Interview: Emily Beros
Emily Beros is a student at Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. She recently co-designed the Certificate of Electoral Votes for the state of Ohio. On Jan. 8 her design was unsealed and read aloud before both houses of Congress in Washington D.C.
1. How did you come across this opportunity to design this special document? The President of CCAD was contacted about the possibility of the project, and the Dean brought my name up in conversation. It was really not a competition in terms of us having to go through rounds before being chosen. We were contacted on a Tuesday and on Wednesday we met with a gentleman who gave us past examples for research. The next day we took them to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office for a meeting with the communications director.
2. I understand you created a unique watermark design that will now be implemented in all future Electoral Vote documents, is that correct? Yeah, in the past, this has been formatted more as a document, but we designed it to include more graphics. After researching the history of this document, we realized they would only be seen together once before being preserved so we wanted to make it special. By including watermarks of state icons like the ladybug, the buckeye and a carnation, there is a once-only time when they are viewed as one single joining display together.
3. So where did the documents go after you presented them? We had a ceremony with the Governor of Ohio and the Secretary of State to whom we presented the official documents. From there, three portfolios were created. One portfolio went to Washington D.C. to the President of the Senate, one went to the National Archives for preservation and the last portfolio went to an Ohio Supreme Court judge for preservation.
4. It seems pretty exciting. Was it really fast paced and cut-throat doing this design work with your design partner? I’m afraid the work I was doing for the Electoral College documents was less than exciting. Historic, yes, but not so much exciting. Sorry if this isn’t nearly as exciting as you’d like… you can totally add some explosives or car chases where need be.
5. Now that you have some time to do some down-to-earth projects, not so presidential, what are you working on? I currently am working with the College of Design Group, a school based design job where I am a senior designer. We handle all design work like websites, promotional videos, flyers and view books for both current and prospective students. Anything design goes to us and we help to promote and educate our students and faculty.
6. How is it working out, being a full time student while simultaneously working for the College of Design Group? It is great; lots of experience. Working with both students and experienced faculty is great. My boss, Robert Cole, is an inspiration to me as far as working in design. He is a former designer for Victoria Secret and now does marketing and manages the design group for the college. He has really helped me realize how much target audience affects a design.
7. Who else would you attribute as a major influence to how you see things with a designer’s eye? My first impressionable moment in design was taking a class with an instructor here at CCAD. Doug Fisher, who teaches advertising and graphic design, has really played a role in how I see design. He is so knowledgeable, fully understands design as a profession and is accepting of newer technologies as well as seasoned techniques like marker rendering in this day of computer interface.
8. When was your first impressionable moment as far as designing goes? When I was in the fifth grade, after school I would spend time in my mom’s classroom. I would get onto her computer and “fix” her Clip-Art that she had used for teaching. As funny as that may seem, she still uses some of the artwork I created for her back then. Also, when I was supposed to be writing essays and school projects, I would go off on a tangent, adjusting fonts and layout, spending far more time on the graphics rather than the writing content.
9. What stirs your imagination and influences you when you are doing design work? I do a lot of online referencing. My day always begins combing through design blogs and current design trends. Most recently, I got a Swiss design book as a Christmas gift, which is a great wealth of information. I also love botanical illustrations. Since I was young I have always loved the appeal of the detailed illustrations and layouts.