What makes a piece of art or a graphic design resonate with an audience? How do you create a design that not only delights and engages but also sticks with the audience long after the moment of interaction has passed? These are the questions that drive Senior Graphic Designer Alyssa Watkins to create arresting visual moments that help our clients realize their design and branding goals, and also enhance and grow their business.
As part of our creative team, Alyssa brings with her a wealth of design and marketing experience that has helped a number of our clients successfully develop and execute design projects across a variety of mediums.
What do you do as part of the creative team?
As part of the creative team, I get to work on a wide variety of projects such as print collateral, digital content for websites and online ads, and event collateral for in-person events.
How did you get into the graphic design field? What inspired you to pursue this as a career?
I first became interested in graphic design in high school with computer-based art classes. I have always been artistically inclined, so attending the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois was something I worked towards diligently. The first year in that program is spent taking general art courses and deciding in which disciplines you want to pursue a degree. I was accepted to the Graphic Design program in the spring of that year and I opted to pursue a Business Minor to further benefit my career goals.
What does your average day-to-day look like?
Truthfully, my work varies on any given day. I spend a majority of the time working in the major digital design programs, but I also spend a fair amount of time communicating with our Client Services team, garnering feedback and responding. I also try to learn something new each day, whether it be a technical skill, something new about our clients, or current graphic design trends.
For you, what makes a really engaging, powerful piece of design?
I think the first impression of a design is telling. A strong focal point, readability, and interesting imagery are all things that help make a design effective. Does it make you think or make you feel something? Does it make you want to interact or learn more? I personally also enjoy experimental typography. Engaging design should make the mundane more enjoyable and the complex more understandable.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to revamp or reinvigorate their company's look or visual branding?
Partner with Trekk, of course! In all seriousness, to rebrand a company is a large undertaking, and there are tough tasks within that process. It’s important to understand your company, where it’s been and where you want it to go. One must analyze the company’s goals, values, and mission statement in order to then develop a new identity that is cohesive and in alignment with those ideals. Employing the help of a firm that offers expertise, creative services, and quantifiable results is a sure way to ensure the rebranding is done effectively.
Do you have advice for someone looking to get into the graphic design field?
My main pieces of advice would be to seize opportunities to learn, and to immerse yourself in as many facets of design as you can, both for your benefit and to make yourself as marketable as possible.
What’s one of the most rewarding aspects of what you do?
I have two answers for this:
1) Seeing the final production of a design piece. The tangible outcome of time spent is such a great feeling.
2) Solving a problem or challenge in what I’m working on. My mind thrives on finding the answer to things I do not yet know.
Outside of your work with Trekk, tell us a bit more about Alyssa the individual. What do you do in your free time, what else are you passionate about or interested in?
My main priority is getting a little quality time with my family when I get home through bedtime. After the kids are asleep, my evenings usually involve my insatiable creative side in some form. One outlet for that has become my home and my never ending quest to update the space. Another outlet is my passion for the design and production of wedding and event stationery/paper goods. On the weekends, my husband and I like to enjoy some good food, watch some family friendly movies, and do fun activities with the kids.
It’s time for some Speed Round questions: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Up until the age of 11 or 12, a singer — which is funny because I really can’t sing all that well.
Cake or pie?
Cheesecake only. Otherwise, pie.
Favorite season of the year and why?
I want to say summer, because it’s always been summer. I love the sun and especially driving with the top down on the Jeep. I have loved that for 12 years. The older I get though, I find I am leaning more towards fall. It’s such a beautiful time of year, and full of fun traditions.
Last TV show you binge watched?
What’s your perfect last meal?
I’m an adult, right? Macaroni and hot dogs is one of my favorite comfort meals.
What’s one guilty pleasure you have?
Dunkin Donuts’ “Caramel Coffee Cake” coffee.
Thank you to Alyssa for chatting with us! Read our most recent Trekk Talk with Emilee Christianson, Director of Client Services.