Student Talent Spotlight: Megan Dignan
If you’re an avid Snapchat user, you’ve likely noticed the most recently added geofilter for the little town of Frostburg, MD. The Bottom Line sat down with Megan Dignan, the senior behind the filter, whose career in graphic design is sure to take off any day. Dignan, with a soft smile and a clear eye for style, has used her talent to start her own brand and become the resident graphic designer for the Lane University Center. Anyone who may be looking for apartment or dorm décor, listen up.
How long have you been designing?
I have been seriously designing for about 2 years, but have played around with it since high school.
How did you discover you had the talent for it?
I switched my major for the third time during my junior year to art & design and immediately fell in love with it. Ending up in Cookie Redding’s graphic design class was the best thing that could have happened to me, and it was in her classes that I realized I had a talent and passion for graphic design. The one project where it really clicked that I could do this was an alphabet project where we had to illustrate images that represented 3 letters. I experimented with digital watercolors and hand drawn images and my finished pieces ended up inspiring me to open up a Society6 store.
Where does your inspiration for your designs come from?
Anywhere and everywhere. Everytime I go out shopping, I end up taking a few pictures of packaging, logos, patterns, and colors that catch my eye. When I hit a wall in my design process, I often look through these pictures to find a new color palette or inspiration.
Are there certain designers that you look up to or get inspiration from?
My absolute favorite designer is Cat Coquillette. I discovered her work on Society6 when I was in high school and have followed her work for years. Her style is a mixture of watercolors, hand lettering and geometric designs. Where she is in her career is where I aspire to be in the next 5 – 10 years.
Where do you hope to go with design?
I am still in the process of figuring out how I want to pursue design as a career. I am currently hoping to set up a booth this summer at Heritage Days, a street fair in Cumberland, to grow my customer base locally. I plan on continuing to go to craft and art shows after my trial run this summer. Long term, I either want to open my own design business, or work for a company or university doing all of their branding, promotional materials, publications, etc.
What else do you do on campus?
I am currently interning as the assistant director at the Lane University Center and work on supporting and improving the Information Desk and Game Room operations, as well as plan and schedule risk management for our late night events. I am also a student building manager at Lane and have been an employee there for four years.
I opened a store on Society6 about a year ago where I sell my designs on items like pillow, mugs, t shirts and more. I also opened a Redbubble store this past January and sell my designs on notebooks, stickers and various other products as well. It has been a really rewarding experience to see my designs on physical products.
How else do you like to spend your time outside of work and design?
When I happen to find down time, I like to relax and watch Netflix and HBO or just hang out with family and friends.
Tell the story about designing the FrostburgFirst logo and the snapchat filter that came out of that?
Jessica Palumbo from FrostburgFirst came to Cookie Redding’s advanced graphic design class last spring and briefed us on what kind of logo she was looking for and what FrostburgFirst does for the community. There were about 15 of us in the class and each of us had to design a logo, color scheme and full branding package to present to Ms. Palumbo at the end of the semester. I was lucky enough to be selected as the winner and spent the next few weeks making edits to my original logo to make sure it was exactly what FrostburgFirst was looking for. It has been so exciting to see my logo on a banner at Frostburg’s Preview and on drawstring bags that they gave out at Frostburg 101. Working with my first professional client was a great educational experience and they were so wonderful to work with.
Missy Martz submitted my logo to Snapchat to be considered for a geotag for Frostburg, MD. I was so surprised when I was swiping through Snapchat and saw my design as a filter. It’s been so exciting knowing that so many people have seen and used my design.
Your favorite of your own designs?
My current favorite out of all of my designs is my Pink Orbs design. It is a seamless pattern that I created using geometric shapes. I love creating patterns and I think that geometric shapes create really strong compositions.
Anything you are working on now that you would like to share?
I am currently working on a constellation zodiac series, which includes digital watercolors and geometric shapes. I’ve completed two so far and hope to have the others finished within the next couple of months.
Interesting ideas for designs in the future?
Lately I’ve been really inspired by astrology, astronomy and the supernatural. I plan on working on a tarot card series next.
Follow Megan Dignan on Instgram, Society6, and Redbubble at: