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Design Catharsis from Agency to In-House: Q&A with Our February Cover Designer

Design Catharsis from Agency to In-House: Q&A with Our February Cover Designer

Sarah Steimer

​Our cover designer Jessee Fish​ shares a few thoughts on her career and how sensitivity can propel creative work​​

Q: Did you always intend to work in advertising or branding design? What drew you to this work? 

A: The short answer is no—I originally wanted to be a vet and a musician. Long answer is my first foray into design actually occurred in high school when I was on the yearbook team. It forced me to be super familiar with Adobe programs and it’s also the reason I applied to a bunch of journalism schools when I was looking at colleges. I ended up studying visual art at the University of Chicago instead. It was a very conceptual, theory-heavy program and I was mostly focusing on large-scale installations, sculptures and painting, so I’ve never actually had any formal [design] training.

By the time I graduated, I knew I wasn’t interested in pursuing a career in the contemporary art world and was better suited to design, which is something I had been pursuing on my own time outside of my coursework. I do feel very strongly about maintaining a kind of analog, organic touch in the digital work I do. As an artist and designer, it’s important to bridge those two worlds, and what draws me to digital design is that it’s perpetually shifting in response to culture in the same way art always has. 


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Sarah Steimer is a writer, editor, podcast producer, and yoga teacher living in Chicago. She has written for Marketing News, Chicago magazine, Culture magazine, the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette, and other outlets.