Today we’d like to introduce you to Aleitha Morgan.
Hi Aleitha, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My design journey has definitely been a winding path. I decided in elementary school that I was going to be an architect and spent my time in high school and college focused on that goal. As I got older, I had an interest in visual communication but didn’t fully invest my time in it.
After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in architecture during the recession, I decided to focus more closely on graphic design. This refocus was one of the best decisions I could have made and I have spent the last few years nurturing my design career in a new way. I definitely encourage every creative person to not be overwhelmed by career changes and setbacks. It’s a journey worth exploring. I currently work for a local advertising agency and teach as an adjunct professor at Valencia College. I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of the Think Integrated team. Our work is not only well-rounded but extremely fulfilling. One of our most recent projects is a Mobile STEM Lab for the School District of Osceola County. This project included wrapping the interior and exterior of the mobile lab, designing manuals to walk the students through their exploration, and a series of custom animations that will be engaged with augmented reality by the students. The STEM lab ensures that students at Title 1 schools are able to experience advanced technology in their education. Teaching has been a very enlightening process for me. Sharing my design experience with students allows me to evaluate the most important parts of the design process in my daily work. It is also fun to see all of the inventive ways students express their design solutions.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road, but it has been rewarding. I graduated with my undergraduate degree in 2009, which was near the beginning of a significant economic recession. Firms I called for employment opportunities were not even sure they would survive another six months. During my schooling, I learned the basics of Adobe Photoshop, so I started making event stationery to help fill the financial gap till I was able to find something more permanent. I eventually realized that graphic design was an exciting exploration for me, so I decided to return to school to follow a different career path.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I tend to call myself a skilled generalist, lol. I work with a range of industries and mediums at my advertising agency. I am very passionate about experiential design, which involves designing signage and large-scale elements in a space. These designs are really immersive and it is fascinating to see someone experience something you have crafted. This may not be unique to me, but I do make a special effort to understand the deeper layers of a design problem. An element that may seem like an extraneous detail may be the key to unlocking the best parts of a project. I focus to find the unique piece and allow it to spur the story forward.
Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
Design is a field that has been heavily influenced by European culture. As with the rest of the world, there has been a major increase in the recognition of BIPOC contribution to the industry. I’m optimistic about how these perspectives will change the work that designers develop and what my role will be in that process.
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