Spotlight on Alumni: Berkeley Poole

Spotlight on Alumni: Berkeley Poole

Berkeley Poole
Art Director, Barneys, New York
BDes 2010


What are you doing now?

I’m the Art Director at Barneys New York. I oversee all the advertising and brand materials for the company and its thirty stores and work alongside our Creative Director and Design Director for the brand’s advertising campaigns, store windows, in-store signage and in-house magazine. Creating and designing the magazine is especially exciting because it’s a great opportunity to do some really experimental custom type. I also oversee our design team and work with the marketing and events teams to create additional advertising collateral, mailers and event invitations. Recently, I’ve been redesigning the in-house materials for employee training and Human Resources.

Outside of that, I just finished designing Asian American, a cookbook by Iron Chef alumni Dale Talde. And instead of having downtime or ever sleeping, I’ve been working on a few branding projects.

How did your experience in York’s Design program prepare you for what you are doing now?

I learned how to talk about my work and present it to other people. Design really is a collaborative process. Of course, there are parts of it you do on your own, but you need to balance your aesthetic sensibilities and a strong conceptual foundation with project criteria and client feedback. There was also a strong typography focus, which really helped me not only to appreciate type but to understand the rules, hierarchy, spacing, sizing and character styling.

Through York, I also had the opportunity to go on an exchange to the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany, which greatly shaped and informed my practice today. In the classes there you were encouraged to have a strong conceptual basis for your work.


Is there something specific you have done since graduation that you are particularly proud of?

I cofounded, designed and self-published ADULT magazine. In the end it might’ve shaved a few years off my life, but it was an incredible learning experience and I enjoyed collaborating with talented photographers, writers and artists.


What were the most rewarding and practical components of the York Design program for you?

Being in the labs! They were excellent facilities to work in, and it was great being able to get instant feedback from peers and professors. I felt like I lived there with my own little design family.


Do you have any advice or recommendations for current Design students?

A lot of designers fall into the trap of thinking they know everything, but to me, that means intellectual stagnation and laziness. That attitude will undermine the quality of your work. Know that you ALWAYS have more to learn. Actively find ways to learn new skills and cultivate different ways of thinking. Go beyond Pinterest and Tumblr – visit galleries and museums, see movies, learn a new program, take tutorials, go outside the design world and find inspiration! Working hard and learning new skills demonstrates that you have the skills your employer or client needs and shows that you’re resourceful, smart and driven.