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University of North Florida Features Creative Director in Alumni Spotlight

Written by in BusinessDesignInterview

63 Visual Creative Director Patrick Carter was featured in the UNF Alumni Association newsletter as an "Alumni Spotlight"

You can view the write up in the newsletter here.

Below you can see the original interview that was conducted:

Where do you live and work currently?

I live in Neptune Beach, FL. I grew up in Neptune Beach and it is such a fantastic place to live and raise a family, I never wanted to live anywhere else. I have a design studio called 63 Visual in downtown Jacksonville Beach, right across from the pier. I began working at advertising agencies near Downtown Jacksonville which proved to be a difficult and time consuming commute. When I started my company I wanted to have something closer to home, and the Jacksonville Beach location is a perfect match of a metropolitan area combined with a community and residential feel. My current commute is only 8 minutes from my home which is really nice and saves a lot of time and stress.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?

Having grown up in the beaches area, my favorite pastime is surfing. I also enjoy Jiu Jitsu, creating art and design projects aside from my work, and spending time with friends and family.

How did your UNF experience prepare you for your career?

I felt the graphic design program at UNF was really good in that the professors put a focus on preparing us for the real world experiences a graphic designer would face. Many of my professors had worked as graphic design professionals, and would bring in industry speakers, and give us projects that would replicate an actual project we might work on with a client. Probably the best way I was prepared for my career was by getting an internship at an advertising agency in my senior year. This allowed me to transition the principles I was learning into an actual work place environment.

What is one of the most important things you learned during your time at UNF?

UNF taught me the value of hard work, making deadlines, and being creative under pressure. There were many nights when I stayed in the computer lab over night to complete projects and make them the best they could possibly be. I think this set the tone for entering a competitive field and being able to produce the quality work that employers and clients are looking for.

What is your favorite memory from your time at UNF?

In general, getting to know friends and connections with other graphic designers, professors, and students in general. We spent a lot of time learning together and those connections have become a great resources as colleagues and personal friendships over the years which is really valuable to me.

What organizations/clubs did you participate in?

The most important and valuable club I participated in, in terms of my career was AIGA – The Professional Association for Design. While AIGA is not a UNF club it did allow me to network with other industry professionals and accelerate the transition of my career from the student phase into the professional graphic designer phase. Aside from that, I was also involved with the design club to some degree, but AIGA definitely had the biggest impact on my time there.

What does UNF mean to you?

UNF is an excellent school that served me very well, and continues to grow and be a more and more impressive educational institution every day. Not only is it a great school with an excellent graphic design program, but it also allowed someone like myself who wanted to remain a part of the Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beaches community to get a high quality education while still keeping my roots.

How are you still involved with the university?

I find the most value in being involved directly with graphic design students that are interested in hearing about my experience as a student and are interested in the transition to becoming a professional designer. I remain involved by giving presentations to graphic design classes from time to time and interacting with students at portfolio reviews and other design related events.

Why do you think it’s important to remain connected with UNF as an alumnus?

I think it is most important to help impact the lives of students that need guidance on how to integrate with the professional design industry. The students get a great education from their professors, but it also gives them a well rounded transition into the workforce by being able to get feedback and guidance from professionals that are currently doing the work in their careers. Also, UNF is a huge part of the local community so by remaining involved you get a sense of pride and fellowship.

Here’s the content from the newsletter article:

Patrick Carter is thankful to UNF for providing him with a high-quality education, and at the same time allowing him to maintain his roots in Jacksonville, where he now lives and works.

His journey, though filled with important learning experiences, was not always easy. First, he had to be accepted into the selective graphic design program. Once a graphic design major, Carter learned the value of hard work, being creative under pressure and making those all-important deadlines, all of which prepared him for entering a highly competitive field. Thanks to UNF’s community partners, Carter had the chance to create real-world projects and learn from industry leaders. He also learned lessons from his professors that allowed him to transition with ease from classes into an internship at an advertising agency.

After graduating, Carter worked at different advertising agencies in Jacksonville, eventually opening his own agency — 63 Visual — in downtown Jacksonville. He credits his UNF professors with his success, explaining that “the professors put a focus on preparing us for the real-world experiences any graphic designer would face.”

To give back, Carter returns regularly to UNF to speak with students in the graphic design program, just as the industry leaders who influenced him as a student. When he isn’t working or meeting with students, you can find Carter working on personal art projects, surfing, enjoying Jiu Jitsu or spending time with his family and friends.

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