SPOTLIGHT: KELSEY BLAKE, DESIGNER
Our Ramp spotlight is back. We’re giving you a chance to get to know us better and catch up with the Ramp team. Next up is Kelsey Blake, our extremely talented designer. Here’s what you need to know about Kelsey:
Where did you grow up?
In a small rural Southern Ontario town called Simcoe—it’s as exciting as it sounds!
As a child, what did you want to be?
As a kid, I wrote and illustrated tons of books, assembled them by hand, and hoped to become a published children’s book author. The plots typically had a bizarre, dark humour to them—think Robert Munsch meets R. L. Stine (clearly by that reference, I grew up in the 90s).
How did you get into marketing/advertising?
I studied Graphic Design at George Brown College, majoring in Corporate Communications. I finished my thesis and was looking to get my foot in the door with an internship at an agency—which is when I came across the job posting for an intern designer at Ramp. After completing the internship, I was offered a full-time position as Ramp’s designer. That was a few years ago and I’ve been here ever since!
What do you like about working at Ramp?
It’s a great vibe working alongside people that genuinely aim to contribute to the greater good. The level of integrity of the team speaks volumes, and the company is run by an awesome female leader that is passionate about her work. All of those things are pretty rewarding.
Do you have any favourite hobbies, if so what are they?
I’m an avid city cycling advocate. I love whipping through the streets of Toronto, and my bike is my second baby (after my actual baby of course). I also love playing/watching basketball. I played in high school and also ran a co-ed rec. league in Toronto’s west end for a few years called Bellwoods Basketball Association (BBA). I’m a huge Raptors fan—although I’m hesitant to admit that after they were shamefully swept by LeBron this playoff season.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I spent many years of my life as a musician (past tense because I no longer practice). I have the highest grade from the Royal Conservatory of Music for piano and music theory, but my favourite instrument to play was jazz alto sax. I still have my saxophone but it’s been a while since I’ve channeled my inner Lisa Simpson.
What’s your favourite movie and why?
The Royal Tenenbaums, for several reasons—all-star cast, quirky plot, offside humour, amazing soundtrack, beautiful art direction, and Wes Anderson’s signature style.
What’s one new thing you’d like to learn this year?
I’ve been meaning to do some brushing up on my photography skills, maybe I’ll do that.
Thanks for the motivation!
Are you planning anything fun this summer?
I’m really looking forward to spending my second summer with my daughter. Last summer she was still a baby, but this summer she’s a year older (which makes a big difference when you’re under the age of 2) and much more capable of fun summer activities. We’re planning to take her out west to do some hiking in the mountains, as much hiking as we can with a toddler in tow.
Been to any good events lately?
I recently went to New York City for a few days with some friends, and while we were there we went to this little basement comedy venue in Greenwich called The Comedy Cellar. On Sunday afternoons they do a ‘Comedy Brunch’ show, which is very popular and typically people line up around the block to get in. They had a really decent lineup that day (including Hasan Minhaj, I highly recommend checking out his Netflix special). This place has a reputation for big-name comedians showing up last minute to practice their sets. The reputation held true, and Amy Schumer made a surprise appearance during our brunch. She was hosting SNL on the upcoming weekend so she practiced her monologue for us. I have since watched her actual performance of the monologue on SNL and honestly… I think she did it better for us.
What’s your favourite ad or campaign of all time?
A few years back, Bing launched a summertime campaign called ‘Bing Summer of Doing’ in an attempt to promote their search engine against Google. The campaign took search phrases about what people were ‘doing this summer’ and involved super talented photographers and typographers (one of whom was Jessica Hische, who is one of my favourite designers of all time). They asked them to create beautiful images related to the search words. Each day of the campaign they posted a new image, and promoted them across social media platforms, including Spotify, which had crowdsourced playlists related to the words.
I’ve included some of the beautiful images below. Here’s a link to the promo video if you’re inclined to take a look!
What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you?
I was once arrested in Budapest.
The story isn’t as scandalous as that statement sounds so I’ll just leave you hanging on that one.
What’s your favourite hidden gem in Toronto?
Snake Island. It’s a little beach on the island, completely tucked away from the main path, with the best view of the city.
Up next, we’ll be catching up with our Office Administrator, Lisa Lebeer. Don’t miss it!