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Meet Katie King Rumford

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie King Rumford.

Katie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The short answer is that I have always loved to create. Whether it was face painting, designing hand-drawn handball training completion certificates for my oh-so-patient younger brothers, faux painting on the walls of my childhood home, finger painting, photography, or drawing. The list could go on. I love to get my hands dirty and create something from nothing.

I discovered graphic design in college, where I realized my nerdy love for typography. I discovered my love for travel while studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I discovered my love for cities while living in San Francisco and later NYC. I discovered my love for color while living in Mumbai, India.

I love to travel the world and see new things, try new foods, meet new people and gather new inspiration. But am happiest when I’m home in Southern California living the good life with my husband, eight month old daughter and Boston terrier, Desi.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Of course not, nothing good ever comes easy. Graduate school was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do (birth and being a parent aside, but that includes living in India for a year!). I expected to waltz through art school and leave with a nice looking portfolio and land a teaching gig at my Alma Mater. But it was so much harder than I anticipated. My goals and dreams changed too. I realized I was thinking too small. I was prepared to try all sorts of hats on and be in uncomfortable places, but to take it in and learn from my experiences. We started with a class of about 80 students and I graduated with 11 other students. The workflow was insane, the pace tireless, the standards high, the instruction was based on critique where I had only received encouragement in undergrad.

But in the end, I wouldn’t change a thing. It taught me what I needed to know to truly be prepared for the working world. And that is priceless. The real world is tame compared to grad school. Just like I thought NYC was quiet and tame after living in India!

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a graphic designer by trade. I am an artist at heart. I love to create.

I currently serve as the Design Director with Selman, a design studio in NYC. I’ve had the awesome pleasure of being a part of the team for five years now. My day job (where I work remotely from home with my studio dog, Desi, a Boston terrier who loves to sleep on my lap whilst I toil away on the computer) I get to work on campaigns and illustrations, restaurant branding, editorial illustrations for publications like the New York Times and Atlantic, book design and poster sprints. We get to work with clients like Google, MIT, Wall Street Journal, and many more.

After work, I tend to my freelance work. My work ranges from identities and logos, book design, illustrations, hand lettering, and I’m always working on new ideas for my Etsy shop. I love the work that I get to do and love that I can literally do it from anywhere.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
That’s a tough one. Gotta narrow it down here. Well, it’s got to include my brothers because they’re my favorite people—and I’ve got 5 of them, and they’re all rad.

I am protective of my brothers, being the only girl and the second oldest, I felt like I had to look out for the younger ones. One day while I was in fifth grade, I went to gather my brothers to head home. Up on the second grader playground, I looked everywhere for Mikey, but he was nowhere to be found. I continued searching when I finally spotted him, he was pressed up against a wall and cornered by three little third grader punks. I strutted up behind them, fists clenched and a look of fury in my (mind you I’m a fifth-grader) eyes, and yelled my most intimidating yell, “Leave my brother alone or I’ll kick all your butts and you’d wish you’d never met me.” They ran like the scared little third graders they were never to bother Mikey again. We walked home that day giggling about the way they looked and almost peed their pants. I love this story because it’s a pretty true picture of me now. Loyal, adventurous, brave, and kind (unless you’re hurting someone I love). Also, I used to be bigger than Mikey, now he’s taller, stronger and just an all-around better human being than me.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Selman Design (team); Creative Lab at Google NYC, NYTimes article by Kevin Baker, New York Times OP/ED, Art Director: Nathan Huang, Creative Director: Johnny Selman, Designer: Katie King Rumford, Animator: Anne di Lillo, Producer: Mike Scandiffio

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