Each year, the International Council of Design, celebrates World Design Day to recognize the value of design and its capacity for change in the world. This year’s theme is Women in Design, and we are excited to highlight two of our creative and intelligent Graphic Designers, Mallory Poeltler and Raechel Stewart.
What inspired you to want to be a Graphic Designer?
Raechel Stewart: I started off wanted to be an engineer and had this impression I would be creating things. I took quite a bit of classes and realized it wasn’t my path. I loved my CAD classes and found out Graphic Designers have similar programs and I was in love with my art classes, so I fought to stay in.
Mallory Poeltler: Being able to express yourself creatively in different materials and mediums was a fascinating aspect to me. I always loved to draw when I was a kid, so that stemmed into my adult life to keep creating art.
Design has a lot of challenges, what type of challenges do you enjoy in design?
RS: Making something that is fitting for whatever I am designing for. Designing is like inventing over and over, you find things that work and you find things that don’t, but you never stop if you really enjoy it.
MP: Envisioning a concept and it’s developmental process. Sometimes it turns out exactly as you want it, but sometimes it can develop into something unintentional that ends up being better than what you originally imagined.
How does design affect everyday life?
RS: Design is everywhere. It is what makes things interactive, orderly, expressive. Even things that are badly designed have their purpose but good design can affect things like bringing a community together for a block party, to instructing you on how to make a crib for your baby, to giving you an experience you won’t forget. It’s just how you view it.
MP: Design is in everything. Whether it be artistically (art, paintings, etc.), or operational (streets, buildings), we depend on design to add structure to our everyday actions and experiences.
In our industry, designers have to collaborate with a team of people from Production to Project Managers to other Designers. How does this collaboration work?
RS: I think it is all about asking and getting ideas. I love working in unusual color palettes and materials and wouldn’t be able to explore that much on my own. I also try to push myself and sometimes it takes another designer’s design style to make an idea work.
MP: We all work as a team, contributing and combining our energies and talents to producing top-quality designs.
Speaking about the MSI team, do you have a favorite design you’ve done with at MSI?
RS: Evo, Trio, Metro. [This sales office located within the Millenia Master Plan is a unique 3-project sales office that has won countless awards including the Best Sales/Leasing Environment at the 2017 ICON Awards.]
MP: Harvest Crossing by Grupe Homes was one of my favorites. It consisted of the history of the development of the company in a geometric grid timeline, and also included succulents that were installed into some of the geometric grid spaces. I loved developing the design, and loved even more getting hands-on and installing the succulents myself!
Since it’s World Design Day and we’re highlighting women designers, do you have any women designers who have inspired you?
RS: Paula Scher. She was willing to take a risk with her work to make a statement. She is also the Principal at a major design firm known as Pentagram and was the first female Principal for that company.
MP: I am also inspired by Paula Scher. Her use of combining typography and imagery is an influential style in its own. With an ‘in-your-face’ message that keeps you exploring the entire piece top to bottom, corner to corner. I’m also inspired by Jessica Walsh. Her portrait photography is breathtaking; while also graphically adding visuals and typography that develops into an underlining message that can be translated in many ways.
What qualities and skills should a good Graphic Designer have?
RS: The ability to think in unusual ways, joy in creating, always keeping purpose or need in mind. An artist does not have to think about purpose or need, but a designer does.
MP: Patience. Sometimes creating a design can take some time, it is important to not rush into certain things and trust the flow. Also, creativity. Experimenting with different methods and mediums can open doors of creativity that you may not have known were there.
Can you describe your creative process?
RS: I think it’s like trying to solve a math or science problem for me. I go through different “formulas” in my head and try to come up with my answer. Technically, science is all based on theory. Well, when I design in my head, it’s like going through different equations and I try to create my own theory for the problem or the design need.
MP: For me, when a concept and/or design direction comes to mind, I gather all the desired imagery, copy and allotted area space, then start to play around with placement, hierarchy and composition and see what can develop. Sometimes it is planned as you see it, sometimes it develops into something even better!
How do you measure the success of your designs?
RS: Sometimes it’s based off of personal enjoyment. Do I feel like I put something good in the world? Do I think I gave a little of myself in it? Or if people say that they love it and they saw a change once it was produced.
MP: In the most common case, when working on design concepts for clients, I measure the success of my design through the client’s reactions to it. When the client loves a design right off the bat, it fills me with satisfaction and confidence that I was able to translate their vision.
And finally, what does it mean to you to be a successful woman Graphic Designer in a male-dominated field?
RS: It means that I have to always be better and always develop because sometimes all people see is that you are a girl, not a powerful women who can make changes.
MP: I personally know more female Graphic Designers than men. I don’t particularly associate a difference between male Graphic Designers and women Graphic Designers. If the art is creative with the ability to connect to people, that is all that matters!
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to give us insight into yours! For more World Design Day fun, check out the official hashtag #WDD2019
Ms. Poeltler’s artistic eye mixed with her understanding of code-compliance creates a unique design esthetic. She holds 3 degrees: a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from San Diego State University, an Associate’s Degree in Photography from Grossmont College and an Associate’s Degree in Digital Media from Grossmont College. Ms. Poeltler is responsible for the development of all environmental graphic design and graphic design esthetics including marketing, signage, material specification for production, ADA compliance and sign programming. She lived by Pablo Picasso’s words, “Learn the rules like a Pro, so you can break them like an Artist.”
Raechel brings excellent technical experience to the design of graphics and understands how signs are produced, what materials to use, and can recommend different construction methods based on the enforcement of codes. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design degree from San Diego State University. Her background includes creating and establishing branding, creating collateral for print and digital displays, screen printing, and creating graphic standards for implementation. Ms. Stewart is determined to deliver and impress with great design.
World Design Day Women in Design imagery designed by the multitalented Russian poster designer Peter Bankov.