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Designer's Notes

In the fall of 2006, I received a resume from Cedar School administration for a proposed week-long internship candidate. The resume consisted of two pieces of plain white paper with black ink and bullet points—all in Times New Roman Bold. Not the typical resume format for a graphic designer. That's because the intern applicant wasn't a designer. He was Richard George, and his graphic design-related work experience was appropriately listed as "One week of work experience and training in Adobe Photoshop."

At the time, aLookingGlass was fully staffed. We had two senior designers and a director. The decision to take on an intern rested in my hands because, ultimately, he would be assisting me in designing BVI Property Guide and BVI Yacht Guide should I need it.

Despite the negative connotations I had previously associated with interns (coffee and donut-fetching grunts with little skill), I figured I owed it to the kid to at least take a look at his portfolio, however limited or amateur I expected it to be after reading all those bullet points. The pieces were cool, you know, for a high school kid. Ok, I’ll admit it, they were cool for anyone.  I remember a poster design with a moon that he'd manipulated to look oversized and dark yet photorealistic—something I never would've thought of trying to do. Just cool.

We brought him in for the week. He was quiet and reserved and got to work before I did most days. It was toward the end of slow season, so we weren't incredibly busy, even with the Guides. I struggled to find design work for him to do, but instead of sending him on coffee errands, I proposed a challenge. I asked him to design t-shirts for BVI Music Fest—I wanted something fresh because it was our fourth year designing for the event. By the end of the first day, he’d given me twenty original and cool designs that could easily be used on a shirt. I was impressed.

As the week progressed, I sensed Richard was capable of taking on much bigger tasks. We put together a couple client advertisements, and I started to offer some design direction, but then the week was over. We could tell he was not your average teen, and we didn’t want him to go. His motivation was refreshing and intimidating, if that makes any sense.  

A year later, our other senior designer planned to leave the territory. We began looking for a part-time designer, collecting resumes locally and abroad. Many applicants responded, but no one really stood out, so I decided to check the vault. I went through piles of fancy linen paper and classic crest vellum designer resumes from every corner of the world. Then I came across two plain white pieces of paper and that oh-so-familiar Times New Roman Bold heading that stuck out like a hairy mole. Richard’s resume and portfolio surpassed those of "professional designers." We called him up directly, and he accepted.

When he walked in the door for his first day, it was like he had never left. We threw everything we could at him, and he endured. To this day, he has yet to walk away from any challenge. He eventually took over the BVI Guides, and his design is a testament to his creative abilities. He has put together countless campaigns for local companies like CCT, TortolaExpress and numerous real estate firms with great success. He is a machine. How he juggled work and study and HLSCC still baffles me.

We'll all miss this cool, humble and reserved (yet quick to smile) part of our creative team. Perhaps after he graduates from university in the UK he can come back to aLG and put the pieces back together for us.


Good luck, Richard, from your friends at aLookingGlass.

Nick Cunha

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