Meet Our People: GAI Wayfinding Professional Ana Kimelton

Ana Kimelton is one of hundreds of skilled GAI professionals who help clients create better communities, transportation infrastructure, energy generation and delivery, and more from our office locations throughout the United States. Today we’ll find out a little about what makes Ana tick—the background, motivation, and methods that she brings to the table every day for GAI and GAI’s clients.

Slide Name: Ana Kimelton
GAI Office Location: Orlando, FL
Hometown: Valencia, Venezuela 
Education: BFA in Industrial Design, Savannah College of Art and Design; BS degrees in both Graphic Design & Industrial Design, Instituto de Diseño de Caracas, Venezuela On staff at GAI since 2018 Hobbies/pastimes: Paddleboarding

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your area of specialization and what drew you to it?

Ana Kimelton: Having pursued a double major in graphic and industrial design, my primary goal was to venture into the realm of product packaging. After completing my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design at Savannah College of Art and Design, a lucky turn of events led me to an unexpected opportunity. I received an interview in Orlando, FL for a position in a field unfamiliar to me—wayfinding.

Embracing the unexpected, I embarked on a journey that has now spanned more than a decade. Today, I find myself still immersed in the world of shapes and arrows, striving to help people to navigate spaces. As a wayfinding specialist, my mission is to create visually pleasing systems that effortlessly guide people through complex environments.

Throughout these 11 years, I have been able to polish my skills in the art of effectively communicating spatial information. Each project presents unique challenges, demanding a careful balance between aesthetic appeal and functional clarity. From developing intuitive signage solutions to crafting comprehensive mapping systems, I continually explore innovative approaches to enhance the user experience and provide clear and accurate navigation.

My passion for both graphic and industrial design has found its perfect niche in the field of wayfinding. Every day brings new opportunities to employ my creative talents in shaping environments and facilitating human interaction with places. I am grateful for the twists and turns that led me to this career path, allowing me to leave a small mark on the world, one arrow at a time.

Q: What sorts of projects do you typically contribute to and what role do you play?

Ana: I’ve had the opportunity to tackle projects ranging from entire districts to small neighborhood entrances. Whether it’s crafting the identity, logo, and image for a brand-new community or revolutionizing the way people perceive and navigate a sprawling hospital campus, my work presents many diverse challenges.

Improving navigation in universities, revamping management plans for scenic rivers in Florida, branding and signage for new airport areas, and fostering exploration in small town downtowns—each endeavor presents a fresh canvas for me to embrace.

The question “what role do I play” resonates with me because, for me, work feels like a form of play. Every day, I assume different personas in order to more accurately consider what different people may need from a wayfinding design. I become a mother of seven, striving to locate the pediatrics office in a bustling downtown hospital in Orlando. I transform into a city resident who needs to navigate public transportation late at night. By stepping into others’ shoes, I grasp their unique needs and create tailored systems that genuinely benefit communities and forge stronger, more vibrant places.

Q: What do you like most about your job, and why do you feel that GAI is a good place to put your skills to work?

Ana: DIVERSITY! The one thing I value the most is the diversity of both the projects that I work on and in the team that I collaborate with. It brings me immense joy to engage with an incredible group of individuals who possess diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. This amazing blend of talent fosters an enriching environment that fuels creativity and innovation. I am also grateful for the chance to contribute to projects that have a tangible impact on communities, making a positive difference in people’s lives. This combination of diversity and meaningful work is truly fulfilling and inspires me to continually strive for excellence.

As for GAI being a good company to work for, I was at a point in my life when I wanted to find a career at a place that I could truly call home—a firm where I could perform work that makes a meaningful impact rather than merely sailing through my workdays to earn a paycheck. I had worked with Pete Sechler and other members of GAI’s Community Solutions Group (CSG) when I was at a previous employer, and it felt like the perfect fit when I received an invitation to join the group. GAI’s CSG offers a supportive setting for my wayfinding mission, providing me with the sense of belonging that I was looking for to foster my personal and professional growth. In this inspiring environment, I have found the perfect place to grow and make a lasting difference.

Q: How do you measure your success?

Ana: Measuring success is difficult—much like quantifying happiness. Personally, I find accomplishment in the pride I take in my work and the positive impact it has on communities. Sometimes, we get feedback like “great job” from clients, or a recommendation letter from clients stating how happy they are with the work done by our team. However, my ultimate source of motivation and my greatest achievement is my family. They are my driving force, the “why” I wake up each morning, and the reason for my continuous personal and professional growth. Their unconditional support and inspiration drive me to strive harder, constantly seeking improvement and setting an example for them.

Q: What inspires you and what are you passionate about?

Ana: CLEAN DESIGN is my unwavering passion. Functionality is at the core of my belief system when it comes to crafting meaningful designs. I firmly believe that every element should serve a purpose. In the realm of design, if an element fails to fulfill a function, it simply becomes a decoration or a way to fill empty space. Empty spaces should not be merely filled–they should be thoughtfully curated to enhance the overall impact of the design. Learn to love your negative/white space!

Q: Tell us something about yourself that people may not know or will be surprised to hear.

Ana: This wayfinding professional loves to travel but hates following directions! For me, the best adventures are found when you are not quite sure of your surroundings, and getting lost while exploring unfamiliar places is one of my favorite things to do!

Q: How do you believe that the job you do benefits the community and the world?

Ana: My expertise lies in guiding people through spaces, helping to make sure their journeys are smooth and intuitive. By cultivating a sense of familiarity for the people who will utilize my designs, I strive to create spaces where people feel secure and at ease. I take immense pleasure in my work, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others.

Contact Ana Kimelton, 321.319.3075, for more information about GAI’s wayfinding and community planning services—message GAI and start the conversation about how our multidiscipline professionals can meet your unique project needs.

Ana KimeltonAna Kimelton is a graphic designer who combines in-depth research with analytic and creative thinking to produce data-driven concepts that focus firmly on project character and goals. Creative and versatile, Ana is adept in both 2-D and 3-D design work, and her background in industrial design gives her an extensive working knowledge of fabrication and materials, and experience with construction documents for both private and municipal development.

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