Dylan Winters sat at the center of the table carefully examining sketches of potential sports logos.
With each glance, he thought of feedback for the three students surrounding him.
“These are cool, very cool” Dylan said to the seniors. “You’re on the right track.”
Dylan knows what it’s like to be in their shoes, aspiring to enter the graphic design industry, hopefully using their technical talents and creativity on projects they are passionate about.
“No path is the same and I want every other designer to understand that,” Dylan said.
He recently visited the Career Center where he advised three seniors on a project they are working on for North Hills School District. Mrs. Brown asked him to return to the same classroom where he honed his craft more than a decade ago.
“Of course, I said yes!” he said. “It was a pleasure to meet Primrose, Mia, and Nick and see where they were at with the project and where they want to take it. I'm excited at this great opportunity for them to team up and create for a real world client.”
Seniors Primrose Sobeck, Mia Burnett and Nick Schultz discussed concepts with Dylan for several hours, sometimes on the direction of logos, other times examining typography.
“I feel that because Dylan is a Beattie alumnus he really related to us,” Mia said. “Overall, he took us through his process, which we can now apply to what we do. He gave so many tips and tricks and also helped us individually. He was so hands-on and helped us get so many thumbnails done in a short period of time with his input.”
“I enjoyed learning from him and understanding his process, too,” Nick said. “He definitely pushed me toward seeing how each thumbnail and idea could evolve into something different.”
Dylan said he hopes each student in the Advertising Design program is able to build a foundation for a long, storied career in the field.
“My education at Beattie was monumental, and it truly gave me an idea of what I could do with my passion for graphic design,” Dylan said. “Honestly, it's where I learned what graphic design was and how I could make a career of something I loved doing.”
Following his graduation from Northgate in 2010, Dylan attended the California University of Pennsylvania and then worked for a small design firm in Morgantown, West Virginia before he became the Assistant Director of Graphic Design for Pitt Athletics where he helped create the newly in-house Graphic Design department from the ground up.
While working for Pitt Athletics, Dylan designed the Oakland Zoo logo/t-shirt design for the Pitt Basketball student section, a meaningful, nostalgic project after having grown up attending Pitt Basketball with his father.
He may be most proud of the Pitt Soccer Crest, which is still seen on player’s kits and on Urbanic Field, which is Pitt’s pitch for home games.
“Aside from the project opportunities, an important opportunity that has helped me in my career is finding others in the design community, which is so welcoming,” he said. “I talk with a group of other designers daily and value their friendship and guidance more than they know.”
Now, he owns Dylan Winters Design Co.
“My main focus is helping businesses and individuals of all types of industries create iconic logo design and brand identities that speak truthfully to who they are,” Dylan said.
If there were ever a outside set of eyes to help a group of high school students develop and evolve their work, Dylan would be the right fit, according to Mrs. Brown.
“Dylan specializes in sports logo design, and he’s a great resource simply for the fact that he has seen what career and technical education can offer thee students from his own experiences,” Mrs. Brown said. “It really helps this team of students not only with this particular project, but in seeing the big picture. Bringing Dylan in allows them to see exactly where this education can take them.”
Asked what advice he would give to Advertising Design students outside of tips on their work, he said there were three things that come to mind.
“Often times, creatives get a sense of imposter syndrome; where or who you think you should be at a time in your career,” Dylan said. “Take the time to step back and really enjoy how far you’ve come, because you have. We should all look back to remind ourselves of this periodically. Second, find and do the work that you want to be creating. Nobody knows what you can do unless you show them and put yourself out there. Lastly, be genuine, because it goes a long way.”