From Layout Editor to Lead Designer

Madisen Snyder , Layout Editor

For alumna Kylie O’Connor (2013), her journey as a designer started right here at Warren Hills.

As the 2012-2013 Layout Editor of The Streak, and an editor of the Lamaton Yearbook, O’Connor said she enjoyed working with programs such as Adobe InDesign.

“My journey to become a designer started at Warren Hills, when I joined Journalism,” she said. “I wasn’t the best writer, as Mrs. McKinney can attest, but I was a natural at layout design.”

During her years at Warren Hills, O’Connor said she also took Graphic Design I and II, as well as completing an independent study with former Art teacher and Yearbook advisor Kimberly Roost.

O’Connor said her experiences at Warren Hills played a huge part in her career decision.

“I had the ability to explore the things I was good at and learn what I could do with them,” she said. “Thanks to Journalism and Yearbook, I’ve found a career I couldn’t be happier in.”

O’Connor graduated from Kutztown University in May of 2018, with a BA in Communication Design with a focus in Graphic Design and Interactive Design. She is now the Lead In-House Graphic Designer for Soundview Inc., a digital publishing company in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

“My current project at Soundview is a website redesign,” she said. “I’ve tackled the corporate site, our blog, as well as a part of our main site. I’m currently working on revamping the homepage which will lead to a redesign in the coming months. Aside from that, I work with our marketing team to design and code our email campaigns, create digital and social advertisements, manage our webinar series, and edit audio and video products.”

O’Connor is also a freelance designer for organizations such as Kiddie Academy Inc., and volunteers with some local non-profits.

“My freelance work varies by client,” she said. “I do a lot of animated ads, trade show booth graphics, webpage designs, flyers, advertisements, even custom PowerPoint templates. I am currently working on a web page design for a local custom furniture builder.”

Aside from the ability to express her creativity, O’Connor said she loves the growth potential that comes with being a graphic designer.

“You can work your way up in a company a lot faster than other jobs,” she said. “It’s also great to look back and see my evolution as a designer, see the projects I did years ago and see how much better I’ve gotten.”

O’Connor said that one of the struggles she has faced since starting with Soundview has been in working with every department.

“My role is the only one that overlaps our Marketing and Editorial Department, so I have to keep everything organized and get everything done in a timely manner,” she said. “This job has made me a really great planner and kicked my butt into gear when it came to organization.”

Because design is such an evolving industry, O’Connor said she needs to constantly keep up with the new trends and technology.

  “I love learning about design, which is why I spend my lunch hours reading up on new ideas, trends and techniques,” she said. “Design books are one of my favorite ways to stay up to date and inspired.”

For students who may be interested in pursuing a career in design, O’Connor said they should be prepared to explore all aspects of the field.

“You should embrace the field from both the digital as well as the print side,” she said. “Having a good grasp of both will make you a more well-rounded designer and help you stand out in this very competitive field.”