By Sidan Qi
“Everyday is a new adventure in which the variety of work and clients keep the job exciting,” said Amanda Obenhoffer, a graphic designer working at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.
Amanda said she has loved photography since she was little. In 2006, Amanda received a bachelor of fine arts degree in photography from UW-Eau Claire. After being a freelance graphic designer in her hometown for two years she found herself unprepared to be a competitive graphic designer because lack knowledge of art. In 2009, she returned to UW- Eau Claire, continuing her fine arts degree in graphic design. Since graduating in 2010, she has been a senior graphic designer for University Centers Marketing and Communications at UW-Eau Claire.
Her job requires a strong set of technical skills, including proficiency in the Adobe Creative Suite of applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign which is used to create and lay out periodical publications, posters and print media. As technology is rapidly updating, “keeping up with the continually changing technology is challenging,” she said. “There is so much that I still want to learn, like video editing and 3D graphing.”
Besides software experience, Amanda stressed that communication is critical to success, but it is also one of the biggest challenges. “It is good to have some sort of outside experience with clients,” she said ” Be able to talk somebody about the design and translate what people are saying. Basically, when you have a vision and they have another, if you can collaborate those ideas to come up with a visual solution, that’s a good skill.”
During the time that I spent with Amanda in her office located in the Old Library，she showed me one of her projects she was working on which was “Blugold Mile”, a portion of the Eau Claire marathon that runs through campus during spring semester. Her job as a graphic designer is to provide the materials, such as designing posters and hash tags on social media, which are necessary to successfully market the project to campus and community audiences. Also, she assists her team with everything from print and digital advertising placement to creation of outdoor promotional materials, digital signage, providing web updates and much more.
At the end of the interview, Amanda gave advice to students who are considering this career.
“Always carry yourself in a professional way because you never know who your next client may be,” Amanda Obenhoffer said, “Every business of every type and size needs a good graphic designer.”