Pepper Talk with Austine Berry

We’re excited for you to join us for this month’s edition of Pepper Talk with Austine!

Just a little background before we get started, Austine works as a UX Architect doing UX, graphic design, and content editing. She’s been with Eleven Peppers for almost six months!

1. Do you have any nicknames?
Nope! There’ve been some attempts, but the original always wins!

2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Check the clock to see if it’s early enough to sleep longer. After that, the first step is always to put on the kettle for some tea.

3. What is your favorite part about being a designer?
I enjoy that design has such a broad range of opportunities for creative expression, but it’s inherently rooted in tried-and-true design principles (almost like “proof” of why something works or doesn’t). I also like creating designs that make people smile.

4. How did you get started in this industry?
I didn’t even know the term “graphic design” existed until shortly before enrolling in my degree program. We were trying to save some money on our wedding, so I took on designing all the invitations and paper products and we printed/assembled them ourselves. I had a blast, and thought maybe that’s something I could do for a living! Looking back, I realized I always enjoyed making custom greeting cards, invitations, CD covers, etc.

5. What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
As a graphic designer with a print background, I’m partial to InDesign and Illustrator. Hands down, my favorite application for hand-drawn illustrations is Procreate. But every time I have to design a template for Word, I get dangerously close to launching my computer out a window.

6. Do you have a set process when working on a new design project?
Gather requirements and define the scope! You can’t bake a cake until you know what ingredients you need. If the timeline allows, I’ll do some inspiration research and build a mood board. Then I start throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. I often rely on other creatives to share their thoughts in critiques to make sure I get diverse perspectives on what is or isn’t working. It also helps when I’m indecisive between a couple options. I believe collaborative design results in the best design.

7. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Yes! Mostly tea, occasionally an overpriced fancy espresso drink.

Sweet or savory: Savory

Favorite TV series: Schitt’s Creek

Favorite place to travel: The UK

Hobbies: Illustration, writing, getting some sunshine

9. Okay, admission time… If you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
I love how iconic the logo for the London Underground is. There’s nothing particularly fancy about it, but its well-executed, largely-unchanged design has stood the test of time and become a symbol of London. The colors derive from the Union Jack, and the use of geometric shapes make it easy to read and recognize. It’s effective as both a logo and wayfinding signage. I had to take a photo with it during our trip to the UK in 2022!

Thanks for meeting Austine. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!