logo

Alumni in Print – Where Are They Now? - Brandon Iverson

July 10, 2017

The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation is publishing profiles featuring some of their more than 6000 former scholarship recipients. This series gives you an up close and personal insight into the thoughts and motivations of the former students who are a part of our industry today. As our current employees reach retirement and leave, replacing them becomes an increasingly important factor for many companies. Here is one story…

A Profile

Brandon IversonBrandon Iverson attended Hermantown High School, graduating in 2006. He went on to attend Mesabi Range Community and Technical College, receiving his Associates Degree in Graphic Design and Print Communications in 2008. While there he achieved the National Deans List with a 3.84 GPA. He then went on to attend Bemidji State University, gaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Design Technology Emphasis in Digital Design Print. He graduated in 2010, Magna Cum Laude with a 3.88 GPA.

How did you first get interested in the graphic arts, or decide to focus on graphic communications in school?

I initially got interested in graphic design by playing video games.  As I further looked into different avenues, I came across a graphic design program offered through the Secondary Technical Center through the Duluth Schools.  I was able to take the class my senior year of high school, and I really took to the graphic design world.

Did you take any courses in high school that were related to graphic communications, or that prepared you for your planned career?

As mentioned in the previous question the Secondary Technical Center through the Duluth School District offered a class for graphic design. Being a Hermantown High School student I jumped at the opportunity to take a specialized class in a field I was interested in. They taught how to use print equipment such as a printing press, larger format paper cutter, screen printing and more.  Along with the equipment we were taught graphic design skills on the computer, learning the programs and executing design projects. It was a great introduction to the design world and allowed me to earn college credit.

How do you think going through your education process prepared you for the workforce?

Going through the education process taught me the fundamentals of design and taught me how to think about projects. How to approach each type of project and make sure to understand all the steps involved in each. I do believe that going the four year route helped expand my abilities. After two years, I had a very good knowledge of the programs and basic graphic design. I felt I needed to develop my skills more, and to mature as a designer and as a person. It was the best thing I ever did. I developed the skills design wise, professionally and developed lifelong relationships. It really built the foundation for what I have become, because as the workforce phase of my life came I was prepared to learn and expand myself even more. The real world really forces you to think quickly and to be able to take constructive criticism. You need a thicker skin in this career as not everyone’s eye or thought of design is the same. Understanding that at the educational level was key to understanding what will happen in the real world and how to handle it.

In the Workforce Today

What company are you working for now and what types of products and services do they provide to their customers?

I recently changed positions.  For the last 8 years, I was a Graphic Designer for FeraDyne Outdoors (Formally Field Logic) located in Superior, Wisconsin. They are one of the largest archery accessory manufacturing companies in the world. They manufacture Rage Broadheads, Muzzy Broadheads, TruFire Release, Nockturnal Lighted Nocks, Block Targets, GlenDel 3D Targets, Hurricane Bag Targets, Shooter 3D Targets, IQ Bowsights, Sure-Loc Archery Sights, S4Gear, Black Hole Targets, Apple Archery and Xpress Bow Press. It was a great opportunity to learn and develop my skills. I was the sole designer there the last year where I did all projects in the marketing. Print ads, label design, packaging design and mockup, POP displays, Trade Show Displays, vehicle graphics, signage, brochures, catalogs, social media, website management, vinyl application, banner design, logo design, sell sheets and more.

That opportunity has allowed me to move to another opportunity where I have just started the position of Associate Marketing Specialist at the University of Wisconsin- Superior.  I will be handling the marketing and design responsibilities for the Continuing Education department. I am excited to venture into a new opportunity where I can continue to grow.

PGSF Donate NowWhat job did you first have with the company when you started, what position do you have now, and/or what else have you done since joining the company?

