PEOPLE | Haley's Experience as a Student Designer

Things I Learned as a Student Designer

My name is Haley Allen, I am going to be a senior at Illinois State University and I have been with Campus Ink since fall 2017, my freshman year! The student designer program with Campus Ink has elevated my college experience so much more than I would have imagined. Who knew designing t-shirts could do that? 

How I started

  • Freshman year I came into college as a business major. For one of my business classes, I had to go to a leadership panel presentation and thought nothing of it, just another class assignment. Unknowingly at the time, I would walk out of that presentation having connected with Steven Farag, the owner of Campus Ink, then getting hired a couple of weeks later.

First Design (yikes, but turned out okay)

  • I was the first student at Illinois State to get hired at Campus Ink and I knew nothing about Adobe Illustrator, the screen printing world, sales, marketing, nothing. But I dove right in and started designing tees for my sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta. I admit they were not the best at first, I didn’t even know how to have text curved over a line. I asked questions, and was supported by fellow student designers who were at U of I. Everyone was so welcoming and made sure I had the help I needed. 

What’s Going on Now

  • Three years later, I changed my major to graphic design with a minor in communications (yay!), I now help the marketing team at Campus Ink, and the design team at ISU has grown to 8 people!

  • If it weren’t for Campus Ink I probably would not have or had a harder time finding my passion for graphic design or gained the basic knowledge on how to begin using Adobe tools.

  • I definitely would not have an internship this summer on the marketing team and would have so many fewer memories. Campus Ink is more than a “regular college job” it is hands-on and the environment encourages growth in everyone that is a part of it. I have learned to work with customers, design merch, build lasting customer relationships, team-building skills, leadership skills the list goes on and on, the best part is you could ask any of the student designers and they would all agree. 

Favorite Parts About Being a Student Designer

  • The relationships I’ve been able to build with the people on the ISU team and other campuses, we are a Campus Ink Fam

  • Campus Ink is such a close relationship-based company. We value the connections we build throughout campuses and the whole company. The older student designers are encouraged to help the younger designers and it builds such strong relationships for everyone. 

  • Being able to reach out to anyone for help/ they can reach out to me for help  


  • Being able to design merch for my sorority has been so rewarding and gave me a leadership position in Alpha Gam. I love walking on campus and seeing random people wearing a bar crawl shirt and my sisters repping the merch I’ve designed.

  • Through collaborating with my sorority sisters on apparel we came up with some pretty cool stuff :) 


  • When you join the Campus Ink fam there is so much room for growth. 

  • I started as the only designer on my campus and now the ISU team has 8 people. I was able to get people together and build the campus up to where we are now and have a close team. 

  • Now I am doing a marketing internship, which is giving me so much experience in other fields outside of design. 

    Campus Ink is growing so fast and has changed exponentially in the three years I’ve been here. I am excited to continue watching Campus Ink grow and looking forward to going back in the fall to start designing merch on campus again. 

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