Designer of the Week: Rae Kreutzer

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Allow us to present Print‘s latest Designer of the Week, Rae Kreutzer, who talks tactile experiences, challenging the status quo and the joys of being a type geek.

Name: Rae Brittania Kreutzer

Location: Portland OR

Design school attended: University of Nebraska at Lincoln

How would you describe your work?I strive to create rich simplicity allowing the designs to be both refreshingly crisp as well as engaging.

Where do you find inspiration?I think that as designers we tend to look at the world though a more visually attuned lens. We see the world around us [as] a riddle wanting to be solved, and I think if you keep your eyes open you can’t help but be inspired by even the most mundane things. However, I also think an important part of my process is seeking out good design and trying to analyze what makes the composition striking and how can I learn from that experience.

Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?Although there are so many amazing and talented designers out there, I would have to say the one who has had the greatest impact on who I have became as a designer is actually my husband [Joel Kreutzer]. He is a truly inspiring designer and continuously challenges me to excel through both encouragement and example.


Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?I would say my favorite project would be my Smart Degree direct mail box. I think one of the most exciting aspects of design is challenging the status quo and coming up with a new way to reach the target audience. I leveraged the brand essence of clarity, innovation and approachability while creating a tactile experience allowing the user to create a memorable relationship with the brand. I love projects where you can use innovative form and amazing production to create a unique and tactile experience.

Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?I would say the one project that stands out as the biggest challenge to me was actually early on in my career. I had the opportunity to work on a campaign for Disney Vacation Club and was responsible for implementing the style across dozens of placements from billboards, to posters, bus ads and in-park promotions. With the project I was allowed to be a total type geek and literally spend days grooming a single headline.


What do you hope to accomplish in the future?I think the most exciting part of design is not only creating a beautiful layout, but also a beautiful structure. Although I have only done a few dimensional projects I have found that it is those experiences that truly inspire me, so my personal goal is to push myself in that direction. Beyond this I have been lucky enough to have a mentor [John Hayden] who has helped me develop my eye and skills from the start. I wouldn’t be the designer I am today if it weren’t for these patient lessons, so I feel it is only right that I pass the torch and do my best to mentor and guide other young designers where I can.

What’s your best advice for designers today?Take risks. Apply at that crazy-good place even if they don’t have a position open, ask questions, dig deeper, raise your hand, push back and stand up for your ideas. Be bold, energetic and passionate—this is not an industry for the weak of heart.

As designers we are not only artists, but also inventors, and to be a good inventor you must be willing to challenge the status quo and not be afraid of mistakes—but rather learn from them. I had a skiing instructor once who told me that when you fall down it means that you are pushing yourself beyond your limits, which is the only way to grow.


ALA calendar designed by Rae Kreutzer


Logo designs by Rae Kreutzer


Challenge the status quo with help from this collection featuring titles from Denise Bosler and Aaron Draplin.

Break the rules. No really, go ahead. Become an Instigator of Creative Anarchy—discover the basic rules of graphic design, then learn how to strategically break them with the resources included in this collection. Utilize these key titles to build up your understanding of the visual aspects of branding.