Blog . Summer Internship at Richardson Design
Richardson Design, Cleveland, Ohio
How you found out about the internship:
I was contacted directly by Scott Richardson, the founder of Richardson Design. He received my name during his search for an intern. Our initial meeting took place at the Spring Design Show last May. The following week, I was offered the opportunity to visited their newly renovated studio off Superior Avenue. I also met with the staff and accepted the position.
What you’re doing:
Here at Richardson, I have been assigned various projects. These have included designing names, logos, brand activations, signage and more for various company projects. I am also designing new marketing materials for Scott’s second company, Modern Smart Homes, where he is a partner. I have been able to see my designs and ideas come to life in some of their major projects. During the first two weeks of my internship, I was asked to design permanent signage for Richardson Design office space. I developed elevator signage for the fifth floor of their building, the floor where their studio is located. When a client enters the studio they will now obtain an initial impression of the company's brand. I designed a metal cut version of their logo with the collaboration of my new coworkers. Together, we were able to transfer my design from the computer into a 3D piece with the utmost precision.
What you’re learning:
I have been able to grasp an actual picture of how the world of design actually functions. I have learned how quick requests are turned around too. In the span of three and a half days, I actually produced, named, and developed over forty logos. Everything in any design field has a deadline of "yesterday." It differs from working on school projects where you generally have a week or two or even more for one project. I have quickly learned how to develop my thoughts and designs in an extremely timely fashion. I am also beginning to realize that efficiency is a key part to not only graphic design, but in all design fields. Here at Richardson and in all of my personal projects, I now have a new perspective and think differently with regards to how a project should be to be printed or executed in the actual design world before I begin my initial design process. This change was achieved through my opportunities to sit in product sample meetings where I have learned about new materials and design executions. This newly found knowledge has pushed my overall design skills to a whole new level.
What has surprised you so far:
Being their first graphic design Intern, I’m surprised at how interior architecture and design overlap with graphic design. Graphic designers develop the brand, activations, and overall mood of the company while interior architects and designers create the actual space for the company. A successful company needs to have both a successful brand and a creative, functional environment. Working at Richardson, some of the main projects I have been involved with are for Aramark: a company that provides food services, facility services, and uniform services to hospitals, universities, school districts, stadiums and other businesses around the world. Most Aramark projects consist of multiple locations within a sports stadium. Therefore, a large majority of Richardson’s Aramark projects include general concessions, club concessions, retail stores, and custom bars that will be inside sport stadiums around the country. A common need is that all of these projects need an entire brand developed. Our team collaborates and develops a name, a mood board, a logo, brand activations, and a thoroughly designed space for each individual location.
How CIA prepared you to get the most out of your internship:
Through my education at Cleveland Institute of Art I have acquired the essential skills needed to thrive in the “dog eat dog” design world of today. I have learned how to present myself as a young professional and apply my talents to the best of my ability. My fellow graphic design classmates have constantly pushed me and one another to be the best possible designers and to create designs to our greatest potential. The small class size has also allowed us to grow our individual passions by providing continuous feedback through both scheduled and impromptu critiques. The, “Hey what do you think of this?” conversations are the core of our daily collaborations. All of my work and efforts, including the sleepless nights, in learning and being constantly involved in design projects are paying off. I am fortunate that Richardson Design acknowledges the talent at Cleveland Institute of Art and I look forward to working with their company as they have asked me to continue my internship into the fall semester.