After spontaneously adding a graphic design major in the fall of my sophomore year, I took my first design class in January of 2020. I liked the idea of pursuing a more “practical” facet of the art world. I had no idea what design would become for me. I’m always telling people that I don’t approach graphic design technically. Yes, I have learned—and taught myself—a good amount about the programs I use, but I am by no means the most technically proficient Adobe user. I don’t know all the keyboard shortcuts, and maybe I don’t always go about solving problems in standard ways. All that is secondary to me. I am an artist first and a graphic designer second, so what I care about is the effect of my work. Color and composition are as important in my design work as they are in my paintings.
As I fell in love with the graphic design process, I realized that I favor a few areas in particular. Branding is incredibly fun for me, and I love layout problems in general. Working with books and posters are some of my favorite ways to explore layout design.
Last semester I had the opportunity to work on one large branding project with the guidance of my instructor, Ben Necochea. I chose to focus on a fictional rebrand of a health food café in my hometown. As I planned the project, I kept in mind the kind of work that I plan to do as a professional designer. One of my goals after graduation is to work with small business owners on branding projects that extend far beyond logos. I would love to incorporate the design of environments, packaging, and merchandise when I work with clients in the future. So, that’s what I did for The Wellness Bar. After developing a set of brand guidelines, I was able to design hypothetical takeout packaging, storefront signage, menus, employee aprons, and a mural for the dining space. I enjoyed compiling these elements in a physical booklet. Being able to direct this project to fit the path of my career made it one of the most pivotal projects in my time as a student.
Find me online at jaimecrainart.com and on Instagram @jaimecrainart and @jaimecraindesign