Friday, August 23, 2013

Life Is Good

My name is Caitlin Cawley and I am a current Graphic Design major. During my freshman year, I completed an internship at an advertising company and afterwards began brainstorming where I would like to have my next internship. Life is Good, a company I grew up with, was one of those on my list. I am a fan of their page on Facebook and noticed that they had recently posted job positions for graphic designers. Although there were no internship postings, I still decided to email my packet containing my resume, a cover letter, and samples from my portfolio to the contact listed. I heard back immediately; however, there were not going to be any internships for graphic designers that summer. The Human Resources representative included information about an internship for apparel designers and thought that I may be interested. I set up a phone interview with the two designers I learned I would be working alongside. After the interview I knew for certain that it was an internship I really wanted. Shortly thereafter I was contacted again to come in for an in‐person interview at the flagship store in Boston where the design offices are held, and not much later I was offered the internship.

Life is Good is a lifestyle brand that was founded in Boston, MA. They produce casual apparel for men, women, and kids as well as accessories such as mugs, water bottles, beach towels, and dog toys. The products are easily recognized due to their bright colors and Jake, their mascot. The company believes in the power of optimism and giving back, and all employees of the company embrace this optimism and are very enthusiastic about what they do.

At Life is Good I worked with Lesley Potter, apparel designer for women and girls, and Molly Bodurtha, apparel designer for men, boys, and infants. These women develop the sketches and silhouettes for all apparel products produced at the company as well as the color palettes and color flow from season to season. As their intern, I dealt a lot with color. Among my first projects was going through the color library to select a blue fabric swatch that would fit with the other colors selected for the Holiday 2013 line. I pulled several swatches and one of them was picked to be used in the line. I also named several new colors featured in the men's and women's Fall/Winter and Holiday 2013 lines.

In addition to the color work, I also designed and curated several presentation boards for the company. The company wanted a board dedicated to label branding for the future direction of the company, and I was assigned the task of designing it. I researched label branding to generate images for the board. The images I ultimately used on the board were a combination of the best images I found in my research and actual labels from shirts and pants. The board was used in design meetings at the company and was saved as a reference. Due to the company's satisfaction with the previous board I designed, I was given another project for which I had to curate boards with printed images featuring all clothing products from the Spring/Summer 2013 lines. The boards were to be used in company design meetings as well as in meetings with other retailers that sell Life is Good products, such as Hallmark and The Paper Store. In total, I curated twenty different presentation boards for this project.

The work that I completed was of value to Life is Good and I am very proud of it all, but I would have to say that I am most proud of the label branding board. I learned so much from this internship--and although I did not improve my skills as a graphic designer, this internship opened me up to another aspect of design I had never been exposed to before and most likely would never have experienced if I did had been brought on as a graphic design intern after all. I learned a lot about working in a quick-paced professional environment and how important communication is in that kind of setting. I also formed valuable professional contacts whom I plan on staying in touch with throughout my career as a designer. I hope to one day work as a graphic designer in the fashion/apparel field and I feel as though this experience has made me a more well-rounded designer.