When you look at Designer of the Week Megan Sundquist’s beautiful print projects, you might think “smart and simple,” and that’s exactly what she’s going for. You may have seen her work in last year’s HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards, in which Sundquist took home a Merit Award. A print and interactive designer, her body of work will inspire fellow creatives, and her outlook on life is sure to do the same.
Name: Megan Sundquist
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
How would you describe your work?
My work is simple, clean, and modern. I use a lot of bold colors and geometric shapes to create contemporary patterns and illustrations. I also really love working with type. Whether it’s finding the perfect font for a project or creating hand-drawn type for a poster, I believe the right typeface can really make any design.
Design School Attended:
Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from Ferris State University. Ferris has a really great graphic design program. They focus on giving students a business-focused background and a firm grasp on all the design principals. It’s a program that tends to be overlooked since it’s not coming from an art school, but they have a well-rounded, tough-love program that’s worth a closer look.
Where do you find inspiration?
There’s a ton of amazing mid-century modern design that is so ahead of its time. I aspire to make the same timeless work and am always looking to that style for guidance. I also find a lot of inspiration through online sites like Pinterest, Dribbble, and Grain Edit.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?
I have so many designers I love and follow! My all-time favorite old-school designers would have to be Alexander Girard, Paul Rand, and Charles and Ray Eames. A sampling of the designers I currently follow today are Lab Partners, Eight Hour Day, Moniker, Kelli Anderson, Erin Jang, Lotta Nieminen, Richard Perez, Wink, Zeus Jones, Werner Design Werks, Hatch, Chen Design Associates, Office, Stitch Design Co., Fuzzco, Mucca, Swink, The Heads of State, Cue, and Studio MPLS. I also want to give a shout out to the design community of Grand Rapids. There are a ton of extremely talented folks that are always churning out great work. I’m proud to be a part of such a creative community that drives me to do my best.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?
To date, I would have to say the Rap Quote Coasters are my favorite project [this piece won the Merit Award in the 2015 HOW Promotion and Marketing Design Awards]. It was a really tedious task to build all of the type and borders out of tiny squares, but it was also really great to see them come together. I also had fun mixing and matching traditional cross-stitch borders and typefaces to create the designs. I love clever, funny, and kitschy design, and this project helped me accomplish all three.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
I’ve had a lot of tough projects throughout my career, but designing for yourself is always the most challenging. The Carnevale Calendar was an internal marketing project that was all my own. I had never designed packaging before, so creating a mailable box which also could function as a display for the calendar was a lot more complicated than I had anticipated. I went through numerous prototypes with the printer before coming to our final result. I still think I would go back and change some things on it, but it was a great learning experience. I also found it rewarding to work on a project in which I needed to create a wide variety of illustrations.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I hope to keep improving and evolving as a person and as a designer. I’d love to start working on more self-initiated side projects to help keep me fresh and continually learning. I also want to use my skills to aid individuals and companies (like non-profits) that are helping to improve our communities in order to make a bigger impact on the world around me.
What’s your best advice for designers today?
I know it can be hard having such an objective profession but just keep learning, creating, and putting your work out into the world. I also can’t stress enough how important it is to stay humble. A designer’s work is definitely not life or death, even though at times we seem to treat it that way. It’s good to be serious about what you do, but have fun with it and don’t let it go to your head.
One way to catch your audience’s eye with print design is with innovative paper folding. If this concept is foreign to you, or you’re just looking to expand your current knowledge of paper folding formats and techniques, the Paper Folding Kit will have you well on your way to creating amazing folded designs in no time!
Begin with Paper Folding Templates for Print Design by the industry expert on folding, Trish Witkowski, and discover a wide range of tips and techniques for folding paper. Plus, she’ll demonstrate formats and techniques for various budget options, ensuring you will find innovative techniques for any project, no matter the budget. Trish returns in A Field Guide to Folding, in which she highlights 85 of the most common folding styles used in the industry today, providing a fresh way to create design work that is sure to stand out. Add some flair to your print projects with folding techniques from Fold-tastic, an exclusive download from HOW. Keep your budget in mind with the included Fold Picker, and discover 30 low to moderate budget folding ideas, as well as 30 high-budget folding ideas. Get creative with Paper Wonderland by Michelle Romo, and enjoy 32 templates for kawaii-like paper toys. Create even more paper toys with 26 templates provided in Matt Hawkins’s Urban Paper.
Whether you’re looking for the “wow” factor to add to your print projects, want to expand your paper folding knowledgebase, or need folding techniques that are appropriate for every budget, the Paper Folding Kit is packed full of the resources you’ll turn to again and again for every paper folding project that will cross your desk.