Designer of the Week: Joel Kreutzer
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Name: Joel Kreutzer
Name of Firm: Archrival
Location: Lincoln, NE
Design school attended: University of Nebraska at Kearney
How would you describe your work? I make an effort to immerse myself in my client’s world to better represent their values and create designs with layers and meaning. I’ve always striven to adapt with each project and push myself out of my comfort zone to best suit a client’s needs. I feel like my work should never be dictated by my limitation, but should represent the pursuit of finding the best solution.
Where do you find inspiration? For me, inspiration can come from just about anywhere. When I see someone passionate about what they do, it inspires me to push myself.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists? One of my favorite designers of all time is Paul Rand. I just remember seeing his work back in college and it stuck with me. Aesthetically, his work may not directly influence my own, but I’ve always had a great appreciation for his style.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on? I’d have to say my own wedding materials. It’s stressful to design something that represents such an important event but I had a lot of fun doing it. Mostly though, I felt like I was using my ability to say something important. I’m not a poet or a writer, but this was my own love letter to my wife.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far? It was one of my first projects right out of school. I was tasked with designing the identity and a package line of 25 beauty products in two weeks. It’s insane even by my standards today, but I had no choice but to buckle down and give it my best. I can’t recall sleeping for those weeks, but I got the job done and the client loved it.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
There is always that next level. And after that, there is another. Striving to be a better designer has always fueled my passion. As long as I’m making things, I’ll be happy.
What’s your best advice for designers today? If a person is like me, then design is more than a career. So why settle for just any job? Figure out what you want to do most, and just go after it. Life is too short. If you don’t pursue your passions you’ll regret it in the long run.
Also, you can never know enough about design. Always look for new ways to improve your abilities and understanding what it means to be an artist in our industry. The broader your knowledge, the more equipped you’ll be when it comes to the next project.
And lastly, keep it fresh by designing for yourself. If you’re flexing your creative muscles outside of work, then it never really feels like a job.
Additional work by Joel Kreutzer:
In Print’s 2014 Regional Design Annual, Archrival took home six wins, including their adidas RGII trophy edition boxes, NBCUniversal Curve Report, and Cut Spike packaging, which won Best of the Region. Check out all their winning work, including behind-the-scenes details on their Best of the Region win, in the magazine.
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