Alumna Aimee Brodbeck is passionate about social impact work. When she got the chance to lead the design for the Biden campaign, she jumped on it. She volunteered her time to design the iconic, patriotic red, white, and blue logo and went on to create a complete marketing suite of SWAG, GIFs, yard signs, emails, and other materials that helped to position Biden for the win. The campaign used the brand from April 2019 until Kamala Harris joined the ticket in September 2019.

How did the Art Institute prepare you for the work you’re doing now?

I went through Foundation with Brett Reif, who has a background in sculpture and spatial design and he helped broaden my perspective and think more freely about finding solutions. At the end of the semester, he would tell each student which department they should be in but he didn’t know where I should go. His honesty did more for me than he realized. It gave me the opportunity to think I could be anything and do anything.

I also want to give a shout out to Tyler Galloway who was my most influential teacher. He taught me so much about the value of design advocacy. He said, “Use your talent — it’s the most valuable tool in the world.” Tyler helped me learn that it’s my duty to share my talent with the world in ways that can impact and disrupt. He empowered me to think that I could make things that were not client-based, but could still have an impact on the way people think. In the same way that Brett encouraged broad strokes, Tyler reinforced the idea that I can change the world with my work.

What advice would give KCAI students?

Don’t let the critics get you down. Remember who your audience is. Remember why you made the work and keep the faith.

Remember to sketch. Although it’s not instinctive for all designers, I can’t emphasize sketching enough. Some people are so used to working on the computer that they want to jump into it. But sketching is so important — I created the Biden logo through sketching.

If it’s meaningful to you, don’t be afraid to do free work. If I followed that advice, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work on the Biden campaign. Some of the biggest clients that have knocked on my door come from free work. If it’s a meaningful piece of work, don’t write it off. Give your heart to it, give your talent to it, and give your time to it.

And lastly, always remember that you deserve recognition for your work. The Biden project was different because I wasn’t able to tell anyone about it for a very long time. Now that I can, I’m proud to tell people I created it. Don’t be afraid to talk about your work. If you see someone repost your work on social media, ask for credit. Credit is free! Fight for it!

Aimee is still pursuing her passion for volunteering at Allyship & Action and The Avail List. During the day she freelances on brands like Samsung, eBay, GoodRx and Alaska Airlines as a creative.