hello. I'm Katie Swanson

Visual and User Experience Designer

I like to make things awesome.
greydogdsgn logo

It’s kind of a weird name, I know.

When I was in my first year of design school, one of our assignments in color theory was to paint whatever we wanted - the only requirement was for it to be in color. So being a huge fan of dogs I rendered my favorite grey best friend Casey, a Weimaraner and handsome devil, with a mixture of oil paints. My instructor was underwhelmed. While she agreed the technical skills were impressive, she was disappointed that I didn’t do something crazy with him, like have him playing catch in the yard. Her words were “It’s just a grey dog. It will only ever be just a grey dog.” I didn’t see this as a bad thing, as she did.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was the fundamental difference between design and art. I would never be a successful artist because I always needed to have a problem to solve. There is always an objective in design, while art can be successful simply for the sake of itself. I also realized that I really like parameters - I was actually far more successful when I had them. Design has an audience, an objective, constraints, considerations. This is why I’m far better designer than I am an artist. Greydogdsn is a little nod to that, a reminder that while I took a twisty road to get here, this is where I’m suppose to be.

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