Kaitlyn has been working for Brightspot since June 2013.
This week, Rose went on the record with Kaitlyn Smith, a visual designer at Brightspot, formerly Perfect Sense, who has worked on a wide range of projects including the award-winning 2013/2014 Coca-Cola Sustainability Report, Billy Casper Golf, and Vetstreet. During their conversation, they discussed where designers find inspiration for her projects, as well as the majesty of tigers!
How long have you been working for Brightspot?
About a year and half.
What inspired you to become a visual designer?
I like the way design can inspire change. You can create a design that sparks a reaction in people, causing them to act in a certain manner.
What has been your favorite project during your time at Brightspot and why?
Probably the Coca-Cola Sustainability Report because it was so different from other projects. I worked directly with Coca-Cola and was given a great deal of latitude as a designer.
What you're working on designing a website from where do you draw inspiration? Can you give me a specific example?
When we start working on a design, we first look at what competitors have done and evaluate what does or doesn't work, which often sparks inspiration for our designs. When we were working on the Sustainability Report we wanted to bring in lots of pictures and change the way Coca-Cola displayed its information. We looked at other reports, ultimately drawing inspiration from the Ford Foundation.
What is a day like in the life of a designer?
The first thing I do is check my email to see if I have any new projects or feedback to incorporate. Throughout my day, I brainstorm ideas, work with clients and UX designers to develop plans, find inspiration from other sites, and play around with different concepts to display information.
What piece of advice would you give a recent graduate preparing to start his/her career in design?
Get as much experience as you can! Do fun projects on your own, compete in contests, and build your portfolio, because that will get you a job.
What is your favorite part about working for Brightspot?
The people! I love working with the people, and collaborating with so many different professions - developers, project mangers, other designers - all of us are motivated by a common goal.
What was the last book you read?
I love to read! The last book I read was The Opposite Of Loneliness by Marina Keegan.
What's your favorite Starbucks drink?
I do not drink a lot of coffee, but if I do, I get a caramel mocha because it's coffee that tastes like hot chocolate.
What is your favorite dessert?
Anything with ice cream! Hot fudge sundaes are the best!
If you could be any animal, which animal would you be, and why?
We were just talking about that! I would be a tiger because they are majestic. They represent strength and beauty, which I really admire.