I started the Whitespace fellowship in March, as part of the Spring 2017 session. Whitespace is a fellowship program for hungry designers: designers are placed in an early stage startup, often as a company’s first designer with a wealth of things to get done. The brilliance comes in the support Whitespace gives you when you’re starting out. Two days a week are spent at Whitespace, with design critiques, talks on working in a startup and field trips to other Bay Area companies.
I had the pleasure to be placed at a Fintech company called Jacobi. As their first designer, Jacobi had plenty for me to tackle immediately. I was challenged with rebranding the whole company a few weeks into the program, which they hoped to have complete in a couple of a weeks. After many iterations, mistakes, and successes I finally landed on a new logo and brand direction. It was a tough journey that took much longer than Jacobi had anticipated, but in the end, they were beyond pleased with the final product. It was during this time that I really saw the value of Whitespace’s process. The feedback from my fellow designers and Whitespace mentors helped give me direction and insight I would not have had working alone. With their help, I was confident about the strength my work.
This rebranding process showed me how other talented designers’ feedback can make such a remarkable difference in my work. A few of us valued this process so much, that after the program we continued on with smaller-scale critique sessions, supporting each other as the lone designers at our respective startups. I also underestimated the value of the growing Whitespace alumni community. We share design news and provide support to each other, and of course it never hurts to be connected to a network of other designers at various startups in the Bay Area.
Whitespace helped me break into a new stage of my design career. This program can be a massive help for those willing to put in the hard work and grow beyond their current capabilities.
For those interested, applications for the Fall 2017 session are currently open till Aug. 13. Learn more at whitespacecrew.com.