16 Feb

Pepper Talk with Jaymie Hebb

In this month’s Pepper Talk, we’re getting to know Jaymie Hebb, one of our talented UX engineers who has been with us for 1.5 years.

1. Do you have any nicknames?
Jay, James, Wheels – well, not anymore, but when I was fast.  Lol!


2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Do a quick mental review of who needs to be where when for the day.


3. What is your favorite thing about working as a UX engineer?
I love that I am both presented with and have the ability to create challenges to solve on the daily.  It allows me to flex my creative side, yet use my analytical strengths as well.


4. How did you get started in this industry?
Well, my degree is in advertising, but the tale of what happened between graduation and where I am now is long, twisted, and best told over beer.


5. What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
Axure is my go to for prototyping.  It’s not perfect, but given our environment, it gets the job done.  Confluence is not my friend, but a necessary evil.


6. Do you have a set process when beginning a new project?
I need to understand the why behind things.  So I ask a ton of questions and try to uncover as many scenarios as possible, even if they’re outlandish.


7. What do you draw inspiration from?
Everything. I’m a people watcher and take in everything about my surroundings.


8. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no:  Yes but not coffee.
Sweet or Savory: Savory
Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump
Favorite place to travel: I can’t pick just one. I’ve been a lot of places and many hold special meaning for different reasons.
Hobbies: Coaching, crafting, softball, ministering to kids

9: Okay, admission time…if you could pick one design that you wish you had come up with first, what would it be?
Pinterest. The ease of organizing whims into categories for later reference satisfies my creative and organizational heart.










Thanks for taking the time to meet Jaymie. As always, stay tuned for next month’s Pepper Talk to meet another member of our team!

10 Feb

Spread Love and Give Thanks!

Valentine’s Day isn’t all romance…. What would we do without our coworkers, Zoommates, virtual besties, childcare providers, teachers, delivery workers or doctors?

To show some love for these wonderful people in your life, we’ve created some fun cards you can download and share.

After clicking the download button, right click and select “Save Image As…” to save to your device.

25 Jan

Celebrating 5 Years: Valencia Garden

Congratulations are in order for Valencia Garden – today is her 5 year Pepperversary! 

As a Creative Director, Valencia works with her team to churn out award-winning work. Clients love her! Her willingness to learn new things or solve any problem is admirable.

When we asked her coworkers how to describe her, the word amazing came up a lot – amazing mom, amazing work, amazing problem-solving skills, amazing communicator, amazing teammate.

So without further ado, let’s get into our special interview and infographic all about Valencia!

1. Best part of working at Eleven Peppers Studios?
It’s hard to feel like you’re actually a part of a family when it comes to your employer, but 11P has done an amazing job at making everyone feel like they’re an invaluable asset to the company. The gifts aren’t terrible, either.

2. If you were a pepper, what type would you be and why?
Islander Bell Pepper. It’s sweet but slightly more bitter than other bell peppers. Also, purple is my favorite color, so it just feels right.

3. What is your favorite 11p event?
Disney World.

4. What is your favorite present ever received from 11p?
Disney World—though my first Mother’s Day gift was a great surprise too! I use my “Momosa” glass religiously.

5. What is your favorite 11p memory?
Being stuck at the airport…on the way to Disney World.

6. Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice:
Theresa has been super helpful in my Creative Director role, and Lisa has an opinion about everything, which is great for a second guesser like me!

7. Name a Pepper whose work ethic inspires you:
Kate Rodman! She knows why. 🙂

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 Valencia a little bit better…

1. What’s the best concert you have ever been to?
In my early 20s, I left work early to drive to NY to see Stevie Wonder perform at Jones Beach Theater. A super heavy rainstorm came through about 15 minutes before showtime—I got soaked! I paid $50 from a vendor for a blanket…it was springtime, so chilly air and wet clothes didn’t mix. Most people left after the rain, so I spent the concert 3 rows away from Stevie and his keyboard. Drove all the way back home when it was over, only to wake up a few hours later to go back to work! #brokelife Unforgettable night. Jon Batiste at Howard Theatre is a close second – second lining is undefeated.

2. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Which pair is your favorite?
Probably 30-35 pairs. And I only wear maybe 6 in my normal rotation at a time.

3. Where is the coolest place you’ve ever traveled?
I spent 8 days sailing on a yacht in Croatia. Best trip ever.

4. What is your favorite local restaurant?
Gianni’s pizza in Severn. It was right across from my middle and high school, and I may or may not have frequented there on some school days.

5. What is your daughter’s favorite toy?
Any type of ball. She got a basketball hoop and a basketball for Christmas, and she spent the next 3 hours screaming, “A BALL!!!” from random parts of the house. Guess what she’s getting for her birthday in a few weeks?

6. Who is your favorite musician?
This is hard! Musician for me = someone who can actually play an instrument, so I’ll just rattle off a list: Prince, PJ Morton, EWF, Needtobreathe, Rufus & Chaka Khan, Jon Batiste.

7. What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who still don’t know the differences between they’re/there/their, where/wear/were, and lost/loss. It makes me sad.

8. What was your favorite thing about attending Virginia Tech?
The campus is stunning. It was a surprisingly serene experience being in college in the middle of the mountains. I’ve yet to see another campus that wowed me like Blacksburg did.

9. Tell us the best or funniest thing about your dogs – Hall and Oates!
We thought Hall was a sweetheart when we first got him, but he’s really a jerk. He sits on Oates, eats his food (and yours if you’re not looking), and steals your blankets for himself. He’s our personal Dennis the Menace. Oates is forging a really sweet relationship with my 2 year-old daughter. It’s great to see how much he’s grown from being afraid of her to just wanting to lick her face all day!

21 Jan

Pepper Talk with Kristen Price

In this month’s Pepper Talk, we’re getting to know more about Kristen Price!

Just a little background before we get started, Kristen works as an instructional designer for one of our government clients. She’s been with Eleven Peppers for 1.5 years.

1. Do you have any nicknames?
My family and friends have always called me Kris.

2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I definitely hit the snooze button a few (too many) times, then probably look at social media a bit before starting the day.

3. What is your favorite thing about working as an instructional designer?
I like that instructional design is like a puzzle. You sort of put together pieces of content, graphics, UX, and psychology, and hopefully create something super cool!

4. How did you get started?
I started life as a preschool teacher. I liked teaching, but I enjoyed the curriculum design part more. A parent of a child in my class worked for an e-learning company, and got me an interview. The rest is history.

5. What are your favorite apps for design?
I enjoy using Articulate Storyline, but I love having access to our amazing graphic designers who make our courses look even better.

6. What do you draw inspiration from?
I read a lot, so I draw inspiration from books and articles – whether it’s what they’re saying, or how they’re presented.

7. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no:  Yes but only in tea. Carbonation and coffee are gross.
Sweet or Savory: Most definitely sweet – bring on the chocolate.
Favorite Movie:  “Hamilton.” That counts right?!
Favortie place to travel: My most favorite place in the world is England. I love everything about it! Secretly I think I was born in the wrong country.
Hobbies: Pre-Covid, I loved to travel, find new fun restaurants and  see Broadway shows. Post-Covid there’s a lot of crafting and reading happening.

9: Okay, admission time… name your favorite designer.
There are not a lot of famous instructional designers – are there any really? So I’m going to say my favorite ISDs are my fellow Peppers, Deb Williams and Christina Cumberland.

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

12 Jan

Celebrating 5 Years: Ashley Philip

We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate Ashley Philip’s 5 year Pepperversary!

From the very beginning, Ashley conveyed a keen understanding for design principles and creativity, but has since expanded her skill set on the 11p Commercial Team. She is an agile designer who can jump on any project whether it be social, branding, marketing, web or UX.

On the 11p Commercial Team, she’s gotten the opportunity to work on many award-winning projects. Her drive to expand her skill set does not stop at 11p. She recently received her Masters Degree in UX from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work ethic and ambition is an inspiration to all! Congratulations Ashley!

