“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” (Albert Einstein, attributed). If that’s true, no one is having more fun at Victory Enterprises than our Creative Director Kevin Cartwright. Marrying an eye for evocative imagery with an in-depth understanding of the cultural zeitgeist, Kevin has delivered multiple award-winning campaigns for VE and our clients. VictoryEnterprises.com sat down with Kevin to discuss his influences and goals.
1. Why did you pursue graphic design as your profession, what drew you to it?
Madmen launching while I was at a liberal arts school was the perfect storm.
The scenes of Don Draper unfolding his ideas and giving brands a story to prospective clients resonated along the lines of a universal language; tying emotions and a narrative to a product/company in the most straightforward and effective ways. This idea is what opened the door to marketing for me.
I started out as a political science major, but in my second semester one of my liberal arts requirements was my very first art course. I discovered I had a knack for it and changed my major to Art with a marketing minor before the next semester.
2. What would you say are your biggest influences as a designer?
I try to soak up everything around me and roll that all into a lens that I think the viewer can relate to based on where we are at culturally for the desired message. Living in the age of information makes that lens change often.
3. Are there unique challenges in designing for mostly political/campaign clients? What are they?
In recent years, campaigns have taken on more of a commercial/product approach when it comes to their design and brand identity. Growing from just simple yard signs to now full brand identity guidelines that rival large companies. This definitely closes the gap between non-political and commercial clients in recent years, but there are still some differences.
In a political campaign, you are promoting an individual and a set of ideas, design needs to let the focus be on the candidate/group. My Golden Rule: Never let the client’s message get lost in a design (no matter how great the design is!). The message must always be at the forefront.
In the political sphere your audience’s demographic often changes even with the same client. You are taking the same message but making it relatable to the target audience while still keeping it recognizable to the overall campaign brand.
4. When did you first start at VE and what brought you to the company?
In 2012 a design classmate let me know that the company she was working at (VictoryStore.com) had a sister company (Victory Enterprises) and was looking to hire an intern.
I thought “how cool is this, the company is a few minutes from campus, I can pursue my current degree profession, and at the same time still has roots in my original major.”
I proceeded to work with VE throughout the remainder of my education & took over the design department before graduation.
5. What has been your most rewarding experience at VE?
It’s hard to narrow down to just one. I’ve enjoyed being able to meet and work with leaders from all different walks of life and from literally all around the globe.
It’s also been incredibly rewarding to help create a design team and the processes to reach milestones deliver high quality work. There is nothing better than seeing designers I have trained as interns grow within that system and achieve new professional and creative heights.
Of course, everyone likes to win as well. It was gratifying to be part of the company’s first Pollie award and to then back that up with subsequent wins in the following years
6. What are your goals for both VE as a company and for yourself?
Never stop learning!
To achieve as much growth internally and externally as we achieved in my first 8 years with the company. We have quadrupled our design staff during political cycles since I was that college intern, which is a testament to how large our client base has grown and the reception of our final product has been.
While growing staff and client base, I want to constantly improve our internal systems to handle any request in a timely manner. Every system we adopt improves the communication between fellow designers and other positions in the company, so we are all marching to the same beat for the client creating consistent final products across the divisions.
Are you ready for Victory? If you would like the chance to have Kevin Cartwright develop and deliver a winning brand message for your campaign or company, there’s no need to wait. Contact us and get started today!