According to Khamisi Benford, the secret to a successful design career is to keep yourself relevant and never get comfortable. These two habits have garnered Benford several freelance projects and national attention as a graphic designer for his work on the 2009 “African American Booklist.”
“I had an awesome time working on this year's list,” said Benford. “This publication is sent to institutions throughout the region. Those interested in the literary arts use it as a tool for good books to read. Due to the historic time in our country it was important to me to highlight our past as well as our present on the cover.”
As the library’s graphic designer, Benford designs flyers, promotional materials and print collateral from concept through completion. He works with print vendors to ensure projects meet their tight deadlines.
Benford freelances under his studio’s name Benford Graphic Design when he’s not busy with his family or career at the Library. Some of his projects include establishing identity and branding standards for Gameplan Marketing, EpicProportions and RRosebush and Associates as well as Web design and development of sites for Swankytails.com, africanmusicfestival.net and hhhholdings.net.
“I loved working on the invitation for the Motown Historical Museum’s annual fundraiser,” said Benford. “The invitation was so successful that they still use a variation of my design to this date.
“I also enjoyed working with the talented staff at Ambassador Magazine. My stint there was enjoyable and it taught me a ton about publication design.”
The College for Creative Studies helped Benford refine his design abilities and taught him to be tenacious as he works toward deadlines.
“I constantly find myself flipping through the issues of How Magazine and researching the latest trends,” Benford said. “Most of the time you can be assured that I am trying to develop a solution to the latest design challenge. I’ve found it’s important to continue honing your skills—sharpen your saw. The work ethic that CCS instilled in me has allowed me to excel in my profession today.”
- Graduation Year: 2000
- Employer: Detroit Public Library
- Title: Graphic Designer
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