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Meet a Hansonite: Becca Maag

Mon, September 24, 2018

In this “Meet a Hansonite” blog series, you’ve been meeting Hanson employees, learning a little about their background and passions, and discovering what they like most about working at Hanson. We’ve recently gotten to know more about Front-End Developer Matt Painter, Account Executive Jordan Rees, and Senior Front-End Developer Mike Louviere. Today, we’re getting the conversation started with Becca Maag, Visual Designer.

Sally: How long have you been at Hanson?

Becca: I’ve been at Hanson for three years. I started as an intern in 2015, became a contractor, and then started full-time in 2016.

Sally: What drew you to the idea of being part of the Hanson team?

Becca: My story starts at the 2015 Bowling Green State University Portfolio Review Day. This is an annual event that brings in professional graphic designers to review junior and senior students’ portfolios. That year, the review was hosted at Hanson! Before the event started, I grabbed some coffee in an official Hanson mug, when my professor spotted me and said “Wow, Becca. You look like you work here!” I had no idea how prophetic that moment would be.

I talked to a lot of fantastic designers that day, and one was actually an employee at Hanson at the time. Little did I know that that interaction would lead to a summer internship, which then turned into working every Friday for the remainder of college, and eventually a full-time position! It’s great to be here!

Sally: Describe the role you play as a visual designer.

Becca: Most of my work involves talking through the strategy our team develops and designing an experience that works better for our clients. I design the look and feel of responsive websites, animate motion graphics, and design social and digital advertising collateral. As you can tell, there’s quite a variety of work that falls under the term “visual designer,” but at the root of it all, it’s all about solving visual problems.

Sally: What are 3 things you love the most about your job?

Becca: With the variety of work we do, I have the opportunity to develop in so many different areas. I love to learn, so tackling a variety of media is a lot of fun for me.

Secondly, I live in a town of less than 100 people; small-town living is all I’ve ever really known. So it’s been really interesting getting to experience a city lifestyle at our downtown Toledo location.

Lastly, my Hanson experience would be incomplete without my entire Hanson family. The other visual designers are like my brothers and I respect them very much.

Sally: What’s a typical day look like?

Becca: A typical day involves an hour commute to work listening to either my indie dream pop playlist or an educational podcast. My commute is the perfect time to dabble in all kinds of topics, from design sprints to the mysteries of the universe! The design team typically grabs coffee together every morning so we can celebrate our recent happenings before we dive into our work. I find myself using Photoshop, After Effects, and Keynote the most. Some days I’m involved in brainstorming meetings or creative reviews of my recent projects. I’ve found that standing gets my creative energy flowing, so I recently invested in a standing desk. Our team has creative ways of keeping the spirit up in our cube, like cool design reference materials and…nerf guns. All joking aside, it’s great to work in such a fun and creative environment.

Sally: Do you have a favorite newspaper or blog you read regularly?

Becca: I recently started following Amy & Jordan’s photography blog. Every Monday they email me awesome photography tips and techniques.

Sally: On a more personal level, what are you passionate about?

Becca: I love to sing and play guitar. I’ve been singing for a long time, but guitar is still pretty new to me. I wouldn’t say I’m great at it just yet, but it just makes me really happy. In recent years I was a member of the BGSU University Choir and sang alongside the Toledo Symphony Orchestra on several occasions, performing large scores like Verdi’s Requiem and Carmina Burana.

I am an absolute nerd for intentional storytelling in film and Japanese animation. There are so many great works that use distinct sight and sound to pull you into their world, sometimes weaving in culture, mythology, or symbols. In college, my friend and I started a group on campus where we analyzed these moments in anime. My enthusiasm for anime is honestly how I met most of my friends and my husband. Every year we cosplay and attend conventions together. Nerd life is awesome!

Photography is my all-time favorite art medium. I’ve been taking portraits of my family and friends outdoors and in a studio setting for many years. I recently invested in a new camera, lenses, and equipment. I also love taking my camera with me when I travel.

The idea of having a purpose in storytelling is why I love the work I do. Whether it be my personal photography work when I’m capturing moments on camera, telling my own coming-of-age journey on the first nine panels of my Instagram feed, or telling our clients’ stories across multiple platforms, it’s all about sharing meaningful stories and building these worlds that people resonate with and want to be a part of.

Sally: Here at Hanson, our core values are: Be Yourself, Own the Adventure, Stay Curious, Get Emotional, and Embrace Family. Which one do you most resonate with and why?

Becca: Own the Adventure is an important value to me because I believe that like life, our work is not entirely about the end result. It’s about the journey we take to get there, the lessons we learn, and the experiences and connections we make with our clients and team along the way.

Sally: Describe Hanson in 3 words.

Becca: Creative. Enthusiastic. Family.