Graduation Year & Degree: 2015 BFA
Major: Graphic Design
Marywood Clubs & Activities: CMYKlub, Zeta Phi Delta
Current Occupation: Production Manager of Professional Services at Ceros – a cloud-based design platform that allows marketers and designers to create immersive content without writing a single line of code.
How long at current job: 5 years
Personal Website: mereharding.com
What was your favorite part about studying art at Marywood? My class had a really close bond with each other and our wonderful professors. I always thought that seemed special and it made me more excited to come to classes. We’d all stay late to finish projects and critique each other to help our friends create better work. Each of us were great at different elements of design and when we worked together and listened to the ideas that came out of our critiques, it brought out some really amazing results.
How did your art education at Marywood help your career? A lot of what I learned at Marywood was attention to detail and making sure to always put your best work out. It was always so important in my classes to make sure that every tiny part of a piece came together to form something impressive. One small misalignment can make or break a design and double/triple checking your own work before turning it into your professor or your manager as “complete” can make or break the trust they instill in you in future projects.
What attracted you to this career path? Managing a team is great because I’m not only growing in my own career, but I’m also helping my team grow as designers. I think the best thing we can do as humans is to learn from each other and help each other grow.
Did your career path match your vision of a career path? What’s different? Truthfully, I never thought I’d become a manager! When I was in college, I thought I would find myself in a position where I would be designing packaging for a big brand somewhere. When I began at Ceros as an intern, I felt myself going down a different path than the one I had pictured. My team at Ceros designs and builds interactive web content for our clients using our web-based studio. Switching gears from what I had imagined was pretty scary, but truthfully it felt right. I’ve always been a process-oriented person, always trying to make sure things were completed properly. So, when the opportunity came for me in my third year to be promoted to a manager, I ran with it. I feel a certain sense of security in this position because I know how each of my team members works and how I can help them bring their best work to our clients. It’s certainly not the easiest path to go down, but it’s one that I feel a lot of pride in.
What is your favorite thing about your current job? I really love the people I work with. Ceros is a young company filled with extremely talented people who make amazing web experiences for our clients. (We also get half days on Fridays and I can’t complain about that either!)
Are you currently working on any interesting side projects? I started an Etsy shop recently where I sell vinyl decals of the custom calligraphy I create! You can check out my Etsy shop at: www.etsy.com/shop/mereletters
What are some of the biggest rewards in your career? When I started at Ceros, I was one of 5 designers on the team. I now manage that team, and it has grown to over 20 designers and production designers. Watching our team grow is really exciting to me, and being there to help them is really rewarding.
What’s something that would surprise people about your day-to-day? I’m typically reviewing work for up to 15 different clients a day. Some of our popular clients are United Airlines, JP Morgan, Food52, Google, and Pinterest. Ceros has a pretty wide-ranging client base and people always seem to be surprised when I tell them who we’ve worked with!
What inspires you? In my current role, I try and listen to a lot of different podcasts to hear how other managers help their teams. My director is also great and shares her own learning with me, which is extra helpful since she knows the people I am working with and how we can best direct them.
View the full designs* here:
- Graebel https://www.ceros.com/inspire/project/graebel
- DNS https://www.ceros.com/inspire/project/ns1
- Contec https://www.ceros.com/inspire/project/contec-EVS
- Hubspot https://www.ceros.com/inspire/project/hubspot-ceros
- United https://www.ceros.com/inspire/project/premiumplus
- World Courier https://www.ceros.com/inspire/project/worldcourier
- **These pieces were created by Ceros designers under the production management of Meredith
Anything else you’d like to share? Here are a few things that I’ve learned on my journey so far: 1. Be open to all the paths that are presented to you. You never know where it could lead. 2. Apply for multiple internships and learn as much as you can from each company. Even if you don’t love the job and want to find work somewhere else, you’re learning something valuable for later. 3. Be open to other people’s critiques and ideas. When you have a hard time accepting constructive criticism, you often times find yourself in a frustrating place. And finally, 4. Keeping a closed mind in your career can really back you into a corner. Accepting that things don’t always go according to your life plan can really serve you well and reduce a lot of stress.
Any advice for current art students at Marywood? Really try and soak in all the information and opportunities being presented to you. We have such a unique program for Graphic Design at Marywood. We have the opportunity to try out so many different applications in our program, which is so exciting, like print design, UI/UX design, interactive media, packaging design, and more! I wish that I had taken better advantage of all of the different classes provided when I had the chance to. We all have the opportunity to forge our own paths in life and the more you learn earlier in life, the better that knowledge will serve you in your career.
View additional examples of Mere Harding’s work at mereharding.com
“I think the best thing we can do as humans is to learn from each other and help each other grow.”
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN STUDYING Graphic Design?
Graphic Design – Bachelor of Fine Arts: Design
Our graphic design program at Marywood will introduce you to a variety of design disciplines. Conceptual development, technical skills and professionalism are emphasized. Students have the opportunity to work independently, with partners, in small groups, with professionals in the field and real clients. Regular class critiques and portfolio reviews are stressed throughout the program.
Low Residency MFAs in Graphic Design and Illustration are offered through our “Get Your Masters with the Masters” MFA for Working Professionals and Educators in Graphic Design & Illustration. This 60-credit Master of Fine Arts degree is specifically designed for working art directors, designers, illustrators, new media artists and art educators who have to budget their time and resources carefully, while continuing with their full-time occupations. While production and technical skills are stressed, the thrust of our program is on creativity and concept.