Carina Sandoval

Lead Brand Strategist

What do you do at Champions Design?

I immerse myself in the brands I work on as much as possible: experiencing events, watching videos, reading articles, and following social accounts. I conduct interviews, dig through archives, and analyze the competitive landscape to get a clear understanding of the brand’s history, strengths, and challenges. With this insight, I craft a strategic framework that articulates the key components of the brand and helps to establish design criteria. This is all to ensure that we make decisions that ultimately meet the practical, emotional, and aspirational goals of the organization.

What got you into this field of work?

After studying Visual Arts at Bowdoin College, I spent some time working in communications and marketing. I went back to school at the Masters in Branding program at the School of Visual Arts, the first of its kind in the US, where students undertake both the academic and professional study of culture, behavior, business, commerce and creative. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing that knowledge with students at the SVA MFA Design program, where Mike and I taught a Thesis Consultation course that brought students through the process of building a brand strategy for their thesis ventures.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse when talking about design?

“How” and “why.” Strategy is about challenging biases and making sure there is a solid reasoning behind every decision.