TCU Department of Graphic Design Alumni Spotlight: Laura Hicklin
We are proud to share how our alumni are succeeding in the creative community. Laura Hicklin, BFA in Graphic Design in 2013, is currently the Senior Graphic Designer at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. We asked her a few questions to catch up on her recent activity and success. Here a few highlights.
What are your roles and responsibilities in your current position?
Our in-house design team predominantly works on print projects for anything that could possible relate to the visual identity of the Museum including wayfinding, brochures, event identities and collateral, Museum publications, and exhibition identities, collateral, and environmental graphics. Our team shares many projects depending on our workload, but I focus mostly on the Museum’s Member magazine, event identities/collateral, and exhibitions. Some of my responsibilities include coordinating and art directing photoshoots for any of my project needs, working with printers and other vendors, attending press checks, a lot of coordinating with other departments, especially on larger projects like the magazine and exhibitions, and a lot of presenting my work to Museum leadership.
What is the most challenging and/or fulfilling project that you have worked on and why?
My work on the Member magazine has continued to be my most challenging and fulfilling project to date. When I first began working on the magazine, I was assisting our Creative Services Manager with the project, but as the Museum and our team have grown, I was able to take it on as a solo project. Last year, I completely updated and redesigned the magazine. My goals were to create visual continuity throughout and to give it a cleaner, more elegant, and modern feel.
What have you enjoyed the most about working as a professional in a creative field?
I really enjoy being able to transform peoples’ ideas into something that others can see or touch. And it’s an absolute dream being able to do that at a place like Crystal Bridges, where I feel a passion for the art and the culture that we’re trying to help people connect with.
How did the TCU Graphic Design program prepare you for success in your career?
The TCU Graphic Design program prepared me in so many ways. As I was looking for jobs, I felt as if I knew what to look for and what was right for me, in interviewing I felt confident and prepared, and my portfolio was well-rounded (which allowed me to apply for many different types of design jobs). Through the Design program, thesis process, and internships I developed professionalism, presenting and critiquing skills, and the ability to accept criticism and defend my work.
What changes/ trends should graphic design students be aware of and prepared to address?
In looking at job postings and forums, I’ve noticed how many web design jobs there are compared to print jobs. Digital design is going to keep growing and I think it’s a really good thing to be knowledgeable of (or at least kind of comfortable with) certain aspects of it, no matter what type of design you’re doing or planning on doing.