Louis Herlihy has been working as a freelance designer for the past year and a half and is notoriously known for working on digital art and design pieces in the dead of night. Currently working on a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in graphic design at Indiana University Southeast, he finds himself influenced by a wide range of creatives, ranging from the minimalist, conservative Paul Rand, to the experimental and attitude-rooted Stefan Sagmeister. If he’s not working on art or design of some kind, he can most likely be found in a local coffee shop trying to keep his attention on his laptop as he waits for the caffeine to kick in.
- 2017 Creativity International Awards – Created With Adobe: Winner – The Food Literacy Project Brand Standards
- 2017 Louisville AAF Louies: Gold Student ADDY – Tea Packaging
- 2017 Louisville AAF Louies: Silver Student ADDY – The Food Literacy Project Brand Standards
- 2016 Louisville AIGA Awards: Student Award – Tea Packaging
- 2016 Louisville AIGA Awards: Student Award – Lego Animation
Although he has three years of dedicated design experience, Louis has been a creative since the age of 12. It wasn’t until after graduating high school, however, that he considered a career in visual design. “It’s actually a little funny how I fell into my line of work,” he remarks. 18 years old and a fresh high school graduate, Louis originally intended to move to Los Angeles, California with a friend in order to begin a career in film production. “Obviously, that never happened, or I probably wouldn’t be here right now,” he chuckles. After re-evaluating his plans and deciding to take a steadier path into the film industry, Louis entered the local community college, Ivy Tech, and earned an Associates of Applied Science from the Visual Communications department. “I had always had an interest in playing around with Photoshop, and I would do small banners for my high school website, as well as forum signatures and the like on DeviantArt, calling myself a ‘gfx artist,'” he reflects. “However, I had never looked at graphic design seriously as a field to go into. Ivy Tech changed that.” Upon enrolling at Ivy Tech, Louis had been instantly captivated by vector illustration and graphic design and the power designers could have over the elements of art and principles of design. “What we do makes or breaks a product, a brand identity, anything, really. We give a visual representation to concepts and ideas. How neat is that?”
Today, Louis specializes in visual design and works with both digital media and print work. As a designer, he works with clients to evolve a simple concept into a finalized visual form, ready to be put out into the world. After carefully constructing an impactful design, he takes pride in the finished product, printed and officially on display, and enjoys the client’s satisfied reaction to the completed work. “It’s so cool seeing something that you’ve done actually printed for a poster, product design, package design, etc.” he boasts, while envisioning mock-ups and final prototypes. “It makes the whole thing real and it allows you to actually show off your work outside of a screen format.”
Although Louis doesn’t have a specific piece of work that he favors, he appreciates the opportunities that each project has allowed him. He embraces each challenge as an avenue to develop his voice and style, as a designer, and recognizes that each piece helps make him the artist he is today. Each package design, branding, stationery, and UI work enables him to help others express their concepts while strengthening his own visual influence. “It’s so neat seeing the people I work with get so happy,” he reminisces. “I’m thankful for every opportunity I’ve gotten as a designer.”
As Louis reflects on his past experiences and opportunities, he enthusiastically encourages others interested in pursuing design to follow their passions and never abandon their pursuits. “Everyone starts somewhere!” he exclaims. As long as you dedicate time to your craft, you will improve. Although, at times, it can be disheartening to feel as if your skills aren’t developing, keep practicing and push past those feelings of doubt. “Don’t give up!” Louis encourages. “I believe in you! We’re all working on improving every day.”
Though, just as you are attempting to improve your own visual eye, others are also practicing and studying. Don’t be afraid to accept help from those around you along your artistic journey! “Design doesn’t happen in a bubble,” Louis states. Ignoring helpful feedback offered from peers and advisors can lead to simple mistakes and embarrassing situations. Constructive criticism can offer you a different perspective and help you grow. Don’t allow yourself to get too caught up on others, though. Comparing your work to the work of those around you can distract you from your own personal growth and blind you to the improvements you’ve actually made. Remember that everyone grows at different rates and it’s impossible to completely understand the backgrounds and experiences of those around you. It’s best to focus on your own work, reflect on your own progress, and celebrate your own successes, no matter how small they may seem. “The only way you’ll know if you’re improving, is if you focus on you,” Louis affirms.