New Kind is delighted to welcome our newest designer, Chris Sim, to our team. I had a chance to sit down with Chris recently and ask him a few questions.
What was it like growing up in Charleston?
Growing up in Charleston was great. A lot has changed since I was a kid, but it somehow manages to maintain this small-town spirit. I made some of the best friends I’ll ever have in Charleston.
As someone who grew up in Charleston, how much does an appreciation for history play in your mind?
Growing up there you almost take the history for granted. I was always surrounded by it, so it just became a part of the place. But when you step away and look in from the outside, you can really appreciate how much Charleston’s history has shaped what it is today.
Where did you go to college?
I went to the University of South Carolina in Columbia where I majored in Studio Art with a concentration in Graphic Design.
Did you do anything particularly noteworthy while a student at USC?
Some friends and I founded a Student Design Cooperative while we were in school. Our organization helped facilitate some exciting things, such as a field trip to New York City where we visited some of the city’s most noteworthy design studios.
Just curious, why did you choose USC over SCAD?
To be honest, it was more of a financial decision than anything else. I knew I wanted to study art, but I couldn’t afford art school. You can go to the best program in the world, but at the end of the day it’s all about what you put in. USC may not have a nationally recognized design program, but I had great professors, formed invaluable connections, and made the most of what was available to me.
I have always perceived Charleston, South Carolina to be a city that appreciates the arts, probably because of the Speloto Festival. Is that your perception?
To say that Charleston supports the arts is an understatement. I would say the city is just as enveloped in the arts as it is in history. Plenty of the buildings downtown are like art pieces themselves. Growing up, I was always surrounded by an appreciation for art.
In what area of design are you most interested?
I am most interested in branding. I want to help create brands that inspire people. I love the idea of being able to trigger emotions and stimulate action with design. That’s probably why I’m also very interested in illustration and user experience.
What are your thoughts about the future of design?
It depends. That’s a broad question. A lot of people say print is dead, but I disagree. At the same time I think there is a lot of possibility in the future of web design and interactive design. I believe the core principles of design will never change, but the possibilities of what people can do with those principles are limitless.
Do you consider yourself to be a “creative” person?
I do. I’ve always considered myself a creative person. There is rarely a time that I’m not working some sort of personal creative project.
What are some examples of your personal creative projects?
My favorite kinds of personal projects happen when I get to collaborate with friends. Some of my favorite recent projects have included helping design materials for a friend’s band, designing t-shirts for my brother’s climbing club, and illustrating a print for a motorcycle-themed art show.
Do you have a hobby?
When I’m not working on design projects, my time is divided between honing my illustration skills, playing a little bit of music, rock climbing, and exploring North Carolina with my girlfriend.
How does Raleigh compare to Charleston?
Charleston is a pretty small city. When you move to a place like Raleigh that size difference becomes very apparent. There are different cultures colliding here, which is really great.
How would you describe yourself in a few words?
I would say I’m thorough, practical, critical. I might even throw witty in there.
What would surprise me about you?
After I graduated from college, I went on a month-long road trip with four close friends around the country. We left from Wilmington, drove up to Seattle, then down the Pacific coast to Los Angeles. We took a more southerly route on the way back through the American Southwest and Deep South finishing our trip in Charleston. We drove over 8,000 miles in one month. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
What is your greatest passion?
Exploring different creative avenues and developing new skills. Design, art, music, anything. I’m happiest when I can use my hands and my brain together to create something that didn’t exist before.
What kind of music do you enjoy most?
I enjoy a pretty wide range. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of indie rock, surf rock, hip hop, and bossa nova.
Which people have made the biggest impact in your life?
I probably owe the most to my parents, who have wholeheartedly supported me since day one. My girlfriend Cat is also a constant motivating force. She’s always pushing me to be my best.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
I’m fortunate to have a lot of talented friends and family that inspire me on a daily basis. But there’s inspiration everywhere. I love finding inspiration in unexpected places.
What defines success for you?
For me, it’s a balance of things. Finding creative freedom and fulfillment, having a happy and vibrant personal life, and feeling like I’m a positive force to those around me.
What brought you to New Kind?
I’ve always been drawn to the culture behind smaller agencies. I believe a small group of creative, intelligent people can accomplish just as much, if not more than a large agency. New Kind’s work is undeniable proof of that.
What do you hope to accomplish at NK?
I hope to bring something new and unique to the table that can make New Kind an even stronger creative “powerhouse” than it already is.
Thanks Chris! We’re excited that you have joined our team and particularly excited about adding your creative skills to the New Kind portfolio of services for our clients.
In the words of Chris, he’s…