Perspective

Designing With the Customer in Mind

February 16, 2021

Employee Spotlight: Kathy Myers

As a senior graphic designer at LMI, Kathy Myers provides internal and external clients with a positive experience by not only solving their design challenges but giving them excellent customer service. Her goal is always to perform better and faster than expected. Kathy has more than 40 years of experience in marketing communication design, branding, and management. She is also a recipient of several awards from Graphic Design USA for her exceptional designs.

What are you responsible for as a senior graphic designer at LMI?

I supply my internal and external clients with a positive experience by not only solving their design challenges but giving them excellent customer service. My goal is always to perform better and faster than expected. If I see issues, I flag them for consideration and suggest alternate solutions.

What was your first job in the graphic design field?

My first and second jobs were making maps in San Diego, CA. It was fun. Since this was before computers became prevalent in the workplace, I put in map traps—a copyright protection method that adds things that aren’t there—and used masking film for color separations.

What qualities and skills should a graphic designer have?

Curiosity, playfulness, imagination, and meticulousness. You must see the overall effect and focus on the minutia simultaneously to ensure a clean, consistent file that is effective and aesthetically pleasing.

Of your many accomplishments of as a graphic designer, what are you the proudest of or what was your greatest success?

When I graduated from art school, my goals were to be an art director and design book covers. I started the LMI graphics department in 1988 and supervised it for 27 years, designing many book covers along the way, some for LMI and some freelance. At LMI, I am most proud of the 2012 annual report, which won awards from Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) and Graphis.

What has been the most challenging design project you have encountered in your career? Why was it challenging?

This was not a design project per se, but it shows how LMI gives you opportunities to challenge yourself. In 2012, an idea I pitched at the first Launch My Idea weekend was funded by the LMI Research Institute. I didn’t know much about additive manufacturing, but it made sense to me that, with LMI’s expertise in logistics, we should be involved in that developing field. The team came from various disciplines from across the company. I was named the project lead even though I had no experience and LMI didn’t have official project lead training back then. Our team published an article and hosted a conference with speakers from 3D Systems, Pennsylvania State University, Direct Dimensions, and Dynamic Research, along with the rest of my team. My part was coordinating, managing the budget, and filling out paperwork. We did everything we had outlined and came in just under budget! This project linked LMI’s name to additive manufacturing, and the company has continued to work on related issues, such as 3D data part descriptions and how additive manufacturing can fill manufacturing gaps or replace parts in forward deployed environments.

How do you measure the success of your work products?

When I am happy with the design and the client is happy with the time and the product.

What is the most exciting project you have worked on in your career?

The most exciting was the 2012 annual report. The head of communications gave the creative team control of the design and we really pushed the envelope of style. We were not designing by committee. Senior leadership approved it and that was all the oversight there was.

What made you want to become a graphic designer?

I dropped out of the ninth grade because of the violence at the public middle school I attended in Glen Burnie, Maryland, in 1973, so my mother enrolled me in the local Catholic school. I showed the art teacher my sketch pad and she immediately marched me to the vice principal’s office to insist that they rework my schedule so I could take General Art and Drawing simultaneously. I saw that art could open doors for me and change my life. I went on to study at my art teacher’s alma mater—the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Who has been your most influential professional mentor in the graphic design field? Why?

Judy Abbett was my best mentor. She was not a designer but as my boss. She encouraged me to stretch my boundaries.

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