What Design Means with Kasey Thoreson

What design means to you? It's a question we've been asking each of our designers to share their thoughts on.

Today we'll hear from designer Kasey Thoreson as she explains how she landed on the design path, what design means to her and how, to her, design has been way more than just a job.

What Did I Want to Be? (Answer: No Clue)

In school, I always knew math and science weren't for me. However, when I started college, it was scary because I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I thought I was going to be stuck doing a job that I dreaded every day. I didn't think I'd find a career that I was passionate about.

Headshot of Kasey Thoreson, graphic designer at Sek Design Studio

As I tried to figure it out, I thought back to which class was my favorite in high school, and my yearbook class stood out the most to me. So with that in mind, I set out to make "yearbook" into a profession. Funnily enough, I discovered there was a fancier name for it: Graphic Design.

As graphic design is part of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, I was first intimidated to call myself a "Fine Arts" major. I thought it made me sound like a technical oil painter or professional sculptor, and that just wasn't me. I soon realized that wasn't the case; art could be whatever I wanted it to be. As long as I was doing what made me happy, I didn't need to follow in anyone else's footsteps. All I needed was a good idea, passion, and the rest would fall into place.

Design Is Inspiration. And Inspiration Is Everywhere.

Design is beautiful. Not only is it visually appealing, but it makes me feel complete and drives me as nothing has before. In this field, I am constantly learning and improving, continually inspired by the world and the people around me. Nature inspires me to add bold colors and organic shapes into my work. Creative-minded people I encounter inspire me with their original styles, bright ideas, and love of art. But I think the most valuable thing I have taken away from pursuing design is that it is not just another 9 to 5 job, rather living creatively is a way of life.

I now see the world through my "designer goggles", visualizing everything in terms of design principles and shapes. I'm constantly thinking about how I can translate what I see in real life into the digital world I create in. The old buildings and aged parking lots that makeup downtown are more than just historic, but rather the vision for my next illustration. And the weeds growing in the field are not just another eye sore, but instead become the inspiration for the color palette of my next poster design.

Every situation I encounter, I try to solve like I would a design problem. First, a good idea is turned into a sloppy sketch and then transformed into something beautiful. I've discovered that every day has its own set of unique challenges. It's hard to feel inspired and come up with new and innovative ideas daily. However, I've also learned that's just part of the process, and that those "creative roadblocks" can lead to some of my best breakthroughs.

Designer goggles illusrtation by Kasey Thoreson of Šek Design Studio

Design Is a Lifelong Passion

Although it has only been a short time since I discovered my passion for Graphic Design, it is evident that I have grown immensely from where I began. I came into college not really knowing anything about design and questioning if it was something I even wanted to do. Over the past few years, I no longer question it. I know Graphic Design is something I need to do. It transformed my life from a simple yearbook class into a life-long passion.

Favorite Šek Project

It's hard to pick just one, but Frenchie Cocktail's brand design has been one of my all time favorite Šek projects to work on. It  was a super whimsical project that involved fun colors, patterns and dogs - what's not to love?!

The most rewarding part, however, was watching it end up in the hands of my friends. They all love the design and it's fun to say I had a part in creating it.

Frenchie Cocktail by Vikre, can design created by Šek