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Amanda Buck

Freelance Graphic Designer and Letterpress Artist

Primary design concentration:

Visual design for print and web

Most preferred tools for designing:

Moleskine notebooks

Infographic “How the Recession Changed Us” for The Atlantic magazine

How and why did you choose to become a designer?

Design was the best fit. I discovered it my first year in college and never looked back!

What are some of the challenges you encounter as a designer and how do you deal with them?

I am way too hard on myself. I am still working on this one, but I try to deal with it by focusing on the task in front me me, talking with my friends and family, not comparing my work to other designers, and not looking at design blogs.

What is your definition of an “elegant solution,” that is, good design?

A smart idea married with beautiful visuals.

Recipe-adventure letterpess-printed poster about New Orleans’ dish Gumbo

From skills to values, what makes a designer successful?

Empathy and hard work. But hustling all the time, for all of your life, is bullshit. Balance is key.

How do you stay motivated and grow personally and professionally as a designer?

I have been searching for my niche in design since I graduated from Ohio State in 2008. I’ve explored many different design approaches, work environments, and types of design. It’s been a fun, challenging, and interesting journey—one that has kept me motivated and endlessly learning and growing.

For those aspiring to become a designer, whatever the discipline, what is your advice?

The best advice I ever received is: proceed and be bold. Work hard, be honest, and be nice to people. Be both a big-picture and a detail-oriented thinker. And never get so “in the flow” that you forget to eat lunch.

PieLab newsprint handout

What is your quest in design, from a professional practice, education or evolution standpoint?

I just want to do good work with good people. For the rest of my career, I plan to work at mastering my craft and trying to move our field forward. And one day, I want to inspire students to do the same.

Amanda Buck is a freelance graphic designer and letterpress artist in Baltimore, Maryland, by way of Ohio.

Images courtesy of Amanda Buck.

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