South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Five minutes with Ellen Keena

Miranda M. Sampson

Ellen Keena is a senior graphic design major from Sioux Falls. She has worked at BluePrint Design and Print Center as a designer for three years. 

Q: What is your day-to-day like working for BluePrint as a designer?

A: You start out with a project and come in contact with the client when you first get the order. We have order forms and they can kind of explain what they want, if they have any design inspiration, anything they specifically want and just keep in contact with them. You pretty much have free rein and sometimes have some assets or previous projects that we have done and we’ll look at that. Some of us just start sketching right away, some go to digital and start building. Each designer is different, I prefer [Adobe] InDesign and Illustrator so I’ll start building graphics in Illustrator and layout my text in InDesign then bring my graphics over. Then I proof it out with the client, make changes and that can kind of go back and forth a couple times before you final proof it and print it. 

Q: What led you to working for BluePrint?

A:  I talked to a couple people and they gave me ideas of ways to get involved on campus and they talked about an opening at BluePrint so I emailed Jerad [Schlobohm] and asked if they were hiring or not and kind of went in from there.

Q: Why did you decide to major in graphic design?

A: I did a lot of art in high school and it’s different than here, I did mainly drawing and painting and ceramics so my teacher said you can do studio arts but graphic design is very different and there is more opportunities job wise, so I looked into that and I loved it.

Q: What would be your favorite thing about BluePrint?

A: The team. They make work a lot of fun and if we didn’t have them it wouldn’t be, I was here all summer with just Jerad so it wasn’t as fun and also slow business. We are all really close and have Christmas parties, help each other out. We also hang out outside of work and they just make it a lot of fun. 

Q: What is your favorite project that you have done?

A: The ones that I’ve really liked were like the T-stand I made for the Multicultural Center for Martin Luther King week that turned out really cool I thought. I actually did one for the Black History Museum which got into a juried show. Those two have been interesting, and I did them kind of based on Picasso. There were so many people included in the museum so I chose a drawing of Obama, who was one of the main people listed there, so I drew inspiration from Picasso and how he draws and the colors. It was a fun project which was last spring for Black History month.  

Q: Do you have anything specific that inspires you?

A: I love more modern art. I’m big into typography that is my main thing. I like clean layouts, sans-serif fonts. There is a lot of different things that inspire me and classic artists like Picasso that will mix into my art. I also do things for like design jam with like drawing over top of classic paintings and putting a modern twist on them so it’s kind of mix of more modern and classical.

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