Elizabeth Hajny

5 min | The reit Way

Meet the Team: Elizabeth Hajny, Reit’s Designer

Name, Title, Years at reitdesign: Elizabeth Hajny, Designer, 2.5

Favorite NYC Neighborhood: Union Square

What do you do at reitdesign?

I really do anything and everything design-related! From moodboards, sketches, and high-level concepting to execution, edits, and more. It’s nice being in a small studio because I get to have a part in every project and client we work with.

I also work very closely with Annie, our Project Coordinator, to make sure everything is getting done, see where we are with projects, and connect with clients.

How did you come across reitdesign and when did you sense it was the place you wanted to work? 

I was looking for an internship in my last year at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and my professor happened to know a designer who used to work at Reit; so I got in touch and the rest is history!

I knew I wanted to continue to work at Reit when one day during my internship I stayed late to hang out with the other designers — we were chatting, hanging out, and bouncing ideas off one another — we really got along. I liked that the office was open and I could just connect with the other designers whenever I needed to. That was the kind of environment I wanted to be in as a growing designer.

Share a noteworthy project you’ve had the opportunity to work on: 

There have been a lot! Since we are so small I get to contribute to all our projects so there isn’t much that I miss out on.

The new website for Entrepreneurs Organization’s NY chapter was my first larger solo project so that one will always be something I proudly look back on. I actually got to build this out twice because we started the project before the organization’s rebranding, so I redesigned the old site and then did a redesign for the new brand.

Another amazing experience was branding the New York Autoshow — everyone in and around New York knows the Autoshow!  We took the concept from their marketing comms promos and transformed to reflect the event space, which was creatively challenging and incredibly rewarding. It was a huge learning experience and an accomplishment that I’m very proud of. 

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with an aspiring designer? 

I think it’s super important to always be open to critiques and edits to your design.

You might absolutely love an idea or concept you come up with, but it just might not be right for the project or the client and you have to let yourself move on from it.

It takes while to get comfortable doing that, especially when you put so much energy into something. On the other hand, don’t delete everything! I keep several versions of project files because you never know when you might be able to repurpose something that was previously scrapped. It’s also good to be able to see your own process and progress through a project! Everyone works differently so knowing how you work is important for collaboration.

Congrats on your recent promotion from Junior Designer to Designer! Tell us something you’re looking forward to in this new role:  

Thank you!! I’m very excited. I think I’m looking forward to continuing my growth as a designer. The past year + has been a whirlwind and even though it’s been crazy, I have been able to notice my skills and styles grow and change for the better. I’m definitely way more confident as a designer and I want to continue down this path!

I think it’ll also be fun and rewarding to collaborate with emerging designers (we just hired a new junior designer!) and guide them in a similar way to how I was mentored when I first started here! That knowledge was so helpful and I’m eager to pass on what I’ve learned. 

Give us a little background on yourself! What do you do for fun? 

Most of my hobbies are art-related, but I get bored quickly so I’ve explored a lot of them: origami, cross stitch, sewing, printmaking, photography, you name it! Both my parents were artistic and craft-y so I was really surrounded by that growing up.

I started an Instagram account (@lizhajnydesign) in 2019 for my art and illustrations and it’s been a place where I can make whatever I want, experiment, and have fun! I’ve definitely seen my style there change a ton and I love creating for it.

Where do you find inspiration for your work professionally and personally?

Professionally, a lot of it definitely comes from collaboration and talking through projects/concepts with the team. Websites like Pinterest and Behance are super helpful for the beginning stages of creating moodboards and concepting, but for the later stages of design, I find nothing is more helpful than talking it all through! I come up with a lot of ideas just hearing what other people say about a design.

Personally, I find a TON of inspiration from other artists online! I’ve found so many talented people on Instagram alone. When I scroll through my feed, I get so many ideas for illustrations that I (sadly) can’t remember them all! I’ve started writing myself notes for future drawings so the ideas don’t get lost.