30 Nov

Celebrating 5 Years: John Reid

We’re getting close to rounding out 2020 – but not before we celebrate a very special 5 Year Pepperversary for John Reid! 

John is a very detailed-oriented designer that loves to go off-roading in his Jeep, watch sports, and eat pizza! Known for his great sense of style, you’ll always see John looking sharp.

To learn more about John, keep scrolling to read our special interview and infographic!


1. Best part of working at Eleven Peppers Studios?
Being in a small company and having a more personal atmosphere. You can get lost and overlooked in a larger company.

2. If you were a pepper, what type would you be and why?
Habanero. It’s not just spicy, it adds to the overall flavor.

3. What is your favorite 11p event?
The holiday party is always a good time. Get to catch up with everyone and the venues have been great.

4. What is your favorite present ever received from 11p?
Disney World!

5. What is your favorite 11p memory?
D I S N E Y  W O R L D

6. Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice:
Peppercorn (black pepper). I mean it’s solid, dependable, and you can use it on everything –  chips, fries, steaks, burgers, chicken… Alright but seriously, Christina Cumberland. I mean, we have been friends for 15 years. Also solid and dependable.

7. Name a Pepper whose work ethic inspires you:
Melissa London. As inspiring as her tremendous talent is, she doesn’t rely on that to get her by. She always puts in an equally inspiring level of management and effort.

8. My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!

Get to know John a little bit better…

1. Where is the coolest place you’ve ever gone off-roading in your Jeep?
Rausch Creek, Pennsylvania. It’s really the only place I’ve taken it but it is a 3,000 acre park.

2. If you could only play one video game for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Destiny 2. This is kind of a cheat answer though because they just keep updating and expanding the same game.

3. Who is the most epic band or singer you’ve seen live?
I can’t just name one. I’ve seen Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters, Blink-182, Twenty One Pilots (x3), ODESZA (x3), Childish Gambino (x2), and Linkin Park to name a few. They were all epic for their own reasons.

4. Let’s pretend you’re a ML baseball player…What is your up-to-bat song?
Ruff Ryders Anthem (hoping it’s for the O’s)

5. What’s the coolest thing you’ve made by hand?
I made a mandala of Walt Disney when I attended college. I’ve also made a few cool Maryland signs.

6. We hear you like pizza…Where is your local go-to?
Mamma Roma’s. It’s literally the closest pizza place to my house.

7. Any secret talents or hobbies we don’t know about?
I’ve been told that I have a knack for impromptu arrangement of charcuterie boards. I also like to collect refrigerator magnets from places I travel to.

8. What’s your favorite sports team?
Orioles, Ravens, Caps, Terps.

9. If you could switch lives with anyone, who would it be?
Any professional golfer. They play golf for a living and get to travel around.

24 Nov

Thanksgiving Behind-the-Scenes

The 11p commercial team is always up for a challenge. We feel very comfortable designing custom illustrations and icons, but we’re always thinking… “How can we take it a step farther?” How about three-dimensional illustrations with motion?

Admittedly, we were inspired by all the great designers out there already pushing the envelope. Designers like Gail Armstrong, Adé Hogue, and Julene Harrison.

We love the tactile quality of working with paper and the opportunity to bring designs off the computer and get physical! We also value the addition of motion to our work. Even the simplest animation can add a considerable amount of life and energy to an illustration. Check out this article by Hoodzpah Design for more on that.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, we saw this as the perfect holiday to experiment with these concepts. Below is a behind-the-scenes view of the process we followed to create our Thanksgiving social media posts. Since this is our first project using these methods, there are lots of lessons-learned, but we hope you enjoy the playfulness and energy of the final product. It combines all of the items that bring happiness during a spicy Maryland Thanksgiving (some of us root for teams other than the Ravens and that’s OK 😉 ). Happy Thanksgiving!

Mood Board

We took inspiration from one of the most treasured Thanksgiving Day traditions – The Macy’s parade!

Initial Sketch

Final Vector Layout

Behind-the-Scenes During Shoot Day

We used a Cricut machine to cut most of the float shapes and then added fold lines to create extra depth.

Some Detail Shots

Final Static Image

Final Animations

WRITTEN BY
Melissa London
Art Director at 11P, Toddler Influencer, Wine and Cheese Enthusiast, Maker of Crafty Things.

17 Nov

Pepper Talk with Ashley Mueller

Get to know Ashley Mueller in this month’s installment of Pepper Talk! 

Just a little background before we get started, Ashley works on UX projects for one of our government clients. She’s been with Eleven Peppers for 2 years!


1. Do you have any nicknames?
Ash! I know, very unexpected.

2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Hit snooze at least 3 times (yes, that is 27 minutes of snoozing and purely interrupted sleep)…then get caffeinated and do the NYT mini crossword!

3. What is your favorite part about working as a UX designer?
I thrive in a collaborative environment, so I really like that I can combine my first love of design, layout and composition, with working closely with users to understand their needs and developers/engineers to create solutions.

4. How did you get started in this industry?
I was lucky enough to discover that I wanted to become a graphic designer in high school after designing layouts for our yearbook. I majored in Graphic Design at the University of Cincinnati, School of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), and as a part of that program we alternated quarters of curriculum and cooperative education over 5 years. I graduated having worked at some really amazing design firms around the country and a pretty good idea of which design industries I wanted to work in moving forward. I worked for an environments design firm before moving out to DC for a graphic design position in the IC…and the rest is history 🙂

5. What are your favorite apps for design?
My OG tools of the trade…InDesign and Illustrator. I love organizing a publication, print or digital, in InDesign. Character and Paragraph styles, yesss! Hoping to add XD to the list soon!

6. What do you draw inspiration from?
Travel and getting out and about! Design events around DC (pecha kucha, creative mornings, etc.). And, of course, all the talented creatives I’m surrounded by. I’ve been constantly impressed by the level of talent among my colleagues everywhere I’ve worked, and the Peppers are no exception! I also frequent all the standard design inspo sites we all know and love.

7. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no:

Yes please!

Sweet or Savory:

Savory (and salty).

Favorite Movie:

The fact that one doesn’t immediately come to mind probably means I don’t have a favorite?

Favorite place to travel:

Currently in COVID times…anywhere outside of my DC apartment. Otherwise, everywhere! Out of the places I’ve visited in recent years, St. Tropez, France is probably at the top of the list, but hopefully the best is yet to be seen! 

Hobbies:

Curating bookshelves, bopping around any city, making new cocktails has become a quarantine favorite, dinner parties turned dance parties, obsessively Facetiming my out-of-town nephews (they seem to appreciate this less than I do).

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