Jess Joswick
Graphic Designer + Content Strategist

jessjoswick.jpg

Jess Joswick

Graphic Designer + Content Strategist

Los Angeles, California

jessjoswick.com
Instagram @jessjoswick
Dribble 
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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I design and write stuff that help startups, small businesses, and nonprofits build their brands.

I’m a designer who approaches each project with a strategic eye, who listens to my clients so we can create new stuff together that’s better looking and more effective than the old stuff.

 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

My path wasn’t a straight one. I’ve always loved learning ABOUT art and design, but I was never super into MAKING it. I was actually very serious about music growing up. In college, I studied Italian literature and then did fundraising at nonprofits for a few years. At my last job, we always needed more design work than our freelancer could do, so I downloaded the Adobe suite and realized I actually liked making stuff. From there, I took classes and taught myself the right programs and what makes good design. I always thought you had to be pre-makeover Rachael Leigh Cook in “She’s All That” painting in her basement or like a really good doodler or something to be a “creative” person, so it’s still funny to me that I do what I do now (in a good way).

 

FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?

I’d say strong project and client management. Sometimes the client problems other creatives complain about are actually because they didn’t ask the right questions upfront. When you’re working alone, you have to learn to hear what your clients are and are NOT saying. You need to set realistic deadlines for the both of you, ask a lot of questions upfront, and manage up. I by no means have the perfect formula, but working with startups and other fast-moving organizations has made my working style direct, flexible, and responsive to my clients.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

Right now, I’m working on an annual report for a client in the Bay Area and creating an invitation and lots of other materials for a large fundraising event. I love mixing up print and digital projects, especially when the print projects have special touches like embossing or foil stamping that make them fancy!

 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS? 

My style is good clean geometric fun. I’d say it teeters on the edge of minimal, but I can’t go all the way...I think that can get really boring. I love projects that call for an updated look from a certain time period. Using vintage typography as a jumping-off point is really inspiring.

 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

I wish I had more time to do analog projects away from the computer. I do collages and I never seem to have the energy for it at the end of the day.

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

Running out of time for fun side/personal projects!

 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

Tip my bed over so I wake up on time, top off my coffee IV, and keep my cats occupied so they don’t use my office as a jungle gym.

 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

When I began educating myself about all things design, I was overwhelmed with options and felt like I had to learn absolutely everything about everything. I know now that I don’t need to have ALL the slashes in my title–sometimes being a connector between two people looking for each other is just as valuable.

 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

I’d love to know how virtual reality really is going to change the way we consume media and how designers fit into that future.

 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

I’m always looking for new branding opportunities. I love helping founders create a brand from the very beginning. I’d love to work on consumer goods and/or apparel!

 

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

The ideal client has an idea of what they want that doesn’t change scope dramatically at some point in the development process, listens to my feedback, and lets me create something rather than expecting to execute specific ideas. I really think collaboration is critical and I’m not precious about my work. I value my client’s expertise and want to create things they’ll use and love.

 

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

This definitely depends on the project. For one-off projects, I will use an hourly rate from $50-70; larger projects are billed in installments, usually with half of the project due upfront. I always work with a signed agreement in place.

 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

I love working with people who value design and see it as more than just making things look nice. Emailing me a description of your idea, project, and/or vision, as well as a budget, is a great way to start. I also love a good GIF (as you can tell from my website).

 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Step. Away. From. The. Computer.


This member profile was originally published in February 2017.