So, Creative Director. What is that even? It sounds like I should be wearing a black beret and directing a team of animated characters, right? In actuality, it means I meet with the client, we review the scope of the project, discuss the goals, timelines, budgets, expectations, target audience, what we can do, etc and then I get the wheels spinning on how to develop it all, what directions we can take, who on the team would be working on it and how to approach the options to present. All while wearing a variety of berets, of course.
What’s your biggest design pet peeve? Do I have to limit it to graphic design?
No. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have eyes. Like right now that I’m in a waiting room sitting on black pleather sofas. There’s 5 of them because one wasn’t enough. As far as graphics, when copy is smushed together. Any font that hit its prime in the eighties or nineties, burgundy, peach, burgundy and peach mixed, bad kerning, horrible logos, dated websites.
That’s a lot. What brings you graphic joy? Beautiful packaging, editorial design, gorgeous font pairings, a well laid out menu, movie credits that set the vibe for what you’re about to watch. Primarily, people and companies who put interest and effort into their graphics. Even if I don’t necessarily love them, there was intention put forth to do things right and I value that immensely. Travelling is important as a designer, it’s like an intense boost of creative energy seeing what other cultures do in the same line of work. And lastly, smart copy always brings me joy.
WHAT IS A HAPPY SURPRISE A CLIENT HAS GIVEN YOU RECENTLY? Organized files.
THAT SOUNDS PRETTY NERDY, ALE. I’m what some might consider an organize-aholic. Everything is always in it’s same assigned place.
WOULD YOUR FAVOURITE GIFT BE A LABEL MAKING MACHINE? Only if I could program the fonts, kerning and paper stock.
SPEAKING OF FONTS, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DEEPEST, DARKEST FONT FANTASY. I would love to be able to create my own calligraphy font with all of the fun ornaments that come with it.
WHAT’S STOPPING YOU? I don’t know how to write in cursive! In the mean time I just stalk Vida and her ability to master hand written fonts.
IF ANY PROJECT COULD WALK THROUGH THE DOOR, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT IT TO BE? Package design! I would love to design packaging for a chocolatier. If you know of any, send them my way.
CAN THEY PAY YOU IN CHOCOLATE? If I had to get paid in anything besides dollars, it would be in coffee currency.
BESIDES ORGANIZING YOUR DESK, DRINKING COFFEE WHILE PRACTISING YOUR PENMANSHIP, WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING? I also love going to the beach, lots of dancing (including Flamenco), listening to good music, and definitely spending some time taking floor pictures (“selfeets”) to add to my instagram collection.
ABOUT STEREOTYPES, WHAT ARE SOME LINKED TO PROGRAMMERS? That they are all guys. And since I have a name that can go either way, clients who I communicate with via email, think I am one.
HOW HAS THE GRAPHIC DESIGN WORLD CHANGED SINCE YOU BEGAN DESIGNING? Design is always changing, all areas of design, but as far as our industry, it used to be all about showing off the product or service. Now, it’s more about how this product or service resolves something for the audience. It’s more about connecting, engaging and focusing on the needs of the person viewing the ad, the website, the brochure, etc.
HOW DO YOU ENGAGE A CLIENT’S AUDIENCE WITH SO MUCH BEING THROWN AT THEM AT ONCE? Well, they do need to stand out in some way or else they get lost in a sea of the ‘sameness’, but how a client differentiates themselves is what makes all the difference. There isn’t one answer, we work on a case-by-case basis, taking into account budget, messaging, target audience, etc.