Buies Creek, N.C.—After graduating from Campbell University in 2008, graphic designer Skye Dillon landed a job with one of the country’s leading sports branding firms. Within two years, he had built a strong clientele, strong enough to open his own design studio in May 2010. On Monday, Aug. 30, Dillon took time to return to Campbell and a design class taught by one of his old professors Danny Rodgers to share his experiences and give advice to designers of the future.
From the Los Angeles Lakers to the Discovery Channel, Dillon has created identities through his designs that not only illustrate the client’s message but are appealing and impressive to the public.
“I learned a long time ago that to be successful you have to communicate what the client wants to communicate rather than just what I thought was a cool design,” he said.
You also have to be humble. When Dillon attended Campbell, he worked as a free-lance designer on the side.
“The early work I did was for a lot of start-up sports teams that I knew would be around for awhile and then disappear,” he said. “But I learned that the seeds you plant will pop back up. I found that alot of these former clients had kept up with my work and were sending me requests.”
One of his most memorable designs, a jersey for the Los Angeles Lakers’ Latino fan base, turned up on nationwide television.
“My design for the jersey just happened to coincide with the passing of the controversial immigration law in Arizona,” Dillon said. “I turned on the television to see people storming into the streets wearing my Spanish design jerseys! To see your work in real life is an awesome feeling,” Dillon said.
Dillon’s approach to design work for any client involves a lot of research, he added.
“Before I draw anything, I want to thoroughly understand the project I’m working on. My philosophy of design is to always do the research first, then explore it on paper before converting the design to a digital media. The idea is to take a lot of information and synthesize it down into a concept.”
There are many “pockets” or facets to graphic design work, Dillon added. Although he focuses on creating sports brands and logos, Dillon emphasized the importance of versatility.
“You’re more valuable when you specialize, but it’s also good to be able to do other designs too,” he said. “It makes you marketable to a variety of clients.”
Some of Dillon’s clients have included the Mississippi Mudcats indoor football team, Meredith College, Methodist University, the Texas Brigade Armory, the Springfield Sliders collegiate summer league baseball team and the Fort Wayne Freedom indoor football team.
Campbell University’s art program offers a Bachelor of Art in Studio Art and Graphic Design.
Photo Copy: Campbell alumnus Skye Dillon returns to graphic design class to talk to students.