Graphic design is the creative process of combining texts and pictures to brand companies and products in media. These designs visually target specific audiences in hopes of evoking certain feelings. Varick Rosete is a local graphic designer who has made a living off of pushing the limits in order come up with innovative and fresh concepts.

Rosete has worked with local companies as well as national clients such as GE and AT&T. His 18+ career in design started while he studied Fine Arts at the University of Florida and North Florida. He developed his graphic design in advertising at the Husk Jennings Advertising, where he watched the industry develop from the ground up.

After 5 years as serving as both a designer and Art Director, Varick took his biggest leap of faith when he left Husk Jennings with fellow coworkers to start nGen Works, a web and app company. Following that venture, he worked on his own then at animation and video production company TigerLily Media, while also starting up OneSpark, the World’s Largest Crowdfunding Festival.

“On a larger scope, design is in everything, just look around. Everything you interact with and experience has been thought about and designed to be the way that it is. Design is a crazy, powerful thing.” – Varick Rosete

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The Process

Rosete likes to be rebellious yet subtle when designing because he believes that the best designs are the ones you don’t see, but the ones that become part of the experience. “Bad design is easy to spot,” he explains, “Good design becomes seamless in the way that you are and live. A staple definition is that Design solves problems. But it is more than that- design provides ever evolving solutions.”

The first step in the graphic design process is research, which Rosete compiles in brainstorming sessions with clients. These sessions give him insight into what the core essence of the project should be. Finding this essence can be as simple as asking the client two questions: Who is your target audience, and what do you want them to feel when they look at your logo?

“Key words are a big part of my research. In addition to my own keywords, I usually ask the client to come up with a handful of experiential words they want the brand to evoke,” Rosete said.

From there, he begins the early design process by utilizing his most important tool: his sketch book. He sketches first because he believes in connecting with his work physically, plus it’s quicker for him to thumbnail his ideas than to get straight into designing comps. To get his creative juices flowing, Varick needs energy, and loves to blare music as he draws.

“I like to come up with three implementation sketches. Generally, the three I present to the client will be on different ends of the spectrum so we can funnel from there,” Rosete said.

“Funneling” is the next step in the graphic design process for Varick, where he and the client look over the designs he has come up with to decide a direction to take. “Always move forward,” he states, “Because if you’re not funneling down but keep creating more ideas, then you really need to revisit all of the research that you’ve done to make sure you’ve had the proper input.” Usually it takes a couple of rounds of funneling to get to final client approval.

Varick utilizes programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe In Design and Adobe Illustrator to make a design come to life by manipulating shapes, colors and typography into one fluid concept.

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Collaborative Design

Getting the client involved in the process is just one way Varick collaborates in design. He is also a big believer in working alongside other industry experts: “Combining forces with other designers allows you to come at a project from different angles to get the best possible outcome,” Rosete said.

Collaborating outside of work is important too. AIGA, the professional association for design, is a nationally recognized community of designers that provides resources to help advance the role of design in economic, social, political, cultural and creative contexts. Rosete once served as the President of the Jacksonville chapter.

Sharing experiences with other designers also inspires creativity. Recently, Rosete gave an aspiring designer three tips to make it in the industry: “Study. Get a good foundation in fine arts. Learn how to break down paintings and sculptures into simple shapes. Think Creatively. And most importantly, have fun.”

This same advice has taken Varick’s career across all different mediums of design, from graphic to web to print, ad and app design, to illustration, sketching, painting, animation, toy modification and more- and despite 18 years in the industry, he still hasn’t decided where he wants to end up:

“I just want to keep drawing and watch things come to life. I don’t know what my end goal is, but I’ll keep learning ’til I get there.”