The 20 Minute Interview: Meet our Visual Designer, Sean McGinnis

Eric Kazda  |   August 9, 2017   |  Posted in The QD Team

Quantum Dynamix is continuing to build a team of experts with our newest hire, Sean McGinnis. McGinnis is an expert in the visual and graphic design field. The visual design industry in Lancaster, PA is growing and goes hand-in-hand with website design and development. Jump into the mind our newest expert to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Quantum Dynamix culture and how we are staying innovative in this growing industry.

Sean McGinnis team photo

Name: Sean McGinnis

Role: Visual Designer

 

On His Unusual Career Path

I graduated high school in 1998 and went to Millersville University for graphic design. While at Millersville – I guess you could say that I got bored – and I ended up joining the military. I was in the military for the better part of 9 years. When I got out I started doing sales with my Dad – we had a business together. I realized that was not for me.  So, I decided to go back to school and finish my degree.

I went back to the web program at the Art Institute in York. I felt I still had a pretty strong design foundation. I had continued to draw and create and do all those things while I was in the military. It was a part of me – I just wasn’t doing it professionally. I completed my degree – a B.S. in web design and interactive media. I got a job working as a web designer and developer, but was laid off in October of last year.

From there I started really diving into more of my freelance work. While I was freelancing, I got to experience many other aspects of the industry, not just web design. I was doing print design and other production graphic work for a couple different agencies. I even worked on accounts like Labatt’s and Seagram’s. I just gained a lot of experience and ran my own business until Quantum Dynamix recruited me.

They were working with somebody who had reached out to me via LinkedIn and asked me if I wanted to come in for an interview and meet these guys. I did, and I really liked them and the culture here.

I guess I took a very non-traditional path. Going back to school – I was old! It was a hard decision to make because I knew it was going to demand a lot of my time. For almost three years I was in school full-time and not really working as much as I was before. My last semester I had five classes and my wife and I had just had our daughter. It was rough – but it was worth it. I knew this is what I wanted to do.

There was no doubt in my mind that this was the career path I wanted.

On Why He Loves Visual Design

“I love the creative aspect of it. I like to produce things – I like to make things – I like to be hands-on. There’s something about talking to a client, starting a project, bringing that project to completion, and seeing their reaction when it’s finished.

It’s nice to know you’ve created something that’s going to be around for a while and be a tangible thing for someone to use. It’s fulfilling for me and wasn’t something I was getting out of the sales world or any job I had before.

I really like the conceptual end of things because you get to flex your creative muscles. That’s the most fun for me. That being said, it’s also really fun to do websites! You get to come up with new ways to display the same standard information that’s found on most websites.

Content can only be laid out so many ways –  so it’s all about how you wrap or style it to make it interesting.”

On Continuing Education

“I stay as up-to-date as possible with current trends in graphic design, web design, technology that’s being used, and the techniques in programs we use to create all this stuff. I try to stay active in things that I may not be doing on a regular basis. In this business, you might be designing websites for a long period. Then suddenly, you’ve got a logo or print design job and you have to switch gears. It’s nice to keep current with research and actively produce small side projects or tutorials just for myself.”

On the Ever-Changing Design Industry

Inside the industry, the roles are starting to get blended together. You get this all-encompassing design role that can be a good and a bad thing. Moving forward, it can be a bad thing for people who are not as receptive to change, but you also get talented people who can jack-of-all-trades it. But it could dilute the quality if people try to be great at everything in the design world.

I hope that there’s still a need for specific items, like really good print design, web design, and conceptual work in the future. I would consider myself a jack-of-all-trades but do have two main focuses. Web design has been what I’ve primarily been doing for the last three years, but I’m also comfortable in the realm of conceptual design.

On Working at Quantum Dynamix

“I was hesitant initially coming from a freelance role. I got to a point where I wanted to see what was out there full-time, and I found Quantum Dynamix. I didn’t have to take a full-time job, but this felt like a really good fit. I’m glad I made that decision because it has been a really good fit!

The people here are great, the culture here is cool and laid-back. It’s an easy working environment. Everybody is receptive to everyone else’s ideas. If you have an idea about something, you can go talk to Eric or Craig. They will sit down and listen to you, have a conversation with you, and implement that into the strategy if they feel it’s beneficial to the company.

You feel more invested because of that.

You care more about a place when you feel like you have a say.

Instead of having a boss saying that ‘this is my way, this is how we do it, I don’t want to hear it’ – these guys will say ‘if you think it should be done differently, let’s hear it out to see if it will work better than what we’re currently doing.’ Which to me, is a better way of doing things. Plus, you can just tell that it’s a growing company – so it’s fun to be around.”

On Living in Lancaster, PA

“I grew up in Pittsburgh. I was there until I was about 16 and then moved out here with my father. He took a job in this area because it was on the edge of his old job’s non-compete clause. This was the closest we could still be to Pittsburgh and meet his contractual obligations.

Lancaster is a nice area! It’s now been home way longer than Pittsburgh was home. I had left while I was in the military and was stationed at different places like Texas, Colorado, South Carolina and Georgia. I’ve been everywhere – but this is where family and friends are. There’s a sense of home here. It’s a growing area, but still quiet and just a nice space. As much as I may complain about it sometimes – I have great things to say about it too.”

How to Connect with Sean

Have a question for Sean? Leave it in the comments below! Or you can connect with Sean on his LinkedIn page here.

 

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Eric

About
Eric Kazda

Eric Kazda is a leading expert in the interactive development industry with over fifteen years of experience. With a mastery of critical development technologies, Eric has crafted innovative award-winning work for clients both large and small. Coupling this knowledge with a real world understanding of usability and technological feasibility, his work is developed to be accessible by every user.

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