Posts Tagged ‘Chicago graphic designer’

As the recent winner of Harrington’s Twitter background design contest, Communication Design student Levi Robertson-Ausländer draws from several unique places for his design inspiration.

“Travel and culture are the main sources for my design inspiration. I am inspired a lot by Australian and European designers, and when I travel, I always have a portable folder where I file all sorts of designed material that stands out to me and that I have never seen before in the states.  I store the material and then go back to it for inspiration when working with clients.

When I have a client describe a project to me, I start sketching in Photoshop while my client is on the phone telling me what they want or as I am sitting in front of them with my Macbook in person so that they may quickly see where I am heading with their project.. Once they are on board I start going through my design inspiration library of work. To me, design is a recycled work: we build on the past and move forward. Using foreign-influenced design inspiration is what has really built my client base. People love it because a lot of them have never seen it before,” Levi said.

Levi Robertson-Ausländer graduated from Central High School in Park Hills, Missouri in 2006 then went to the University of Missouri where he studied Environmental Architecture and Media Communication. In his freshman year of college, he created IVEL (Levi spelled backwards) to supplement his income while in college.

Speaking of his experience starting his company, Levi said, “IVEL has really gone far beyond what I would have imagined and I have been lucky to work with a lot of clients, which is especially rewarding since I taught myself how to use the Adobe software.” After realizing his passion for Communication Design, Levi transferred to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009, and then this past summer started at the Harrington College of Design.  

Besides being the owner of IVEL, Levi has produced graphic newscast content for NBC Universal in Missouri and has been an in-house graphic assistant and advertisement designer for ALIVE Magazine. He currently is the photography editor for Forbes Travel Guide, a freelance photographer for Hillsong United (which has taken him to events in Chicago, London and Paris), and is a freelance designer for Willow Creek in Chicago.

“I have a big interest in social justice issues and donate a lot of my time in designing for non-profits. I feel promoting a better life for all is not something we should choose to do, but rather something we should automatically feel is required of us,” Levi shared. Levi is currently re-designing his website, but be sure to visit it later this year to see highlights of his work at http://ivel.co/  (yes just .co not .com!)

If you are interested in contacting Levi for design projects, please email him at levi@ivel.co or you can follow him on Twitter @ivelcreative: as you can tell from this feature, he’s always up for a challenge and ready for the next project!

All graphics and photographs courtesy Levi Robertson-Ausländer.

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Recently Harrington created a Twitter contest to invite our talented pool of student designers to design a background for our Harrington College of Design Twitter page. I am proud to present the winning designer, Levi Robertson-Ausländer, an exceptional Communication Design student whose winning design is currently featured at our Twitter site.

Following up with Levi, I found out what brought him to Harrington.  Levi said, “I decided to go to Harrington mainly because Harrington seemed different and very business oriented. I attended the University of Missouri for two years then transferred to the School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2009 to pursue Communication Design, but eventually ended up at Harrington after touring and being so impressed with the college.” 

When designing the Twitter backgrounds for Harrington, Levi turned to his extensive image library of photographs he had taken of Chicago over the past year. Looking for photos that combined great Chicago imagery with representation of the seasons, Levi pulled from existing Harrington logos and branding to create the final background:

Keep reading tomorrow to hear about Levi’s design inspiration as well as his background!

All graphics and photographs courtesy Levi Robertson-Ausländer 

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This feature is continued from yesterday…

Yesterday, I shared some insight into one of Harrington’s Communication Design instructors, Alma Hoffman. Keep reading her interview below to find out her design advice to students and her inspiration…
Me: Any advice you would give to design students?
Alma:  I would say to learn to take things less personally and believe that we are here to help you. Believe it. Even those times when we need to be tough it is because we indeed care about you as a designer and as a person and perhaps you need to hear what we are saying even if you do not like it.
Also allow yourself to learn and to be pushed. It is amazing what you learn when you let yourself be pushed. The professors I remember the most are those who pushed me very hard and my frustration sometimes brought me to tears but I learned. Today we are great friends.

Finally, as a Communication Designer, learn about design history and learn about trademark and copyright. You have no idea what a difference it makes when you are an informed designer out there.

My personal design philosophy is simple: research, know the subject, topic, or client in and out, sketch (by hand as many as possible— I carry two sketchbooks with me: one in my purse and one in my school bag), doodle, incubate, and go to the computer to do the most promising ones.
M:  Any design inspirations?
A:  Whoa! I am inspired by so many things… music, Latin music, the sound of it just makes me get up and dance. But any music gets me going. I am inspired by clouds, I love to look at them, walks, long walks, movie credits, books —a good story that arrests me— , my children are a constant source of ideas and inspiration, and so many other things…
In terms of design: April Greiman is one of my heroes. Jennifer Sterling is another one. Rosemarie Tissi, and others. I say give me meaning, content, and substance, and your design will last a lifetime. Which is why work done by the giants never gets old or outdated: Armin Hoffman (My son’s middle name is Armin), Ruder, Brockman, Brodovitch, Matter, El Lissitzky, Bauhaus, Paul Rand, etc. They were designers with strong philosophical and political stances who made work based on the use of design principles and it never gets old.
Check out her photography and some cool design work here.
And finally, you can see her business site at http://www.studio2n.com/
About Alma Hoffman:
Alma Hoffman has been in the Communication Design field for over 10 years as both a freelancer and college instructor and currently teaches Communication Design at the Harrington College of Design.  She is a graduate from Iowa State University with an MFA in Graphic Design. Alma also has a bilingual background which helps her develop multicultural design strategies.  As a designer, she has received awards from American Graphic Design Awards GDUSA in 2008 & 2009. As a person, she likes to dance, play with her kids, take photos, exercise, eat ice cream and engage on on social media sites :-).
Photo and design courtesy Alma Hoffman

Thanks for sharing Alma! 🙂

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Again and again, I come across the great material that one of Harrington’s instructors in the Communication Design program produces on her various social media sites. So today, I wanted to share 🙂
Something I came across the other day is her great post on what makes typography good or bad. In a quick excerpt from the blog post, Alma says, “It is true that these aspects, context, content, purpose, and audience, will largely determine what typeface to use…”   Check out the full post here.

I followed up with Alma to find out a little more about here, and this is what I found out:

Me: What do you like about teaching?
Alma: I like design. I live design. I love design. To me design is a way of thinking, doing, an approach, an attitude, and a way of looking at the world. I find that design is more pure and experimental in education.
At Harrington, we are interested in students learning the premises, principles, and rules of design and then they are guided in experiments to break those rules for the sake of innovation. At the same time it needs to make sense and should be logical. Because we are visual communicators, every design decision—even the most insignificant— must be backed up by reasoning based on research about the subject matter. Even breaking the rules must be based on the premise that it is done to enhance the meaning we are trying to communicate. Otherwise we become fine artists using typography, space, color, and images to create something that might be aesthetically pleasing but void of meaning. And if it is void of meaning, it is not design.
So I teach because I love design and I love to talk. I talk a lot. 🙂 But seriously I teach because I believe as a designer one must be a perpetual student and teaching allows me to continue learning while giving to others. I teach at Harrington because I feel there is a very sincere commitment from our department to be the best at what we do and to really teach well.
Alma had so much good stuff to share, that I need to do a two-day feature… check back tomorrow!

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