Color blind student exhibits an eye for digital design

December 2, 2018

A Manteno High School senior is already on his way toward a career in digital media design — despite being colorblind.

Brandon Anderson, 17, edits photos and videos and contributes to a podcast for Sox on 35th, a fan page dedicated to all things Chicago White Sox.

“My ultimate goal is to work for the White Sox,” Anderson said.

And from where Anderson is standing right now, that goal could come to life someday soon.

About six years ago, Anderson saw a photograph of Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago and thought to himself, “I kinda wanna do that.”

He started doing photo edits of White Sox players — such as changing filters, colors and adding text or other graphics to photographs — using a basic Adobe Photoshop app on his iPhone.

Soon after, he received an iMac computer with access to Apple’s video editing program, iMovie, as well as Adobe’s full suite of programs, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator and After Effects.

And his knowledge and talent grew from there, largely just by teaching himself through practice and watching instructional YouTube videos. He spent hours in his room teaching himself how to edit photos and videos.

For a long time, Anderson’s parents, Mark and Terri, just thought Brandon was secluding himself from the family for no apparent reason.

“Come downstairs and stay out of your room,” Mark always told his son.

Then, Anderson showed his parents what he was working on in his room everyday, and they said, “Whoa! Stay in your room.”

This year, he has started delving into original photography. At Manteno High School, he photographed every home soccer and football game the Panthers played.

“I was pretty much known as the team photographer,” Anderson said.

MHS student athletes and their parents have praised Anderson’s photography skills. One parent the Andersons hadn’t spoken to in years messaged Terri, asking for a copy of a photograph Brandon took, stating how talented he was.

He also contributed to the making of the “Greeting from Manteno” mural on West First Street, designing the font used for the lettering. He’s worked for the school yearbook and made logos for Blink, a musician duo comprised of two MHS students.

“Manteno should be proud of what they’ve got coming out of their school,” Terri said.

Anderson’s work is admired outside of Manteno, too.

The family attended SoxFest, a fan convention held in Chicago every January, and spotted a few Sox fans holding “A New Hope,” a poster Anderson designed to commemorate the beginning of the Sox’s season, which was inspired by the “Star Wars” film.

Though his work already is being noticed on social media by sports players and fans, Anderson admits he still has much to learn. He’s going to study graphic design at Columbia College Chicago in August.

In the meantime, he spent two days job-shadowing the White Sox’s publications and design department. While there, he interacted with the White Sox’s media team and met a few players, too, including shortstop Tim Anderson, who gifted Anderson with a signed bat.

“He’s really made a name for himself,” Terri said. “He’s got a good head start in the field, I think.”

“And it all goes back to the saying,” Mark agreed, “‘If you love what you’re doing, for the rest of your life, you don’t work.’

“We think he’s gonna be famous.”

“Maybe he’ll work for ESPN someday,” Terri agreed. “You never know.”

To keep up with Anderson’s digital design journey, follow him on Instagram at @chicago.designs. His prints can be purchased at chicagodesigns.bigcartel.com.

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