Here at The Paper Review, we are obsessed with graphic design. We love it for web design, on merchandise and especially stationery!
We had the honor of interviewing a really talented designer by the name of Kristen Newman. Based in California, Kristen has an extensive client list including Target, Ross, HomeGoods and more!
To learn more about Kristen’s journey and insight on how it is to work as a graphic designer, keep reading!
TPR: Tell us a little about yourself and where you’re from.
KN: I’m a freelance Graphic Designer who was born and raised in San Diego but now resides in Huntington Beach, CA. I got my BA in Graphic Design from Long Beach State in 2012.
TPR: What were you doing before Kristen Newman Designs?
KN: Before I started my business, I worked as a Graphic Designer at several various companies, which taught me a lot about my own personal style and abilities. Each company that I worked for was in a completely different industry, which allowed me to gain experience and knowledge working with many different types of design.
TPR: Tell us about your brand and how you got started.
KN: I got started with my brand while I was still in school. I was in the Greek system, where we had an event of some sort almost every other day, and I had a lot of friends that would need help designing t-shirts or flyers. I began my career by freelancing for my fellow students that would come to me for help.
TPR: Where does your inspiration come from?
KN: My inspiration mostly comes from current trends that I see throughout my day. Anything from fashion, to architecture, and even nature can lead to inspiration.
TPR: How do you define your design style?
KN: My personal style is clean and simple with a feminine touch. I love black and white as a predominant color, with a secondary soft, pastel color.I also like a lot of white space to keep things simple and easy to read.
However, the most important part of working with different clients is to design to the clients’ needs and taste, and not my own. I have to be flexible and realize that I may not always love what someone else loves, or vice versa.
TPR: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned on your journey so far?
KN: The most important thing I’ve learned so far, is to put pride aside when working on any project. If a client doesn’t like something that you created for them, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad designer. It only means that you have different tastes, and that’s okay!
Everyone is different, and you learn more and more about your client and their preferences as you go. So if you’re ever told to scratch everything and start over, you have permission to be disappointed for 30 seconds, and then you open a new document and start over. Design isn’t personal.
TPR: Is there any advice you would give to other creatives?
KN: As far as advice goes, I would have to say just not to get discouraged if you don’t start receiving a ton of work as soon as you start your business. Building a brand takes time! A LOT of time! Most of the clients you first get will be friends and family.
Your business will slowly build up over time through referrals and word of mouth. Before you know it, you’ll have people you’ve never met contacting you saying that they saw your work somewhere and loved it, and would like to hire you. But that all takes patience and it can be several years before you start getting clients willing to pay what you’re worth.
TPR: Where can people view your work and collaborate/shop with you?
We’d like to thank Kristen Newman so much for doing this interview with The Paper Review. It’s always so inspiring hearing from amazing creatives in the industry and we love bringing you insight to something they are so passionate about!
Be sure to check out Kristen’s work via the links above and stay up to date with her amazing designs by following her on Instagram!
We started as a blog and have since become a powerhouse for all things stationery. Our main purpose is to put a voice to stationery through interviews with company owners, promotional visuals for social media and reviews on stationery products from all over the world!
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