Designing to Make an Impact

By Hailey Stangebye

Rita Sipe only applied to art schools with glass blowing labs. And, while glass is no longer our graphic designer’s medium of choice, she still brings that delightfully unexpected and out-of-the-box perspective to all of her work.

Rita originally hails from a smaller, New Jersey suburb, which was about a 30 minute train ride to New York City. Her move to the midwest was a strategic choice.

“I wanted to experience the midwest, and I knew I wanted to be a part of a small city,” Rita says. “When I came to visit, I fell in love with how local business is supported so heavily in Columbus. We love art, food, music and culture in general. It’s easy to pave a way for yourself in this creative community because we’re so collaborative. Everyone knows everyone. Small businesses and the arts are supported and appreciated. Columbus is a great blend of the comfort of a suburb, with the growth of a city.”

“We love art, food, music and culture in general. It’s easy to pave a way for yourself in this creative community because we’re so collaborative. Everyone knows everyone. Small businesses and the arts are supported and appreciated. Columbus is a great blend of the comfort of a suburb, with the growth of a city.”

The Columbus community — coupled with a glass blowing lab — made CCAD a natural fit for Rita. Through her studies at CCAD, Rita discovered her passion for graphic design.

“I will always love the expression of fine art, learning new mediums and working with my hands,” Rita says. “But what I love about design is that, to me, it can be the most malleable form of art. You can use photography, collage, illustration, drawings, typography, the Adobe suite. Design can be handmade and personal, or it can be clean and refined. I see it as a multidisciplinary form of art with a broader message.”

“Design can be handmade and personal, or it can be clean and refined. I see it as a multidisciplinary form of art with a broader message.”

Immediately after graduating, Rita was scooped up by an ad agency. Even though she was working in graphic design at the time, she knew that that company culture wasn’t the best possible fit. After pursuing freelance design and exploring different types of agencies, she discovered Warhol & WALL ST.

“What I love about Warhol & WALL ST. is that, in comparison to other places I’ve worked, we’re a very diverse group of people. We’re all different ages, races, genders. We have a truly unique perspective,” Rita says. “On top of that, we have a forward thinking mindset. Instead of just doing the minimum, we think outside the box and deliver really unique work like creating festivals, movie premieres, fun social campaigns, fashion initiatives, etcetera. We always create impactful work.”

“What I love about Warhol & WALL ST. is that, in comparison to other places I’ve worked, we’re a very diverse group of people. We’re all different ages, races, genders. We have a truly unique perspective.”

Since joining our Warhol & WALL ST. team, Rita has created everything from custom print coloring books and comic strips, to animated web graphics and stage backdrops. She doesn’t spend much time blowing glass anymore, but she certainly shatters preconceived conceptions of design.