Confessions of Design Business Owner: A Presentation to Susquehanna University

Chris Ross talks business with the graphic design students of Susquehanna University.
Chris talking to the Susquehanna University students about self-promotion.

As I walked into the classroom at Susquehanna University, memories flooded back of my days as a young designer, soaking up everything I could from my mentor Mark Fertig, and eager to make my mark on the world. Little did I know then the twists and turns my career would take, leading me to where I stand today as the owner of Cross Creative. I was privileged to be invited to speak to the budding designers of the “Business of Design” course, and I approached the opportunity with both excitement and humility.

The atmosphere in the room was electric as I began to share my unexpected career path with the students. From my humble beginnings as an entry-level designer in Washington, DC., to running the creative department at Human Longevity, Inc., to the challenges and triumphs of entrepreneurship, I spared no detail. I shared anecdotes from my journey, sprinkling in words of wisdom gleaned from years of experience in the industry.

Chris encouraging studnets to take control of their careers

But what truly made the experience special was the engagement of the students. They asked question after question, eager to soak up every ounce of knowledge I had to offer. It was inspiring to see their passion for design and their hunger for success. A big thanks to the Chair of the Department of Art and Design Amanda Lenig (a former classmate and frequent collaborator) for extending the invitation. Our reunion added an extra layer of joy to an already unforgettable day.

The talk was designed to empowered the students to take charge of their own careers, urging them to be ready to tackle anything and everything that comes their way. It emphasized the importance of resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace the unknown. And of course, no presentation would be complete without a sweet treat—I made sure to bring along donuts.

As I left the classroom, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of fulfillment. To have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of designers was a privilege beyond words. And as I reflected on the day’s events, I thought about Mark, and I was reminded once again of the power of mentorship, connection, and the unwavering belief in oneself. 

To the students of Susquehanna University, I say this: embrace your journey, seize every opportunity, and never underestimate the impact you can make on the world. The future belongs to you, and I have no doubt that you will soar to great heights in your careers. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll find yourself standing in front of a classroom, sharing your own story of success.

Cross Creative Ignites Creativity at Camp Hill Elementary’s STEAM Day

Students learning about graphic design from Cross Creative at STEAM Day

At Cross Creative, we believe in fostering creativity from an early age, and what better way to do it than through a hands-on demonstration of art and technology? We were thrilled to be part of the Camp Hill Elementary School’s STEAM Day on Friday, October 20,2023, where Ashley Murphy and Chris Ross of Cross Creative brought a fusion of imagination and technology to the students.

Art, Technology, and Imagination Unleashed

Our demonstration was a dynamic showcase of the intersection between art and technology. We had a plethora of materials and cutting-edge tech gadgets to captivate the young minds and showcase the endless possibilities when creativity meets innovation.

Student rendering his logo on Cross Creative's drawing tablet.

Designing Logos for Fictitious Companies

The highlight of our engagement was an interactive activity designed to engage the students’ creative instincts. Each child was given the opportunity to design a logo for one of three fictitious companies, each with its unique name and a brief summary of their services.

The enthusiasm in the room was palpable as the students delved into the world of design, interpreting the needs of their assigned companies and translating those insights into visually compelling logos.

Submitting Artwork and the Contest Thrill

To make it even more exciting, we set up a submission process through a QR code and an online form. The students submitted their artwork digitally, creating a seamless and modern experience. The added bonus? Every submission automatically entered the talented artists into a contest to win a free Cross Creative T-shirt.

Choosing a Winner. No Easy Task

Reviewing the submissions was a delightful challenge. The creativity and thoughtfulness poured into each design were truly commendable. Choosing a winner proved to be no easy task, as each entry showcased unique perspectives and inventive designs.

Looking to the Future

Our day at Camp Hill Elementary was an absolute joy, and we’re hopeful that the students had as much fun as we did. The level of creativity and talent we witnessed from these young minds left us genuinely impressed. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for an invitation back next year to continue nurturing the artistic spirits of the next generation.

Stay Inspired with Cross Creative

At Cross Creative, we’re not just about designs; we’re about inspiring creativity. Our participation in events like Camp Hill Elementary’s STEAM Day reflects our commitment to fostering innovation and imagination. We look forward to more opportunities to ignite creativity and make a positive impact in the communities we serve. Keep an eye on our updates, and who knows, we might be bringing our art and tech fusion to your neighborhood next!

Camp Hill student working on his Cross Creative logo
Talking shop with the big man at STEAM Day
Cross Creative made a special logo just for STEAM Day