Before it was FeraDyne the company was Field Logic. I started with Field Logic as a broadhead assembler down in manufacturing. I found out there was an opening in the graphics department and I knocked on the door every week, sometimes multiple times a week, to get myself up there. They finally gave me a shot and I took off with it. Aside from designing for Field Logic, we also had a portion of the department where we did outside sales. So, we would provide graphic design services, vinyl graphics, signage, etc. for the Twin Ports area. Being able to learn the 54” print plotter we had in the department allowed me to do many things and develop a skill on working with vinyl and different applications.  

What do you think employers are looking for in today’s workforce and the current industry environment?

I think today’s employers are looking for hybrid marketing and design professionals.  They want to see people coming with knowledge of marketing processes and ideas as well as the skills to actually execute them through design and other solutions. Today’s employers are keeping smaller teams and the more knowledge you have of marketing, design, materials, vendors, processes, costs, etc. the more it will benefit you. But above all else a strong work ethic and passion for what you do will shine through.

Is there anything that you have found to be particularly different from what you initially expected, now that you’ve progressed through your work career for a period of time?

Coming out of college I don’t think anyone really knows what they expect. Many think that you sit down at a computer and design things and that’s all you do. There is so much more to it than that. We are told that in college, but most never listen and truly believe it until they hit the real world. You learn quickly as deadlines start and you’re thrown into different projects. For me that was the fun part - learning and expanding into different areas. But as a graphic designer you are part of so much. Not only the design, but the inner workings of budgets, working with other departments for information, messages and the face of the brands you design for, and social media. Really understanding the reach that you have to people, whether it’s a small town or big city, you need to know the audience and how to connect with them. It is a really amazing feeling when you see a design that you have done in different places.

Have you changed your plans or ideas about what area or type of job you might like to have since you first considered the graphic communications field and began studying for a career in it?

Since high school I have pretty much only wanted to be a graphic designer. Depending on certain areas, designers get paid better than others. What people don’t understand is that when you find a career, it is not just a job. It’s more. It’s something you are passionate about and enjoy doing. I have explored outside options other than the graphic design industry and I just can’t see myself doing something else

What do you see yourself doing a few years from now?

This new opportunity here at University of Wisconsin-Superior has allowed me to develop a few more avenues to strive for. As I continue developing the marketing in the continuing education program here at the University of Wisconsin-Superior I hope to have the start of my own business. Using my experience with vinyl and the printer I hope to develop my own business doing graphic design along with vehicle graphics, signage, packaging/packaging prototyping, banners and more. The sky is the limit from there.

Was being a recipient of a PGSF scholarship important, or did it have an impact on your future or ability to succeed in the industry?

Receiving the PFSF scholarship was very important.  It helped me develop my education and help me to decide to further my education.

 Anything else that you would like to add?

I am proud to me a recipient of the PFSF scholarship and I encourage more to apply and be a part of it.  I am on the board for some of my former programs and really enjoy working with kids and sharing my knowledge from my education and work experience.


Print and Graphics Scholarship FoundationPGSF works to inform young people about the opportunities that are available in the graphic arts industry and then support them during their educational phase. To learn more about PGSF, or how you can support its work, visit www.pgsf.org or contact John Berthelsen at jberthelsen@printing.org. PGSF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

I initially got interested in graphic design by playing video games.  As I further looked into different avenues, I came across a graphic design program offered through the Secondary Technical Center through the Duluth Schools.  I was able to take the class my senior year of high school, and I really took to the graphic design world.  
Did you take any courses in high school that were related to graphic communications, or that prepared you for your planned career?
As mentioned in the previous question the Secondary Technical Center through the Duluth School District offered a class for graphic design. Being a Hermantown High School student I jumped at the opportunity to take a specialized class in a field I was interested in. They taught how to use print equipment such as a printing press, larger format paper cutter, screen printing and more.  Along with the equipment we were taught graphic design skills on the computer, learning the programs and executing design projects. It was a great introduction to the design world and allowed me to earn college credit.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.Basic HTML code is allowed.