1. Best part of working at Eleven Peppers Studios?
The people. The amount of incredible talent, support and leadership in this company, in my opinion, is unmatched.  

2. If you were a pepper, what type would you be and why?
The Carolina Reaper– I like a LOT of heat! 🔥 

3. What is your favorite 11p event?

4. What is your favorite present ever received from 11p?
A 7-Night Royal Caribbean CRUISE to the Bahamas, Honduras and Mexico!  

5. What is your favorite 11p memory?
The 2016 HOW Conference in Atlanta. It was my first year as a Pepper and I got to (really) know quite a few Peppers early on and soak up all the knowledge from some of the industry’s best. 

6. Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice:
Melissa London– she’s very knowledgeable in her career and knows exactly how to be assertive and fight for a design/vision when need be. She knows what it takes to be a leader and has no problem listening to your aspirations and helps you create a plan to heighten them.  

7. Name a Pepper whose work ethic inspires you:
Kate Rodman– the way she is able to take a client’s thought and provide three or four solid design directions in such a limited amount of time where the thought has now turned into a holistic vision of a brand, inspires me. She’s truly a force to be reckoned with 

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 Ashley a little bit better…

1. Since coffee isn’t your thing, what is your go-to for a pick-me-up?
Currently, a 6:30 am workout 😉. Throughout the day if I need it, I’ll drink an iced matcha latte. 

2. Favorite reality show?
Project Runway  

3. What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
To have a wedding day. #CoronaBride

4. What is your favorite room in your new(ish) home? 
The Kitchen/Dining Area. The amount of natural light instantly puts me in a good mood. It’s also the central spot for hosting guests. 

5. What is your most memorable European experience? 
Venice, Italy! Where I got engaged! The entire visit was literally something out of a painting.

6. Would you rather ski or snowboard? 

7. What is your favorite family tradition?
I don’t have any at the moment– but I think I want make snowboarding every winter a tradition. 

8. Do you have any secret hobbies or talents?
My organizational skills are pretty badassI can find a perfectly labeled container, folder, basket etc.. for any piece of item in my house. Boring, I know.  

9. If you could travel anywhere in 2021, where would you go?
Honeymoon plans include Bali + Paris– if it’s ever safe *fingers crossed*

10. What is your favorite film?
Nocturnal Animals 

21 Dec

Hello Winter Wallpapers

The temperatures are dropping and snow has fallen – winter’s officially here! Break out your fuzzy socks, cuddle up on the couch, and get cozy!

Below you can find our newest wallpaper downloads sized for desktop, Zoom or mobile.

After clicking the button with the size you want, right click and select “Save Image As…” to save to your device.

18 Dec

11P’s Illustration Style Guide

This year, we put our heads together to develop a beautiful, inclusive, and functional illustration style guide for Eleven Peppers. Below is a sampling of elements we included, along with factors that guided our process.


Illustration is a great tool to use when photography or other graphical elements aren’t possible or don’t make sense. You can illustrate a visual metaphor to demonstrate a value that might otherwise be difficult to communicate.

Perhaps the strongest benefit of using illustration is its storytelling ability. Rather than using photography which is limited to real-world possibilities, illustrating a story opens up an entire universe – any character, scene, or message can be conveyed in any way you can imagine!

Using illustration strategically can add nuance, depth, and richness to an otherwise ordinary object/scene. When used for human figures, it can convey subtle or extreme personality traits. Illustration elements like color, texture, pattern, shape, level of detail, and composition can control your desired message.


Custom designed illustrations have played a big role for our 11P brand. Illustrations have assisted us in conveying our uniqueness and our company’s vibrant, fun, and friendly culture. This energy and originality is what guided our illustration aesthetic – down to the tiniest detail. In order to ensure that our illustration style truly represented us, we made sure it embodied the following principles:

Light & Punny

At 11P we like to keep it light and fun, just like our funfetti circles or our Pepper dude.


Personality, personality, personality! Illustrations should have an attitude and ours is up-beat!


Boring? No way! We always add a little zest to everything we do.


