In late 2007 I was fortunate enough to work an internship with the talented guys over at Oxide Design Co. I was just coming out of the internship program at Bozell and was curious to get the feel for working in a small design agency. In the few months I worked there I went from stuffing Mountees into boxes to working on and helping to present logos to clients. I was even there on the day Drew decided that an old ladder, a length of rope, and a few interns was enough to take his old sign down and move it into the new office. I was kept in the loop on everything going on in the office and was given the opportunity to help with some very exciting projects. My most rewarding project was the chance to work on an identity for Meadowlark Recycling. While working on this project I was fully immersed in the Oxide concepting process, a process I have adapted into how I now handle my own freelance clients.

-Chris Kelly self-portrait

I also learned that there are stark differences between the world of advertising and the world of design, something I was only barely aware of before working for both types of companies. While at Oxide I learned that you have to take care of most things on your own, to actually pick up the phone and call the client instead of having to go through an account service person. I learned that working in a small design shop forces you to come up with creative solutions to problems that may not have anything to do with design, but that mental workout can make you a better designer. I also learned that design can and should be more of a mentality and a lifestyle than just something you do at work.

Oxide has been the model I use for my dream job. I loved working with Drew and Joe (These were pre-Torpin days, however after meeting him and seeing his work, I wish I had the opportunity to work with him as well). It is rare to work with people so passionate about the best ideas refined into the most effective designs. This is an internship I strongly recommend to anyone wanting to take what they have learned in school and refine it into something that can get you a job.

Note: Chris Kelly was an intern at Oxide during the fall of 2008. View his online portfolio.