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

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! 


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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