledge and having a better understanding of your competitors and product allows you to find something there that is inspiring and original. Usually my process as a whole is to do everything with research. When I have time, I like to sketch things out. With layout I like to mess around on the computer and not worry about analog. I find that I can move boxes around way faster on a computer than I can draw boxes.
Is there anything you do when you start to feel stuck creatively?
I used to go to the movies all the time and try to see just about everything, but now I have two children, so I can’t do that as often. I like to cycle as it helps me clear my mind and ponder.
As an in-house designer is there anything you didn’t expect you’d be doing when you decided to become a graphic designer?
I find that it takes just as much ambition and dedication to design as an in-house designer as it does to be a designer anywhere else, whether that is as a freelancer, at an agency, or a small design shop.
What kind of freelance work do you do?
I do most everything design: logo, layout, various presentations, websites, and catalogs. I mostly enjoy doing any kind of design that is inline with my own ideals and with positive people. I’ve done a lot of design for start-ups. I enjoy the collaboration and the growth that you experience with start-ups; everything is a shared, including the highs and the lows. For example, I have a client that I worked with to help raise revenue to build a centralized location (campus) that provides services and care to the MS community — it was one of the most gratifying things I’ve done with design.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Play with my kids and I like to get out for a bike ride, swim, or explore.
What advice do you have for new designers?
Be nice to everyone, be genuine, and talk to as many people as possible.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Adam!
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