December 18, 2014
Holiday Series: Lizelle Galaz
At Highway Twenty, we believe in doing meaningful work that produces high quality results for our clients. We work with organizations and projects that make a difference in our community, so loving our work comes easy. The Highway Twenty team recently took time out to share meaningful experiences that impacted them in a series of interviews. This is the fifth blog in the series.
Bridging two of her passions, Highway Twenty graphic designer Lizelle Galaz speaks about the essential role design plays in a nonprofit’s success and how mentorship impacts a person’s career.
Describe your volunteer experience.
My current volunteer work focuses on helping younger design students find their place at Arizona State University. Third year students run the Graphic Design Student Association (GDSA) and it’s our responsibility to coordinate events and mentor and share wisdom with underclassmen. By junior year you have a lot to pass on to inspire younger students. In my work with GDSA, we brought in alumni to share behind-the-scenes insight. It was fascinating to see people who were once in our shoes with such amazing careers.
Why is mentorship so important for designers?
Mentors push mentees to be better versions of themselves. When you have that sort of support, it’s your duty to be that person for someone else. Mentoring is also one of the most personal ways to help others. I stumbled upon my passion for design through my uncle. I got to see him freelancing from home, sketching logos, websites, and posters. To this day, he is my mentor. He gives me confidence and faith in my capabilities and in that sense, being mentored influences me to mentor and help others.
What impact can designers can have On nonprofits?
The difference between art and design is that design is always geared toward a specific goal and gives organizations a visual identity that competes with other brands. Design can level the playing field between nonprofits, where funds aren’t often allocated toward marketing, and businesses with bigger budgets.
It’s all about how you convey a message and tell a story. It’s important that nonprofits work with designers because their fundraising campaigns are competing for attention with companies that have bigger design budgets. For me, this is where design can meet volunteering: you can apply your skills to something you really care about.
How does your giving back to the design community relate to your work at Highway Twenty?
Every project we do at Highway Twenty comes full circle because it’s helping our business but also giving me experience. In the beginning of a project, it can be hard to know how many people your work will impact, but it’s fun to find out. My first project with Highway Twenty was the PlanPHX 2014 Summit. It started with meetings and smaller projects and a lot of in-office work. The day of the event, I saw how many people were viewing our work and that they were inspired to interact with it. It’s kind of a pay-it-forward type of thing: your creativity stokes passion and interest in others. For me, that’s a double-smile type of scenario.