Branford Hall Graphic Design Student Shares What She Has Learned

Animator hopes to turn her long-time interest into a career

Samantha Aldiero knew she had a knack for visual artistry. But it wasn’t until Aldiero enrolled in Branford’s graphic design and animation program that she discovered how to put that talent to work.

“When I started researching schools, I didn’t really know what graphic designers did,” Aldiero admitted. “What I found was that some of them specialized in the same type of animation I’ve always had an appreciation for. As a result, I enrolled at Branford. And since I’ve come here, I’ve learned to do things that I never actually thought I could do.”

A clear focus in mind

According to Aldiero, the choice to attend Branford wasn’t easy. She had a number of programs to choose from. But her decision came down to attending a school that would teach her the skills she needed without requiring her to invest in additional elective courses.

“I liked the idea that at Branford, you didn’t have to take a lot of the fillers,” Aldiero said, “because you might not do so well in a lot of those. That could mean you weren’t able to proceed until you took a particular course again. In the end I came to Branford because it felt straightforward, like it was centered, a program that knew where it was going.”

The graphic design curriculum at Branford is built around courses like “Digital Imaging” and “Multimedia Production,” that allow students to zero in on their specialization.

Keeping one eye on the future

Aldiero has already completed the majority of courses she’ll need to graduate. Her skill set now includes being able to write and decipher code via programming languages including HTML and Java.

After commencement, Aldiero hopes to pursue a job in illustration. She can see herself conceptualizing logos, and perhaps even helping companies map out their online campaigns. Having learned how to use Photoshop and Illustrator (among other programs), Aldiero feels confident about executing digital concepts she could only produce on paper before.

As far as what advice Aldiero might offer to any incoming – or potential – graphic design students: “Prepare yourself. It’s not just drawing. It’s doing things in a specific way because designing requires you to do them for a reason. You’re communicating something. That’s the art. And then there is the design aspect, which requires a lot more thought. So prepare to learn how to think on a different level, in a different way.”

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