Each person brings something completely different to the table. Our diversity is our strength.


An illustration style guide is crucial when establishing brand consistency! Having clearly defined guidelines also speeds up production, so designers can keep their focus on concepts and messaging rather than aesthetic. Below are key elements we included to streamline our illustration design process.


We knew we had to include a wide range of colors to represent the diversity of our team. Staying true to our original brand colors, we simply defined how each color would be used in regard to skin tones and hair colors. We also included a detailed complimentary brand palette to assist in illustrating dimension on objects for maximum impact.


Texture is another powerful tool to add personality to brand illustrations. We opted to include a speckled brush, used to create depth via shadows and highlights. This element adds a “handmade” quality to an otherwise clean vector, communicating our hands-on, custom approach to challenges.


Our 11P “funfetti” pattern is great for filling in objects with a bit of interest – for instance, on clothing or a backdrop. It’s like a sprinkle of our playful attitude.


The vector shapes are solid and crisp-edged, but with soft curves. This style is clean, efficient, and flexible for all shapes. These strong shapes provide structure, balancing out the softness that comes from our palette, textures and fun patterns.


Creating a character library was a must so that any team member could easily grab features to create new, distinct characters to diversifying our character illustrations. We created an entire library full of different face shapes, facial features, figures and hairs styles – making it fairly easy for any team member to assemble a character under a time constraint.


Illustrations can add value to any brand by conveying the company’s personality and voice in an approachable visual format that’s easy for a viewer to comprehend. Custom illustrations should reflect the design and energy of the overall brand and should be consistent with designs and iconography used on all marketing materials.

At 11P, our illustrations play a key role on our website, presentations, advertisements, newsletters, social media, infographics, and videos. Having a clearly defined style guide assists in our success though all of these mediums!

09 Dec

Pepper Talk with Chuck Strauss

In this month’s Pepper Talk, we’re getting to know more about Chuck Strauss!

Just a little background before we get started, Chuck works on web development/e-Learning projects for one of our government clients. He’s been with Eleven Peppers for 1.5 years.

1. Do you have any nicknames?
Besides “Chuck” (legally I’m Charles), there’s only one that’s fit for print: “Bob.”  A few years back, my mom was shopping for holiday decorations and she came across some festive sock monkeys with names on their sweaters.  She found some for both of my brothers, but none for me, so I’m now represented by Bob.

2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Brew the coffee, drink the coffee.  I typically have half a pot, black – no cream or sugar, before I can/will leave the house.

3. What is your favorite part about working as a web developer?
Anything that challenges me.  I’m really into finding out what’s broken and fixing it, which can be really challenging when people obfuscate their code and I’m tasked to fix it.

4. How did you get started in this industry?
My final assignment in the military was training and evaluating those in my specialty. As we transitioned from hard-copy to web-based, I leaned on my interest in all things computer and developed our web-based training templates.

5. What are your favorite apps for development?
Anything Adobe, primarily Dreamweaver.  When push comes to shove though, I’ll work with what I’ve got, even if it’s plain old Notepad.

6. What do you draw inspiration from?
Life.  It’s full of challenges, just like work.  Overcoming those challenges is what keeps me motivated and ready for the next.

7. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Caffeine, please!
Sweet or Savory: Savory – my sweet tooth left me years ago.
Favorite Movie: I love far too many to choose just one… That’d be like eating just one Pringles!
Favorite place to travel: Anywhere remote – I love nature.
Hobbies: These days, I’m pretty much down to playing games (PC and phone).  I also like photographing nature in general, but macro photography specifically.

8. Okay, admission time… If you could pick one website that you wish you had designed, what would it be?
I really focus on functionality, with others doing the design (layout, graphics, etc.).  I make others’ visions into reality, and that’s more than satisfying on its own.

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


01 Dec

11 Holiday Gift Ideas for Creatives

Black Friday and Cyber Monday really got us in the spirit of shopping. If you are still searching for the perfect gift for the creative person in your life, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a list of 11 unique gifts that they’ll love! Check them out below!

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.

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