Success Stories

Graphic designer impresses peers

Ryan Fitzgibbon

Grand Valley graduate Ryan Fitzgibbon can now relate to the pressures placed on reality show contestants.

Fitzgibbon, who graduated in 2009, works for a global design consultancy firm, IDEO, as a communication designer in San Francisco. He secured the job after an internship with the company. He also is a member of AIGA, the professional association for design, and serves as the communications co-chair for the San Francisco chapter of the association.

Fitzgibbon was selected to participate in the mock-reality show for graphic designers, "Command X," created by AIGA. The premise of the competition was based on TV's "Project Runway," using the same insane time constraints, and garnering the same critiques from judges. For the graphic design competition, sewing machines were replaced by computers, and the grand prize was much less money.

Fitzgibbon went head-to-head with six other young designers, executing quick-fire challenges in front of 2,000 attendees at the national AIGA conference in Memphis, Tennessee. He walked away with second place and with a refreshing perspective of his individual design process.

"At IDEO, I've been able to exercise my interest in information visualization, touching strategic service, and brand-oriented projects," he said. "My work, thus far, ranges from enriching effective teaching in America, to understanding global payment habits, to informing the future of mobile connectivity. I've had the good fortune of participating in human-centered design research both domestically and in India and Brazil."

His role as co-chair of communications for the AIGA chapter involves a social media presence. By actively participating in members' daily online activities, the association is able to connect with them in a far more valuable way.

"As I continue in my career, I hope to realize even greater value in design by extending the definition of social media both to myself and to others," Fitzgibbon said. "Whether in their home in India or through Twitter, I hope to continue learning and being inspired by people."

by Kevin Virant

This story was filed with the tags: Arts, Impressive Internships