December 12, 2019

Alumni Update: Interview with Adriana Brown

Posted in Alumni, Interview.

Graduated 2018 | Mock-up Specialist at Southern Graphic Systems


Curating Color began as an exploration into the lack of diversity in the graphic design field. This book and timeline display was created to provide the needed representation for significant black graphic designers who paved the way for designers like me.  Curating Color was designed to be unignored with the hopes of the viewer walking away with more information about Black people’s role in design history than they came in with. 

Why Did You Choose BGSU To Study Design?

I chose BGSU to study design due to the variety of programs it had to offer within the arts. My primary interest was within design but I was excited at the prospect of gaining new skills to use along with it. What ultimately sold me was seeing all of the incredible work that was being pushed out by students in these programs.

Was Design Always Something That You Wanted To Do?

I’ve always had an interest in the arts from a young age. Design wasn’t evident to me as a career until I got to high school when I studied in a two-year career technical program called Digital Design. It’s where I learned how to use Illustrator, Photoshop and how to screen print. The program gave me opportunities for my work to be put out into the world which made me super proud. From that point on, I knew being a graphic designer was what I wanted to do.

What Are Your Responsibilities At Your Job?

The biggest responsibility of my job is to collaborate with account managers, production artists, and proofing department to create 3D mock-ups per the client’s parameters. Essentially, what my job entails is to construct packaging for everyday products you see in grocery stores. Some of our biggest clients are Georgia-Pacific, Kraft, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, and Kroger. The job allows me to be hands-on with creating; pushing my craft to new levels as some projects have to be picture perfect for tv and photoshoots. It’s provided lots of insight on various packaging techniques and production methods.

What Are Some Challenges That You’ve Had To Overcome At Your Job?

Communication between the various departments I have to collaborate with has been a struggle. I’ve tried to improve that by addressing what was getting lost in translation between all of the departments and create a more focused system to ensure projects go out on-time and completed. Also, having to be ready for any last minute project that may arise with a quick turnaround. The job always keeps me on my toes.

What Cool Stuff Are You Working On Now?

Currently, I am a fellow of the Design + Diversity Fellowship. It’s granted me an opportunity to travel to Chicago for 3 days for the annual Design + Diversity Conference to hear other POC designers speak about their experiences in the industry and how to create more equitable, sustainable design. It was an incredible experience meeting other designers with the same mindset and goals as myself. I learned so much and it’s an opportunity I wouldn’t have been able to achieve if I didn’t push myself and my work to be seen by others. The other members of the fellowship have been a great support system as well and we are all using this opportunity to lift each other up. It was also amazing being in Chicago for the first time and experiencing the city. Currently, we are in the midst of figuring out a collaborative event to have together as a group. Future details to come.

Interview by Mackenna Willis