David Harrison Ferrell II: Driven by Purpose and People

Senior Graphic Designer

by Elizabeth Lavis


12 Jan 2024

Gold Winner in Branding for Social Change 2023
 “I like to calendarize my projects to stay on track and ensure that I’m dedicating the right amount of time to each one”

Studio Brand’s Senior Graphic Designer, David Harrison Ferrell, is deeply motivated by people and purpose. “By this, I mean creating an impact,” he says, “Even if it’s through something as simple as offering a different viewpoint or a smile that enables someone to see life positively.”

This ethos helped him take home 2023’s Indigo Gold for Branding and Social Change for his project “The Experience”. “People, people, and again, people inspired this year’s winning work,” Ferrell says. “Museums exist thanks to the individuals who visit them.” Ferrell’s personal philosophy only underlines his design style. “I always like to stress that, through my designs, I feel the need to express a simple message, uniting multiple disciplines to tell compelling stories catered to each individual, to create impact and connect with people.” 

His advice for up-and-coming designers is simple: stay constantly inspired. “Always look around and take inspiration from anything you can. Try to interpret it in new and innovative ways,” he says. “Never be afraid of expressing your viewpoints, defending your creative ideas, and never let anyone extinguish the burning creative fire within you. This fire is your drive, motivation, and the most essential element to make you reach great heights in the design world.” He also emphasizes the importance of embracing and listening to your inner child. “Curiosity is paramount for us designers,” he says.

"The Experience", David Harrison Ferrell II

Ferrell is a dual citizen of Vicenza, Italy, and the United States. “The multiculturalism I’ve experienced has enabled me to broaden my horizons and open up to diverse opinions, views, and possibilities,” he says. “This has really inspired me to keep an open mind and delve into the differences because I’ve come to understand that it’s precisely the dissimilarities, contrasts, and singular distinctions that lead to the best designs.”

Although Ferrell has always had a creative yen, he dreamt of a different career as a child. “When I was younger, I wanted to be a chef,” he says. “Thinking about it, though, I’ve always wanted to be in a creative environment, be it culinary or artistic.” He fell into design almost by accident. “During a hot summer day before starting my first year of high school, I decided to try my hand at designing a small comic book. At that moment, I really understood that I had a true passion for design,” he says. “From that day on, the rest is history.”

Like most designers, Ferrell sometimes has to confront the inevitable burnout head-on, which he does through organizing his time. “Time management definitely has to be your friend,” he says. “I like to calendarize my projects to stay on track and ensure that I’m dedicating the right amount of time to each one.” Additionally, he stays creative under pressure by staying calm and allowing himself to breathe and think about nothing for a moment. “I find that taking an energizing walk during moments of pressure keeps my creativity up and running on a high battery,” he says. 

Ferrell also manages work/life balance by careful planning and avoiding overwork. “I always make sure that I have some time to travel and discover the world because that can be a strong source of inspiration for future designs,” he says. He also strives to grow personally and professionally by honing his skills and learning about exciting new trends, like AI/generative design, as well as actively listening, being respectful, and always ensuring that people are cared for.

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