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Student Profile: Clare Kisner, Graphic Design

December 13, 2022

We are thrilled to feature Clare Kisner, who is in the process of completing the Parsons Graphic and Digital Design Certificate. She is currently taking our Digital Imaging with Photoshop course and will next complete Graphic Design History. She shares her experience with our Introduction to Graphic Design course, as well as her process for designing a logo and branding for the Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens in Baltimore. Read more about Clare below.

Clare Kisner

What industry were you a part of before deciding to pursue graphic design?

I am currently working as a project manager for a consulting firm.

Clare Kisner

Why did you decide on making a career change?

I work with a lot of graphic designers who absolutely LOVE what they do! So, I said to myself, “I love art and making art, I enjoy new projects and challenges, and collaborating with people, why not try something new?"

What attracted you to the Introduction to Graphic Design course at Parsons?

The Introduction to Graphic Design course is part of the Digital and Graphic Design certificate, so naturally I took the class, but I think it is also an extremely important class to take. It helped me to start thinking through a process, draw out tons ideas, and then develop a concept.

Clare Kisner

Can you describe your approach to the final project you shared with us? What was your inspiration for the design and what techniques from class did you keep in mind while creating the Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens logo?

The approach that I wanted to take for my final design was to highlight something that is in the current city where live, Baltimore, Maryland. The city of Baltimore has tons of historic architecture, so I did a lot of online research and discovered Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens. I learned that the conservatory, which was built in 1888, is one of the oldest steal and glass structures still standing in the United States, and is a Baltimore City landmark. The architecture is absolutely stunning, so I felt that I had to include the main conservatory in my logo. I used techniques learned in class to create the logo in Adobe Illustrator, I edited pictures that I found online in Adobe Photoshop, and then I pulled everything together in Adobe InDesign. I moved between the three Adobe programs consecutively and almost always had all three open! In Introduction to Graphic Design, we learned a lot about typeface, and I was so thankful! Typeface can totally change your artwork and create the feeling or mood that you want to project in your artwork.

Are there any memorable lessons or interactions you had with your instructor that you’d like to share?

Etta Siegel is a fantastic instructor. I really liked how she would make a recording while reviewing everyone's work, and then would give very thoughtful feedback in the recording, it helped so much! Also, I particularly enjoyed learning about her work experience in the graphic design industry. She was able to give real-life examples while relating it to what we were learning; I thought that was really nice.

Clare Kisner

Do you plan to continue studying with us to pursue the Graphic Design certificate?

Yes, I am currently finishing up Digital Imaging with Photoshop and then will take Graphic Design History, the last class of the five required. After I finish Graphic Design History, I will then take three elective courses to finish up my Graphic and Digital Design certificate.

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