How Todd Became a Graphic Designer

I’ve always been pretty creative. I enjoyed drawing and had done a little painting when I was in high school. Graphic design was far from my mind as a career. I was kind of a nerd in high school and really liked math and was good at it. I had taken several accounting courses and was planning to become an accountant. After graduation it was off to college with thoughts of crunching numbers for the rest of my life. I had accounting 101 three days a week at 7:30 in the morning. I’m not much of a morning person anyway and to have accounting to look forward to 3 mornings a week was not cool. Needless to say after one semester I decided that I had had enough of accounting. I dropped out of college and worked for a few years. A work friend, whom I later married, was going to college for journalism and was working on the school newspaper. She talked me into going back to college and majoring in commercial art/graphic design. I joined the newspaper and yearbook design teams and really started to enjoy creating ads and doing the layout. I also did a little bit of ad sales for the newspaper. After graduation I pursued a career in graphic design but nothing was available for an inexperienced graphic designer. I finally landed a seasonal job selling ads for an independent phone book but never stopped looking for a graphic design job. Once that job ended I was hitting the streets hard again but always got the same response – we’re looking for someone with more experience. Several months went by and finally I decided I really needed to do something, so off to the Army recruiter I went. Still hoping I would get a call from anyone needing a good designer. I was within a day of signing papers when I received that call from a family owned newspaper in Sturgis. They were looking for a graphic designer. I set up an interview for the next morning thinking that I would just be disappointed again. This time it was different. This time they offered me a job on the spot and wanted me to start the next day. Of course I said yes. I now had my foot in the door of the graphic design world. I was so excited. Especially since I now could tell the Army recruiter that I wasn’t going to be joining after all. I spent 2 years with them before I made a job change to a larger newspaper where I spent 21 years as a graphic designer and department manager. I have now been with Midwest Marketing for over 5 years. I have 29 years of graphic design experience and I love my job. Sure there are challenges but I can’t image doing anything else. Looking back, if maybe my accounting class was later in the day, would I be crunching numbers today? Or if that call from that family owned newspaper wouldn’t have came when it did, would I have had a career in the Army. Fate is how I became a graphic designer.