NYC Graphic Designer Stops by Alma Mater

Our fine arts students were treated to a presentation by alumnus, Steven Rank (1988).  Mr. Rank is founder and owner of Sarankco, which is a successful graphic design studio located in New York City.  The company he founded ten years ago with himself as the only employee now has a payroll of 32 employees.  They have done work for large corporations like Mercedes Benz and American Express as well as small start-ups like a retro coffee shop in Los Angeles and an apple orchard in New York.  Their mission is to use their passion for design to help companies of all sizes with their branding, whether in print or online.

Students were intrigued as he told the story of his life.  After graduating from Southview he earned a graphic arts degree from BGSU.  Before relocating to New York City, Mr. Rank spent a few years in Cleveland.  At each step along the way, Mr. Rank has asked himself the question, “I have a degree from BG, do I really know enough to do this?”  Time and again, the answer has been ‘yes.’  Mr. Rank offered that life is not about what college you graduated from, but instead it is about your courage, your commitment, and your talent.  He has especially noticed that his Midwestern work ethic has set him apart as he competes against designers from all over the world in New York City.

The program finished with many student questions.  Students wanted to know about minoring in business, mixing art with a pre-med major, what his first client was like, and how to begin to sell their own art.  It was clear that Mr. Rank’s answers were thoughtful and genuine, often with a little dose of ‘If I can do it, so can you’ mentality.  Mr. Rank finished by suggesting that if any of them do complete degrees in art, then they had better look him up for possible internships.

Former classmates Steven Rank and Southview teacher Melinda Arrigo

A special thank-you goes out to Melinda Arrigo for arranging Mr. Rank’s visit.


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