Meet the Designer: Paige Olsen | Ink & Pixels 2021

Have you seen the branding for this year’s Ink & Pixels on social media, our website, or the emails? The branding, patterns, and images were created by Stevenson University Alumna, Paige Olsen. We interviewed Paige recently to learn more about her process and her story.

Can you tell us about yourself? What’s your story?

I recently graduated with a degree in Visual Communication Design and am currently working as a Freelance Graphic Designer. In this role, I am designing promotional assets, visual identities, and graphic art according to client specifications.

In addition to my love for design, I have a love for fitness. I approach design similarly to how I approach fitness. Fitness requires a consistent effort to progress and a desire to persevere. I’m looking for an opportunity to take the next step in my Design career and am hoping to do so by merging both of my passions with a focus on graphic design in the fitness industry.

How did you approach this branding project and what was your design process? Can you describe your inspiration and any challenges you came across them while designing the branding?

My first step in approaching the branding project started by really understanding AIGA’s brand (goals and vision) and allowing the ideas to come to me. This general information led me to a better understanding of where the brand is vs. where they want to go. I continued my research by identifying the audience, as well as, reviewing past events/similar portfolio events in the area. Knowing what has previously been done allowed me to differentiate Ink and Pixels 2021 from what currently exists.

The number one strategy I used that inspired the brand’s identity was a Word Association list. I generated keywords associated with the main goals of the event, instead of pulling all of my inspiration from the title of the event, “Ink and Pixels”. The strategy led me to 4 main keywords that represent the event (Network, Continue (to learn), Connect, and Progress). I developed these keywords into icons to visually communicate the value of the event. By integrating these keywords directly, it is easy to understand what the event offers. The icons are also designed into an abstract pattern to reinforce this idea.

The main idea behind the visual identity is to show that even with different audiences (Students, Design Professionals, Speakers), they all have a common goal at Ink and Pixels (connecting, growing, and coming together). One challenge I faced along the way is the abstract pattern itself. The style I was attempting was new to me and needed to be designed heavily off of a grid. I overcame the obstacle by studying patterns that were also designed from a grid to understand how I can create my own.

What’s your favorite part about designing branding?

My favorite part about designing branding is turning my ideas into reality. I love the process of creating something impactful and memorable in the world that once wasn’t there.

Was there an aha moment when you knew you wanted to be a designer?

My journey as a designer is very different from what you would normally expect. I did not know anything about Graphic Design and wasn’t exposed to the idea until my senior year of High School when I enrolled in a Computer Graphics course. When growing up, I always had a love for art, but I never knew this would be the path I would take.

What led me to be a designer is that I felt as if it fit my personality. I am known for being driven and diligent. I enjoy challenging myself and in design, you need to constantly challenge yourself out of your comfort zone. Design is a challenge for me and that is what drew me to it. I have a willingness to always learn and progress. I believe consistent, disciplined action beats natural talent and that’s the approach I take in all aspects of my design work.

In the long term, what do you hope to eventually accomplish as a designer? What is your biggest goal/dream as a creative?

In the long term, I see myself further developing my skill set to create recognizable and noteworthy work at a reputable studio/company. I desire to evoke emotion and to bring the unexpected to the target audience of my designs. My end goal is to have a positive impact through the messaging of my designs while offering a high level of creativity.

Thank you, Paige Olsen, for sharing your story! We cannot thank you enough for creating the branding for this year’s Ink & Pixels. Make sure to give Paige a follow on her Behance portfolio page and on LinkedIn!

By Krystal Carpintieri
Published April 23, 2021