From logo design, to packaging and publication design, Igor Orlovsky tackles various creative endeavors in his new role as a graphic designer for Smart Planet, a Los Angeles-based company that manufactures eco-friendly household products. Orlovsky graduated from the Graphic Design/Branding program at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in October and says that his new job incorporates everything he learned in his coursework.
“FIDM gave me a really good base,” he says. “I use everything I learned in school. From the techniques in Digital Photography class, to the work using style guides and Illustrator, to Photoshop,… and I use InDesign to lay out the brochures, catalogs and marketing materials.”
For the past six weeks since Orlovsky was hired, he has been involved in many exciting projects. One of his roles is to design the patterns, graphics and colors on products like Smart Planet’s eco-friendly coffee cup to present to buyers of major retailers like Walgreens, Costo and CVS.
“I come up with the color stories, and show the styles to buyers and how they can customize the products for their customer,” says Orlovsky.
As a graphic designer, Orlovsky also develops the packaging for various products, including the construction (dielines) and graphics; the publication design and layout of Smart Planet’s catalogs and manuals; product photography for the Website and marketing materials; and photo-realistic mock-ups of store displays and packaging for buyer presentations. Whew! Orlovsky handles quite a bit for an entry level designer, but he reiterates that his role in a creative field is extremely rewarding.
“The best part is seeing the things that you designed go into production,” he says. “Soon, I’ll be able to go to Walgreens and see products and packaging I’ve designed on the shelf.”
For other aspiring creative professionals, Orlovsky advises that students take on as much freelance work as possible to build their portfolio while in school. When graduating from FIDM, his final portfolio included design work he completed for the Consulate General of Israel, Michael Arden Photography, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center (LGBT) and other freelance clients. (To read his interview with FIDMDigitalarts.com and see samples from Orlovsky’s portfolio, click here).
“When I was in school, I was designing anything I could get my hands on. My advice is to find clients, and ask your instructors to help you with your projects,” he says. “And get an internship A.S.A.P.”
Finally, he advises for newly graduated students not to get discouraged when job hunting. After applying to three jobs a day for six months, Orlovsky says he finally started hearing back from employers and was offered four jobs all at once.
“You really need to make your resume top notch,” he says. “And if you don’t have a Website, don’t bother sending out your resume. There’s no excuse not to have a Website. It’s all about your resume, Website and, of course, a professional portfolio.”
Orlovsky adds that Smart Planet will be hiring design interns for the summer.