Up at bat: our hometown gal Jess Taich! Jess rocked our business card challenge and also excelled at Rosh Hashanah designs. Enjoy getting to know this hip gal (with such pretty hair!) and have a sunny weekend ahead!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I always knew that I would end up in a creative career. From the time I was little I was constantly drawing, from the edges of my notebooks to the paper table cloths at restaurants. I was enrolled in every kind of art camp as a child from pottery to claymation. In high school I thought I may become a fine artist, but after creating posters for my student government campaigns I was hooked on design. And once I took my first graphic design class in college, I fell completely in love, and I knew I had picked the perfect career for me.
Do you have any formal design training?
Yes, I attended American University in Washington, DC and was a design major there. While a small program and certainly not the most high profile major at the university (it is more known for International Studies & Public Affairs), it provided really great training and has produced some awesome designers. Some of the greatest experience I got in design was through my extracurricular job of being the sole designer for our campus progressive magazine called American Way of Life (AWOL). I had to learn all about magazine production from creating the template to working with writers to getting the magazine printed and distributed.
How would you describe your style?
I feel like I am constantly changing, but I tend to design things that have vintage and ‘handmade’ elements. I love hand lettering and creating my own illustrations, but I don’t know if I have developed a specific style yet, I am still working on that!
What is your normal workflow or process like?
It depends on the project and how quick my deadline is, but I tend to start with quick sketches and then move on to the computer. I am a very fast worker and I work out most of what I want to do in my mind, and then usually have a very clear vision of what I want the finished design to look like when I start.
What tools, techniques, and mindsets do you find absolutely essential?
A good pen, some loose computer paper or my moleskine, a scanner, and my macbook are my essential tools. But the most important thing is the excitement that I get when I am creating a new design, that adrenaline always powers me through late nights and quick deadlines.
Do you have a favorite font?
It is always changing, but currently the Knockout family is my staple font. I got introduced to the font family when I started freelancing for the online magazine The Bold Italic and have been hooked on that gorgeous san-serif ever since!
Moleskines. I only wish the paper was a bit thicker. I have to admit though that I tend to use loose computer paper the most when sketching out ideas.
Did you send out a family Christmas card? If so, what was it like?
I didn’t send out a Holiday card but I did send out a New Years Card to my friends. I bought small colorful cards at Papersource and then hand stamped the design on each one. I was really proud of how they turned out and after reaching out to Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge she tweeted the design to her followers! It was such a thrill to have so many people view the design and receive such positive feedback!
You have such great custom work up on your site… Tell us about your favorite custom project and why you enjoyed working on it.
A recent favorite project is the card design I created for a San Francisco based outdoor products company called Alite. I really enjoyed creating the illustrations and hand written type and am pretty happy with how it came out!
I really love your ‘the matisse’ design. I love how many Jewish icons you included and how they all have a real flair… How did you go about creating this design?
Thank you! Having gone to a Jewish school for 9 years was a big help for this one! I was really familiar with the holiday and what kind of symbols were associated with it. I had been experimenting with the cut out style that was inspired by Matisse’s late collage period (hence the name) but also by the illustrations of Saul Bass (one of my biggest influences). All of the illustrations were done on the computer just using the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator.
21st century gal is a brilliant business card. How did you create such a masterfully simple card?
It’s funny I think the inspiration for this design was really that I was just loving the font Feel Script and so I decided to highlight the beautiful script. The simple ‘starry’ backer was inspired by a fellow Bold Italic designer Jadye Cardinalli’s background on one of her stories called “The Spirit of San Francisco”.
What was your favorite Minted design challenge and why?
I think my favorite was the Business card challenge, I had a lot of fun coming up with different styles for different types of businesses. This challenge came most naturally to me, wedding & baby shower invitations take a bit more work as I am not at that stage yet! Although creating wedding invitations is something I want to start doing more.
How does living in San Francisco influence your design?
Not only is this city one of the most beautiful places in the world (to me at least) it is filled with people that are following their passions. Everyone here is starting something, whether it is a new tech start up, or a pop up restaurant. You can’t help but feel inspired to follow your own passions. For me of course that is design, and while I work full time at Yelp, I am also working on starting my own wedding design business and pursuing my own art.
What are the places in your hometown that you would recommend a visitor check out?
I would definitely recommend coming to my neighborhood! I live in the Mission district right on Valencia street. Outside my door is some of the best coffee I have ever had (Four Barrel), awesome vintage and exchange clothing stores, gorgeous mid century modern furniture boutiques, record stores, used book stores (Dog Eared Books is a favorite), and some of the best eats from the inexpensive but delicious Taqueria Cancun to the more high end Delfina Pizza (which could be a last meal type of place for me). I feel pretty lucky to live in such a vibrant neighborhood, and if you plan on visiting San Francisco you should come check it out!
What do you like best about being a part of minted?
Minted is such a great place for me to try out new styles and to receive feedback from a supportive community is really invaluable. Plus the feeling of winning a contest is so fantastic, and even when I don’t it keeps me motivated to continue doing better and more creative work!
Thanks so much for a fun interview Jess! We can’t wait to see what designs you submit next!! If you didn’t get enough Jess here, check out her fun blog Rose Colored Glasses.
Find more of Natasha on her blog.20 COMMENTS