Makenzie Ley

Color Design Associate | Nike

Name: Makenzie Ley

Graduated: Fall 2018

Job Title: Color Design Associate

Organization: Nike

Describe your design journey: My design journey started with drawing. I’ve always loved doodling for friends and family since a very young age. In 7th grade, I taught myself web design, competed in design related events in FBLA from 8-12th grade, and volunteered as a web designer my senior year. After a year at community college, I applied to EWU to major in VCD and worked at the art gallery (now defunct) doing design + promotional work. I was accepted into the BFA program for my senior year and also interned at Seven2 that summer. After graduating, I interned at Nike before being hired full time in February 2020 (incredible timing) and have been there ever since, moving across different teams but staying under the umbrella of design.

What are some of the responsibilities of your current position? Color design and theory (including understanding of color achievability and digital color), creating long term color palettes/concepts/narratives, graphic and production design, trend research, building presentations, etc.

What is your favorite part about your position? The talent Nike attracts is endlessly inspiring! It’s a privilege to work with such a diverse group of creative minds. Not to mention that work we touch and the brand as a whole has a global impact.

How did the Design Program prepare you for your current position? Comfort with a variety of Adobe products (Photoshop! Illustrator! InDesign! A little After Effects!) and design thinking.

What was most memorable to you about your experiences in the design program? I loved being involved with Design Club! Getting to connect with folks in the program and other clubs through design was invaluable, plus just super fun.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing a design degree? Just college courses are not enough, and contradictory, just YouTube isn’t either! Discover your design niche—whatever it is you’re passionate about within the broad world of design—and really use it! Not only will it help you stand out from the crowd, but you’ll stay saner in the process.