Laura Shrago is a third-year graphic design major currently on co-op at KIND in New York City. On campus, she in concert band and involved in Scout, Northeastern’s student-led design studio. We recently had the opportunity to catch up with her on her experience so far! Check it out.
Tell us about your role as design intern at KIND!
As a design intern at KIND, I get to dip my toes in a lot of different areas of the company. I get design requests from field marketing, sales, communications, and HR, so I’ve gotten to do a really wide array of projects. Currently, I’m working on an ad for a supermarket, web banners for Walmart, and posters and mousepads for an event in our office! The day-to-day life at KIND includes working with a broad array of coworkers, building packaging mockups, and testing every type of KIND bar. There’s also always something entertaining happening in the office, whether it be professional haiku-writers making poems about employees, a man dressed in a pumpkin costume doing a Broadway-esque performance about pumpkin spice KIND bars, or sampling some new flavors that are in development.
What classes or activities helped prepare you for your role?
Typography and Graphic Design really helped me with what I’m doing at KIND. When I’m making a composition of ingredients for an ad, or adjusting the text size for a coupon, skills that I learned in type and GD really help. I sometimes like to imagine I’m in a critique in one of those classes and try to picture what critiques my teachers or classmates would have for a project I’m doing, and that helps me self-crit my own work and improve it.
Scout has also helped me prepare for this job because it’s a really good microcosm of the real world of being a designer. Of course, being in a small studio isn’t the same as working at a big company like KIND that has lots of different departments. However, it’s a really good representative of real life in terms of working cooperatively with other designers, and having a structure of people to help guide and check your work along the way. It prepares you for the cooperative process that you often don’t get preparation for in your classes.
What’s it like working on design for a company with such a well-established brand?
It’s been really interesting to work somewhere that has such a well-established brand because it means when I design, I don’t really have to think about how to create brand recognition in the project; there are certain elements that never change – black header, white Bold Helvetica headline, logo in the top left – so the stuff I focus on when I design can be everything else. This has given me a lot of space to practice principles of text hierarchy, composition, and breathing room in my work. I think it was a good break from what I’m doing in school because it forced me to strengthen those basics.
It’s also been really cool to see how the brand has evolved over time, and how it’s been extended as they’ve added new product lines. Even though there have been different branding elements used throughout the years for different campaigns, they all look distinctly KIND. I think it’s really cool to observe how strong their brand extensions are, and to see how a company can evolve while still maintaining its fundamental aesthetic that everyone recognizes.
Are there any projects so far that really stand out?
I got to work on a supermarket sign a few weeks ago, which came out really cool. It’s the ad up high on the end of a supermarket aisle, called an endcap poster. It was physically the largest poster I made and had a very bright, playful feel to it. I got to see and hold the test print the other day, and then today I received a photo from one of my co-workers who passed it on display in the supermarket!
I guess now that I’ve talked all about the important design stuff, I should mention that the perks of working at KIND are amazing! There are free KIND bars all over the office; there’s a bar bar (get it, like a salad bar but has bars at the bar), and I get a monthly shipment of 72 bars to my house every month. It’s been my own non-design work goal to try every single one of the 70+ flavors, and I’m making pretty good progress, particularly with the help some of my coworkers who have access to the rarer flavors. The company culture is really great, and everyone is super friendly! They have always made me feel included, and never made me feel like I wasn’t part of the company just because I was the intern. It has been a really great experience so far, and I’m glad I still have three months left!