Designer of the Week: Sarah Osborn
Name: Sarah Osborn
Firm/Studio: Freelancer / A Legion Ox
Location: Portland, OR
How would you describe your work? I love the journey of getting there. The process of thinking, the journey of writing, the sketching of ideas and then knowing how to merge it into the voice of design. Every designer has a unique artistic imprint that is born from their voice and their experiences. The work I’m happiest with intertwines 2D & 3D disciplines, strategic planning and writing—and strikes a balance between simple clarity and nuanced surprise.
Design school attended: University of Wisconsin-Stout, Goldsmith’s University of London
Osborn’s poster invitations for Backyard Cinema. These were recognized in Print’s 2013 RDA.
Where do you find inspiration? With all the immediate access to online inspiration at our fingertips, it’s easy for design expression to feel ubiquitous really fast. So what really excites me is to walk around cities I visit and obsessively shoot photos, both big cities and small-town gems. It makes me look at the world in a different way and be more present and immersed in the inspiration around me. I also collect old books, and the amazing nuggets you find on the covers underneath the dust jackets always make me smile.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on? My first-ever paid project at an internship during college was designing an album logo for one of Prince’s band members. I still measure my thrill for new projects against my excitement level for that. PRINCE!
I also love any packaging design challenge—both structural and graphic. As a kid, I used to cut up old checkbook boxes and build my own boxes that had secret compartments and functional drawers. It’s so fun to design a tangible object that someone is going to interact with and can delight their day in an interesting or helpful way.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future? I hope to keep working with genuine, smart people who appreciate the process of unfolding a challenge.
What’s your best advice for designers today? The industry has been moving in a strategic and logic-based direction, which is powerful to build the depth and value of design, but it’s equally as important to allow room for the magic of intuition and serendipitous discovery. Creativity comes from a place where we naturally synthesize logic into magic and we shouldn’t squelch that.
Additional work by Osborn:
“Print is one of the most influential publications in our industry; having the opportunity to even be considered for inclusion in the RDA is a no-brainer.” —2e Creative
“We are proud to be able to talk about our Print RDA award on our website and in social media. We hope that it will boost our studio’s recognition within the design community. We also think potential clients view award-winning design studios as a valuable partner that can potentially produce award-winning work for them too.” —Jen Thomas, The Beauty Shop