Jason Webb

Jason Webb is a small business owner with big dreams. He’d like to expand his Colorado-based graphic design firm, Sign*A*Rama Denver. He’d like to buy his first house. And he’d like to spend more time on the golf course.

The Maryland native, now living in Aurora, Colo., earned a BFA in Graphic Design in 2000 and a master’s degree in Computer Graphic Design three years later.

While at RIT/NTID, Webb learned to “think outside the box—way outside” from the free-thinking teachers in his graphic design program. He also credits interpreters and counselors with helping him navigate through his college years.

“I never had that kind of support in all my years of regular schooling,” he says. “It was a tremendous benefit.”

Webb thrived amidst RIT’s eclectic international student population, recalling in particular two classmates, one from India and the other from Pakistan.

“They were quite good friends, even if their countries did not get along,” he says. “There’s a message in that.”

He advises incoming students to try new clubs and activities and to “resist the pressure to be someone else. Stay true to who you are and never forget where you came from and honor that.”

That advice hit home for Webb on September 11, 2001, when he sat in a master’s degree class and watched, stunned, as an interpreter described the unfolding events.

“That was the moment when I realized how quickly the world around us can change,” he says.

Webb says that the single most important skill he learned in graphic design, one that he uses every day, is the ability to look at things from the other person’s perspective.

“It’s easy to create and fall in love with your own idea or message, but if you don’t step outside yourself and look at it impartially, you might miss your target audience,” he says. “You have to constantly be your own critic.”

This story appeared in the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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