26 Dec

Pepper Talk with AC

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re learning more about AC! Just a little background before we get started, AC currently leads one of our UX teams. She’s been with Eleven Peppers for 2.5 years!


1. Do you have any nicknames?
I actually go by my nickname, AC! My full name is Anne Carlyle but people get tripped up on the double name, so shortening it to AC made sense.

2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Coffee. Well, brush my teeth, drink a glass of water and then all the coffee. If I manage to get up before my kids it’s a nice moment to myself before the day starts, otherwise it’s just me drinking coffee amongst the chaos. Why do 3 year olds wake up with so much damn energy?

3. How would you describe your design style?
Simple, classic, and minimal. I don’t pay super close attention to design trends (I should really get better at that!), and have always been drawn to simple but impactful typography. I try and keep extraneous noise out of a design but you know clients always try and fill the page with content!

4. How did you get started in this industry?
Right out of college! My first job was in the Intelligence Community so I don’t really know the commercial world. I really love working for a meaningful mission and the people I have met are all so amazing.

5. What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
InDesign will forever be my favorite, I miss using it every day. It is so intuitive to me for some reason! Photoshop terrifies me, I need to improve my skills.

6. What is your favorite thing about being an art director?
Definitely bossing people around! Kidding…I really like being able to have a vision and try and execute it within all the fun (and not so fun) constraints of our job. At the end of the day, I want users lives to be easier, so anything I can do to make that happen is my favorite!

7. What do you draw inspiration from?
Pinterest! What did we do before Pinterest? I’m also lucky to be surrounded by super talented designers, so it’s easy to be inspired by them and pick their brains for ideas.

 8. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Caffeine
Sweet or Savory: Sweet. Ice cream is my weakness.
Favorite Movie: If we’re going by how frequently I have seen a movie then it’s going to have to be Frozen…
Favorite place to travel:

Everywhere!

Hobbies:

Daydreaming about when I had time for hobbies! read more

18 Nov

Pepper Talk with Brian Crane

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re learning more about Brian Crane! Just a little background before we get started, Brian currently works on designing government training resources and leading a creative team of multimedia designers. He’s been with Eleven Peppers for 5 months!


1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Cry. Just a nice, therapeutic, purge of metaphorical tears to get the blood flowing. Afterwards, I usually focus my energy on stubbing my toe, in the dark, while silently gallivanting to the shower, without waking up my wife…like some sort of sympathetic ninja.

2. If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Ireland, Germany and Italy are all on my wish list.

3. How would you describe your design style?
Adaptive. In our field, we deal with MANY different customers, all with THEIR own vision; therefore, one “design style” may work for a current task, but it more than likely won’t carry over to the next. So, while I certainly inject my own personality and flair into all my projects, I focus on adapting my skill set to fit the particular job at hand.

4. What do you draw inspiration from?
It’s probably cliché to say, but I draw inspiration from almost everything. Whether it be a transition in a movie, a billboard I see on my commute, a GIF on social media, a concert poster, a song someone is humming in the elevator, brainstorming with co-workers, an elaborate doily on Pinterest, a masterpiece my 8 year-old crafts in his art class, a screen print on a shirt that the guy in front of me at the Hollywood Video is wearing. You get the idea.

5. What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Favorites? Post-It notes, Sharpies and working on a computer that doesn’t enter into a state of rigor mortis, from having more than one design program open at a time, are all intoxicating. I’m also a Wacom tablet mark.

Worst? PowerPoint…all of it. Also, the Papyrus typeface.

6. Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
1) Customer/Client Interrogation…with a smile.
2) Copious amounts of research.
3) Doodles, sketches and word play.
4) Swan dive into Adobe’s fluffy Creative Cloud for a little comp action.

7. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas.  It’s not even close. The lights, smells, decorations, music, generosity… It’s all amazing. Plus, people are happier, the food is better and the beer is stronger.

 8. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Is that a trick question? Wait…do people really answer “no” here? They clearly can’t be trusted, right?!
Sweet or Savory: Tacos
Favorite Movie: This is super tough; because there are so many I love. Push comes to shove though, I’d say my favorite movie of all time has to be A Christmas Story, with Beetlejuice nipping at its heels.
Favorite place to travel:

Local? A tie for both North and, South Carolina…but I guess that’s a vanilla answer.
My passport is fairly barren so I don’t have a ton of comparable experience. That being said, I’ve been to the Dominican Republic a handful of times and love it. Perfect place to unplug, stare at glowing cyan waters, sip a cold drink and let the day pass.

Hobbies:

Campin’, brewery visitin’, movie viewin’, music jammin’, Xbox playin’, American-muscle car admirin’, Dorito eatin’, Baltimore Ravens game yellin’, Big O and Dukes listenin’ and family-time spendin’.

read more

24 Mar

Out and About: MICA’s Grassroots DesignFest

Recently, one of our Art Directors, Melissa London, participated in MICA’s first ever DesignFest after hearing how rewarding these “design-offs” could be from advertising colleagues. The event was sponsored by the T. Rowe Price Foundation and organized by MICA’s Social Design Department.

The event gave design students, thinkers, and professionals the opportunity to contribute to the social change movement in Baltimore while collaborating face-to-face with other designers and nonprofits. There were a wide array of nonprofits that needed design help such as updating logos, designing infographics, assisting with brand strategy and refreshing web pages.

Melissa was paired with the Waterfront Partnership, specifically the Healthy Harbor Initiative which works with the community and downtown businesses to remove pollutants from the harbor with the (ambitious) goal of making it swimmable by 2020. Their focus for the day was improving the approach and design of their annual water quality “report card”. The intent of participating in the DesignFest was not to walk away with finished vector art but to collaborate to develop a strategy/plan and produce mockups for new creative directions.

Assembled for the challenge were one MICA design student, one MICA graduate student from the Master of Business/Master of Arts program, and one design professional (Melissa – no pressure!). After the two representatives from Waterfront Partnership introduced the objective, they were left alone to brainstorm and collaborate on design directions they could take. The team accomplished a lot in the limited schedule (approximately 4.5 hours of design time). They produced a list of alternative report names, infographic concepts, outreach ideas to educate children, poster concepts, a set of icons and layout mockups for the report.

Reflecting on the event, Melissa stated, “It was truly exciting to watch our initial awkward meet-and-greet grow to a casual, open forum for ideas and creativity. I would recommend this event to all my fellow Peppers and design/social-minded friends. Not only did we get an opportunity to shake up our design routine, but we got to give back to our community and become more aware of our pollution footprint.”

Some Waterfront Partnership highlights and ways to get involved:

  • This trash wheel is awesome and apparently an International sensation!
  • Stormwater management is crucial, landscape with plants and trees to help prevent sewage overflow.
  • Who doesn’t love oysters?!? Help restore our oyster population by oyster gardening, volunteer opportunities happen on the third Saturday of the month (September through June).
  • “There is no such thing as a flushable wipe”
  • How much fun does this event look? Baltimore Floatilla
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