Each edition of Trekk Talk features a different member of our team to learn about what they do for our clients and organization, share in their expertise and knowledge, and get a glimpse of who they are outside of the office.
This month we’re excited to chat with Graphic Designer Alison Weust. Alison has been a member of the Trekk team for 3 years. In that time, her knowledge and expertise in the world of design have been invaluable in bringing relevance and dynamism to our clients’ creative campaigns, and Alison has even extended her wealth of design knowledge into a fun side hustle as well...
What is your official title and what do you do as part of the design team?
My official title here is Graphic Designer. What I do at Trekk varies wildly, but some days I am planning campaign concepts and moodboards, other days I’m designing direct mailers and print collateral, and sometimes I am designing websites — so it really all depends on the day.
How did you get into the graphic design field? What inspired you to pursue this career?
I attended an art school called Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, where I was pursuing a degree in fine art printmaking. I was drawn to graphic design because of all the awesome student projects lining the hallways. It was also easier to imagine myself getting a job in the graphic design world than it was for me to imagine myself having one in the fine art printmaking world. Ultimately, I ended up with a BFA in fine art printmaking and a minor in graphic design.
For companies looking to make a splash with their design concepts, do you have a couple of core principles or philosophies about what makes effective graphic design?
I think good design is always purposeful and personal. I am a sucker for a fun gimmick or trend, but that stuff is ephemeral unless you find a meaningful way to tie it in with your message. A good example of this is our Ticonderoga mailer. We started with an extraordinary 3D form factor, but we made it purposeful by incorporating the storybook illustrations of the mill and paper toys. It got the client’s product — paper — into their customer’s hands, it provided information about their mill and how they are stewards of the land, and it has staying power since it doubles as an interactive play set for children.
When you’re sitting down to tackle a design piece, what does that work look like?
I always start by asking the who, what, when, where, and whys. I find the more I know about the client and their objectives, the easier it is for me to come up with an interesting way to represent that visually. From there I will make the client a moodboard to represent the overall look and feel of the design direction. Once that’s approved, I can begin sketching, prototyping, and designing, and the other tasks that go along with that.
Do you have any guidance for someone looking to get into the graphic design field? What should someone know as they find their way into this career?
Always seek out mentors and peers who will give you honest and constructive feedback. While technical skills are a priority in the graphic design space, there will always be new design programs to learn. Your personality and taste will take you further than you might think.
Outside of your work with Trekk, tell us a bit more about Alison the individual. What do you do in your free time, what else are you passionate about or interested in?
In my free time, I am happy to report that I still utilize my printmaking degree. Over the past several years, my partner and I have assembled our own print shop out of our garage. We like to participate in art shows and fairs when we can. I also bought my first house at the end of 2019, and have come to enjoy interior design and home improvement.
Let’s jump to the speed round questions, shall we? Hot dog or burger?
Debated lying on this question but deep down I know the answer is hot dog.
PC or Mac?
Favorite season of the year and why?
Summer, because I am conditioned to love it from my school days but also because the sun is good for my mental wellness.
Would you rather live without books or music?
I am sad imagining either scenario but I can’t go without music.
What's the last TV show you binge-watched?
What's a guilty pleasure you have?
Reality TV, especially 90 Day Fiancé.
Many thanks to Alison for giving us a few moments of her time and helping us understand the graphic design world in a bit more detail.
Don’t forget to check out the previous installment of Trekk Talk with Content Developer Michela Duggan.
Check back next month for another installment of Trekk Talk.
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