KEENAN, TORRANCE CA
Robin picked up her dad’s 35mm Kodak camera on a family vacation in Montana when she was six years old and has loved telling stories through visuals ever since. She has worked in advertising, branding, and marketing in various design roles, both inhouse and at agencies, for more than 15 years. She currently manages the inhouse design team at Keenan, the largest privatelyheld insurance broker for public agencies in California. Among her recent favorite work was managing the company’s holiday card project. With Keenan’s diversity and inclusion efforts in mind, Robin solicited input from employees, surveying them on family traditions around the holidays they observe. She then selected 16 stories to share with clients and partners. Robin sees design everywhere and in everything. Her library of photos from her travels across the world proves to be an endless inspiration for both Robin and the team of designers she leads. Robin’s design approach is to spend as much time in the research phase as the brainstorming phase, which often starts long before a project even hits her desk. In her free time, Robin serves as a mentor to students at Wilmington Middle School and participates in their annual Career Day by facilitating creative projects to inspire them to consider graphic design as a career path.
Has the pandemic changed your workplace and your workflow? Do you expect to return to pre-pandemic ways of working or will any changes become the ‘new normal’?
My design team and I had 24 hours of notice to set up offices in our homes the second week in March. We shelved all of our projects for in-person conferences and hurried to put together working from home and COVID resources for employees at our company, as well as for our clients and their employees. Post-pandemic, I expect to work from home most days, as I seem to be more productive, and I told my team they may do the same. I imagine that millions of Americans feel the same way, and this may have a big impact on corporate real estate.’
What do you expect 2021 to hold for graphic designers and the design business? Have the challenges of 2020 changed the way you think about your job and career or the role of design?
Sadly, printing came to a screeching halt in 2020. I predict many clients will realize the materials they were printing and distributing to employees in 2019 weren’t necessary in 2020 and that they can go digital in the future. Working remotely has made me realize that some of my dreams, such as living abroad, can be a reality. I’ll carry the challenges of 2020 with me the rest of my life the way my grandparents did with the Great Depression.
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