by Jaamal Benjamin
Spring/Summer Creative Associate 2014

PEOPLE!! WE. COMMUNICATE. GOOD.  Social Impact Studios has been a pivotal space in my life and an unforgettable chapter in my career as a Graphic Designer. When I arrived at the studio for the first time, founding director, Ennis Carter and I had a conversation about what ‘design’ meant to us over our delicious lunch. The discussion revolved around a variety of topics in design problems, design solutions and design theories such as the complexity and simplicity of design. The nature of form and function in visual design and how this marriage translates to organizational structures. The mission of designers as communicators and storytellers. And the age old continual insight on the effects of our industry’s landscape. (Yes, we’re big design nerds) However, this conversation unveiled the path I were to partake in my journey at Social Impact. I was hyped, to say the least.

When one of my first design projects was assigned, I instantly wanted it to be ‘THE BEST’. Who wouldn’t? So, I dove right into the project and began my creative process. It started with sketches, brought them onto the computer, selected colors and type. Played with layout and created several versions. I thought the drafts were hot!  They WERE hot. A hot mess. They were actually terrible. Layout didn’t make sense, confusing hierarchy, colors and type were way off.  Nervously, I thought to myself “Ennis thinks I suck at this.” She took a second, crossed her arms, tilted her head to the side in contemplation and asked me about my process. At that moment, all my nervous energy was lifted away and knew I was in the right place.

This is what I loved about working at Social Impact Studios. We collaborated, shared, discussed. We worked as a team. A team open to each others’ perspectives and thoughts. To me, this was the most gratifying way to work.

In my book, Social Impact Studios provided me with much more than a portfolio and professional trade skills. It gifted me with deeper insight and perspective into the art of design. It has offered myself a voice to nurtured my growth as an artist and as an individual. I feel blessed to have worked at Social Impact Studios and will never forget the moments shared.

Thank you to Jaamal for his time at Social Impact Studios as our Creative Associate for Summer/Spring 2014 session. We were lucky to have his positive energy, hard work and easy-going approach to solving creative challenges in the Studios and in the world!