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Ben Blount

Tell us about where you work, what you do, and what you’re working on right now.
I have two main spheres of activity. I’m an associate creative director at Razorfish Health in Chicago. It’s a healthcare marketing agency, and right now I’m working on a brand in the rheumatology space. I also run a letterpress studio in Evanston called MAKE, creating letterpress printed books and posters. It’s mainly self-initiated projects.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love the creative process—working with a copywriter or another designer to come up with an idea and bring it to life in the world. I think it’s magical that we can take a small idea or insight, turn it into a sketch and a few lines of copy, and in turn, create something that people can interact with that changes them in some way. I work in all channels, but print is an especially powerful way to reach people—especially in an increasingly digital world.

How do you think design can or should influence the world?
Design is a powerful communication tool. I don’t think designers need to wait for a client to be active communicators. There are ideas and causes and voices in the world that can be amplified by good design. Designers can take the initiative to create things that not only convey a message but also embody their beliefs.

Must-have desk snack?
Peanut M&Ms.

What do you do when you’re not on the clock?
When I’m not on the laptop for work, I’m often printing. I spend every Saturday morning and some weekday evenings working on projects in the print shop. Also, everyone in my household is a night owl, and we like to play games and watch comedies together.

Favorite WashU memory that you can share with the general public.
It’s not a specific memory, but my memories of Bixby are the cadence of late nights working on the computer, going to Kinko’s to make copies of paste-ups, coming back to the studio to put it all together, and the camaraderie of everyone staying up all night, helping each other to get things done.

What advice would you give to our students?
Take advantage of all the resources WashU has to offer. Professors, deans, mentors, student groups, funding—there are a wealth of resources to help you bring your ideas to life.

Alumni work

Monoprint featuring layers of black type/words on white, including the words Racial Unity.

Letterpress printed poster, with bold red type that says Stop Killing Black People, plus smaller blue type that says We Can No Longer Wait Juneteenth 2020.

Monoprint with black and gray type that has a jumble of letters.

Print featuring a black, vertically oriented rectangle, similar to a book cover, with bold gold serif type that says "The Good Old Days." Smaller black type sitting above/between rules around each of the bold words states "Remember back when / white men had it / and they ran things with their / ideas and money? Those were the"