Our Crater x Cambrian College Graphic Design: Frank Chartrand
We’ve had the chance to talk to some of Sudbury’s finest designers who are all graduates of Cambrian College’s Graphic Design program! Each designer in this series were born in raised right here in Sudbury, and have continued to grow their careers all over the world. Today’s designer is: Frank Chartrand!
Name: Frank Chartrand
School and program: Cambrian College, Graphic Design
Current location and profession: Los Angeles, CA – UX Designer
First things first: do you have a favourite memory from Cambrian College? Why should other budding designers attend the school’s art and design programs?
Throughout high school, I had a hard time applying myself. I couldn’t see the relevance in a lot of what I was learning, and to be honest, I didn’t feel connected to many of the people I went to school with. Cambrian’s Graphic Design program was the first time I felt I truly belonged somewhere (in terms of school), and the first time education really spoke to me. The amazing faculty and program there allowed me to flourish personally and professionally.
For new designers considering the program: in three years, you’ll be working on hard skills like typography, branding, and web design and soft skills like interpersonal communication and presentation skills. This will allow you to build up a portfolio and prepare you for the workplace. Most colleges (usually art universities) around the world focus on unpractical projects with high artistic value. That’s fine, but what Cambrian offers is a more hands-on approach that is diverse in skill set. You’ll learn a lot, and you’ll have plenty of time to dive in deeper into certain aspects of design in the future. The smaller class sizes and one-on-one time with professors makes a big difference, too. I still keep in touch with the faculty there.
When did you first realize that you wanted to be a designer?
I taught myself how to code websites when I was young. I played in punk bands as a teenager. In my circle, I was always the one who would be creating album art or merch designs for our bands. I was drawn to art and technology. Once I saw that design was a viable career option, it was an easy choice to make. I never questioned it!
Graphic design is all about creativity and innovation; what do you feel makes your work stand out? What is unique about your style?
These days, I work mostly on apps. What gets me really excited is the perfect blend of design and technology—apps like Snapchat, Slack, and Facebook Messenger, are taking huge steps forward in making technology feel more human. They’re so fun to use, they almost feel like magic. That’s what I try to achieve every day.
Where do you draw inspiration for your work?
Being in LA, it’s a very inspirational city. There’s so much going on here in terms of art, culture, design and tech.
When I need a recharge, I like to head to the mountains and hike, or to the ocean for a beach day. I’m not much of a city person and appreciate the vast nature here. It reminds me of home.
There’s this photographer, Ed Templeton, who is also a famous skateboarder. I’ve rediscovered his work since moving here and find it incredibly moving. He creates art out of the mundane, average things and makes them feel exciting. As a designer, I feel I can relate to that.
Tell us about a favourite project or piece that you have created!
Most recently I had the opportunity to work on Red Bull TV with the team at Edenspiekermann. We launched the app on 15 platforms. It was a great learning experience for me, being able to work on something at such a large scale. You can find it in most app stores and on Apple TV too!
Where do you currently design, and do you have any upcoming projects that you are looking forward to?
Well, I’ve just joined the team at Headspace and couldn’t be more excited! Headspace is a mindfulness meditation app based in LA that presents meditation in a modern, accessible way—like a gym membership for your mind. As someone who copes with and has family and friends affected by mental health, I’m thrilled to join their team and bring health and help bring wellness to the world.
It’s easy to start. There’s no learning curve and you’ll see the benefits after just a few days. Go download it in the app store if you haven’t already!
Please provide links to any websites or social media where our readers can follow you and see more of your work.
December 15, 2016
November 24, 2016
November 03, 2016