July 2, 2018

Alumni Update: Interview with Joshua and Nicole Slatinsky

Posted in Alumni, Interview.

Joshua Slatinsky |  Visual Communications Technology BA (2009)
Senior Designer, FORM

Nicole Slatinsky | Graphic Design BFA (2009)
Senior Graphic Designer, Cleveland Institute of Art | portfolio

Alumni Joshua and Nicole Slatinsky (2009) met here in BGSU while pursuing their education. While neither of them chose this school for Graphic Design, both of them found their place in the design field.  After graduation, both have been designing and creating a life for themselves. After having a conversation with Joshua and Nicole, I found out about what it is like to work in the design field and what advice will help continue the study of Graphic Design. 

How did you first meet?

We knew each other from having the same circle of friends, but we officially met at our senior year portfolio review day. After graduation, we attended Project M in Germany, and 7 ½ years later we are happily married!

How are your design approaches similar / different from each other?

Because we came from essentially the same design program, there are some aspects that are ingrained in both of us that we always incorporate into our approach. We both like to move fast and do/try as many new things as possible. However, our processes tend to be extremely different from each other. Nicole’s process is more organic. She works in broad strokes, allowing the design to come to life on its own. Joshua’s is more methodical. He establishes rules and guidelines to help facilitate creative decision making.

What advice would you give for students currently in the program?

Experiment, take risks and make mistakes. Take advantage of this time and explore every aspect of the design process.  But, most importantly, have fun!

Why did you choose BGSU to study design?

Nicole: I originally chose BG to study art education. Once I got into the School of Art and started taking classes, I realized graphic design was a much better fit.

Joshua: I chose to attend BGSU to study art education, as well. While taking elective courses, I discovered a passion for web programming. That lead me to graphic design, and the rest is history.


Nicole: Do you like being a senior graphic designer at the Cleveland Institute of Art?/ what do you do?

Yes! I am responsible for leading the creation of branding projects and collateral that define the look and feel of the institute, both static and interactive. I manage marketing campaigns, create new design initiatives and strategies within the internal and external CIA communities, and work with clients and faculty to meet whatever design and promotional needs they may have for things like events and exhibitions.

Nicole: What is your favorite part of the job?

Being an in-house designer working with a single brand that speaks to young creative people—it has afforded me the luxury of a good amount of creative freedom. I get so many opportunities to play and push the envelope.

Nicole: If you could go back to your time at college, would you change anything?

I came into the design program at the beginning of my junior year. If I could go back, I wish I would have started earlier. It would have allowed me to focus more on perfecting my craft. I was taking a lot of important design classes like Theory and Senior Sem at the same time, and that was difficult. I couldn’t devote as much time and effort as I would have liked to each class.

Joshua: Do you like being a senior director at FORM/what do you do?

Yes! At FORM I am responsible for establishing and implementing solutions for arts & culture, entertainment, and nonprofit organizations. These solutions include art direction, identity design, information architecture, user experience design, user interface design, and web design.

Joshua: What is your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of the job is working with arts & culture, entertainment, and nonprofit organizations. Our clients are great, and I love working together to find the best solution to the problem.

Joshua: If you could go back to your time at college, would you change anything?

It was a great adventure, and I wouldn’t change a thing.


Interviewed by Sam Ramsay