Zoe Axelrod became seriously interested in graphic arts after participating in a two-week summer course in the subject at Northwestern University.
Now a senior at John Hersey High School, Zoe plans to pursue a career in the industry after building her graphic design skills in and out of class, and creating work that has been featured at the national level.
Zoe recently designed the cover for the September 2018 edition of Pro Remodeler, a trade publication that offers business information for leading remodeling firms. The magazine is mailed monthly to more than 96,000 remodeling professionals, according to its website.
Zoe first was exposed to graphic design through her parents – her mother is a graphic designer and her stepfather works at an advertising agency. When she was 14, she participated in a summer camp at Northwestern that truly sparked her interest in the field.
“Ever since I started, I knew this is what I wanted to do,” she says.
A PASSION FOR DESIGN & TYPOGRAPHY
While at Hersey, Zoe took courses in the Visual Arts Career Pathway, including Graphic Arts Design, Advanced Graphic Arts and Advanced Placement Studio Art 2-D. She has developed a passion for typography, which she describes as “my wheelhouse.”
About Zoe Axelrod
Favorite fonts: Futura and Gilroy
Where she gathers design inspiration: On Instagram, where she has an Inspiration Folder and follows calligraphers
Advice to students interested in graphic arts: “Don’t give up. It is so exhausting. I feel like it’s part of the reward. I spent a ridiculous amount of time on this but it was so worth it.”
In the Hersey graphic arts classroom, Zoe’s art adorns the walls, as does the work of her peers. She has created designs for class as well as for Hersey student organizations, including the school’s new female empowerment club called Empower Me.
“From Zoe’s first day in our Graphic Arts Design class, she showed a natural curiosity for the curriculum, software, and production projects,” said Hersey educator Greg Miller. “In addition to her tremendous talents, skills, and abilities, Zoe has an amazingly pleasant and mature personality that is absolutely fantastic to work with.”
Her passion for graphic design has driven her to continue learning and growing outside of the classroom. For example, Zoe has taught herself how to use various Adobe software programs and is considering creating an Etsy business to sell her calligraphy and graphic designs online.
She also has a graphic design internship, where she is learning web design and softs skills such as time management.
DESIGNING A NATIONAL COVER & NEXT STEPS
After learning Pro Remodeler was looking for an artist to design the cover of its September 2018 magazine, Zoe went straight to work and cranked out a design in one night. She incorporated a blueprint style, per the company’s guidelines, and created two designs before deciding on and submitting the final piece.
Zoe is mulling her plans after high school graduation – going to college or taking a gap year to jump into the workforce. She is currently taking AP Studio Art for the second time with Miller, a teacher she says who has helped create an environment that anyone can feel at home in. “He’s so passionate about his students,” she said.
Miller says he is looking forward to seeing Zoe’s work in the future.
“Since her freshman year, she’s lived this lifestyle, putting in countless hours outside of school, and it really shows in every project she works on,” he says.