Peyton Bennett is a senior visual communication design major from Cincinnati, Ohio, whose career has organically grown out of his studies. Recently, it was announced that Bennett has received a coveted Orr Fellowship.
In high school, Bennett was a trumpet player and made the All-State Jazz Band. He also held interests in filmmaking and videography that led him to fall in love with design.
“Ultimately, design was a way to meld my creativity and passion for art in a utilitarian way,” Bennett says.
Without much in the way of a portfolio, Bennett was initially limited in his college search, but a visit to AU set his destiny.
“I met the design professors and students and just fell in love with the program,” Bennett recalls.
In the fall semester of Bennett’s sophomore year, he took part in the $25 Business Challenge. Bennett and his classmates created a small advertising firm, marketing themselves toward other student businesses.
That year, they won the challenge on account of their concept. The business partners later spun their project into an LLC that would work with local Anderson businesses until dissolving in the spring of 2016.
With that experience now under his belt, Bennett started out on his own. His new freelance business, Peyton J. Bennett Design, found its first client in a Cincinnati golf course that Bennett himself frequents.
Following that job, Bennett landed work with two other companies in the Cincinnati area through word of mouth.
Bennett has continued to advance his studies and freelancing, and through an internship last summer he did work for companies such as SC Johnson and Macy’s. After applying for the Orr Fellowship, Bennett was hired by Formstack in Indianapolis.
While the experience of working in a design firm is invaluable, he hopes to continue freelancing and eventually to move into entrepreneurship full-time.
In the meantime, Bennett looks forward to continuing to invest back into the AU community that has given him so many opportunities and experiences. “It’s something I really cherish,” he says.