Working as a designer affords great versatility. While your day job might pay the bills, with little overhead, you can work independently to build an impressive body of work that speaks to design on your own terms.
Greg Bennett’s day job is a senior design director for Baltimore, MD-based Siquis Ltd. But for the past 11 years, Bennett has been ramping up his personal portfolio that he calls WORKtoDATE, a collection of stunning, visually driven work that includes branding, corporate identity, print and interactive design, packaging and conceptual illustration. Clients include Academy for Educational Development, theCOUNTERcorps (fashion), AIGA, Art Institute of York Pennsylvania, Harvest Moon Farms and various philanthropies.
Above, this poster’s playful design creates a character (Seymour Smiles) who helps promote the Academy for Educational Development’s “Design Ignites Change” program.
Much of Bennett’s work is conceptually driven—using bold images paired with provocative copy. His work betrays influences from both the advertising and design world, especially when it comes to communicating complex information in a visually succinct way. His method involves a process of frequently taking pencil to paper—and not working through concepts exclusively on his computer screen. “This method allows for extensive idea exploration, always revealing a more disparate idea, as opposed to jumping on the computer with your first concept,” Bennett says.
The design world has changed substantially in the 11 years that Bennett has been working as a designer. The demand for web work has grown exponentially, not to mention interactive design as a whole (like social media, blogs, and e-mail templates.) Yet, for Bennett, it’s not really about online verses print. “I pride myself on my ability to look beyond the obvious and adapt with—but never conform to—new methods and technologies. I’m still—and always will be—a creator at heart whose passion lies with developing market-forward conceptual messaging that yields results.”
Left, Bennett created this poster to promote the Baltimore AIGA’s Pulp, Ink and Hops event, Maryland’s largest paper show.
Above and left, for Harvest Moon Farms, Bennett created a streamlined logo that would work with different applications, like produce bags, signage, business cards and posters. Right, Bennett created this logo for Record Breaking Gifts, a company that makes home accessorries from vintage record albums.
Lisa Baggerman Hazen is a Chicago-based web designer and writer. www.lisahazen.com