This month our Member Spotlight shines on Herbie Hickmott!
A member since 2016, Herbie has been a friendly face at many AIGA Philadelphia events the last two years. He describes himself as a “graphic designer, breakfast enthusiast, and list maker”. Learn more about Herbie below.
Tell us a little about yourself. What is your current job?
I work as a senior graphic designer for the Philadelphia Water Department. When I introduce myself and my job, most people react with “… PWD needs a graphic designer???” I work on a great team that works on all kinds of visual communication, with a strong focus on who the work is for (often, Philadelphia residents.) In a given day, I might be working on a new brochure that comes with your bill announcing a new assistance program, thinking through how to re-design a complicated form, working on materials for a community meeting announcing new green stormwater infrastructure, or branding a event like a ribbon cutting. One of the many cool and unexpected things about my job is working with other City departments. I recently did all of the branding, promotion, and day-of environmental graphics for the City’s PhillyFreeStreets program. Getting to work on the event for the third year in a row is very special to me (and has taken me to parts of Philly I might not typically go to.)
I also do some freelance when it pops up. This summer, I helped brand Blue Stoop, Philly’s first literary hub, started by two dear friends.
What do you geek out about?
Book covers, editorial illustrations, restaurant branding, cooking.
Why design? What inspires you to do the work you do?
I love being creative & working on solving problems. I was probably about 12 or 13 when I first heard/understood that graphic design existed and that I could pursue designing as a living — I’ve never looked back. I find inspiration most often in my surroundings or looking at visual stimulation. Taking a walk, reading a magazine, watching a show about travel & food.
Who helped get you here?
Is it a cliche to say my family & friends? It’s true though — they’ve been through a lot with me. But, I’d also add the network of classmates and faculty within the Graphic Design program at Drexel. Between my time as a student, and now as an adjunct professor in the same program, I’ve seen how far-reaching and supportive the Drexel family can be.
How long have you been an AIGA member? Why did you join?
I’ve been a member since late 2016. I joined because I was looking to get more involved in Philly’s design scene and to meet new people. (I actually “asked” for the membership as a birthday gift. It felt more professionally responsible than just asking for cash.)
What do you enjoy most about the Philadelphia Chapter of AIGA?
I love the variety of events & the people. My first AIGA “event” was a Drink & Draw and I met a number of folks who held various positions on the board at the time — they were so friendly, open, and welcoming. I was excited to be surrounded by people who are passionate about building and sustaining their community. Through AIGA I’ve been exposed to different experiences and backgrounds, met people with a wide array of jobs within the design discipline, and got to know people I might not otherwise cross paths with! Plus, it’s always nice to follow new friends on Instagram! (friend me @h.hickmott)
What gets you through a rough day?
Relaxing with my fiancé, Chris; podcasts; sitting on our porch doing a crossword puzzle; cooking; going to the gym.
What else are you keeping busy with?
I love projects that grow and culminate over a period of time (like a year.) One of the mini-projects I’m working on for 2018 is photographing the sky each morning on my way home from the gym. The sky can change so dramatically from day to day, and there are often surprising colors, patterns, or gradients. With the photos, I cut a strip and collage a number of sunrises together into one image. I recently shared my 8th sunrise compilation.