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Alumni Spotlight

Catching up with Ben Young at Gigantic

Ben Young '14

How'd you get your start in the design industry after graduation?

Shortly after graduation, I landed an internship at the Seattle offices of the agency Hornall Anderson. That internship led to a full-time position that would establish many relationships and provide me a foot in the design industry. It was a shop I had admired throughout schooling and I felt — and still feel — supremely fortunate to have had such a solid start post-graduation.


What is your role at Gigantic? What does a typical day look like?

I play the roles of Partner and Creative Director at Gigantic. I lead creative services, which invariably involves wearing several hats on a daily basis. My primary responsibility is defining and upholding the quality standard of our creative work and collaborating with clients to ensure our work is responding to their needs. A typical day involves directly interfacing with clients, pushing creative work forward (as both a designer and director), QA testing creative, managing design systems, guiding business efforts with other internal partners, and working alongside strategists, copywriters, and developers.

Brand standards

What side-projects or non-design passions do you have?

Side projects and passions move in seasons for me. Poetry, photography, ceramics, candlemaking, and trail running all hold indelible places in my heart. I also try to lend my design hands to friends and cultural happenings as often as possible.

Website and mobile app design

Where do you find your inspiration?

Everywhere! Inspiration is available to us even in the most mundane-seeming environments. When we make the paradigm shift from looking at our surroundings to seeing our surroundings, a near-limitless dimension of inspiration suddenly becomes available. Read Mary Oliver and Rick Rubin; they will teach you the ways. That being said, some of my favorite wellsprings of inspiration are the natural world, antique shops, people-watching, architecture, dusty bookshops, and long-forgotten corners of the internet.

Website design

What advice do you have for design students?

Make mistakes and make connections. We simply must make mistakes in order to learn the optimal ways of moving in this industry (and in life itself). Don't be afraid to learn a lesson multiple times before the earned wisdom truly sticks to your consciousness. Try things, experiment, and make a fool of yourself; it'll build you up and grant new perspectives. Secondarily, success in design is vitally tied to who you know. Find opportunities to introduce yourself to folks in and outside of the industry — you never know where a connection might lead.