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Inside Job: Graphic Designer

Rachel Bachrach

Three graphic designers dish about the impact of the Internet, their favorite colors, and what they really think when they get your wedding invitation

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

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CREATIVE BUSINESS “There are busy times, but it’s good to know that graphic design is very compatible with being a mother — you can work from home, you don’t have to run around,” says Zippy Thumim, graphic designer and director of DesignAlive.com. “But obviously you have deadlines, so you need to be organized, and set limits — extra fees for last-minute jobs, for example, or ‘No calls during supper and bedtime,’ and arrange for extra help during peak times”

Y es, they design flyers and craft logos — but there’s so much more involved. Think creating designer, illustrated bentshers, planning the pages of a Hebrew-English sefer, laying out newspaper spreads, and more. Get to know three graphic designers from around the world and learn the inside story about this colorful profession.

Lauren (Leebee) Mann, 33, is a graphic designer in Los Angeles, California. She’s the owner and chief designer at Lauren Mann Design and has been working in the field for more than a decade.

Everyone wants a flyer that’s “eye-catching” and “different,” but what they really need to know is how to catch their target market’s attention.

You may think all I do is design things. In real life, a graphic designer also…

gives business and advertising advice to clients; deals with difficult clients with kindness and understanding (it’s a great exercise in middos!); acts as a quasi-event planner; and more.

If you’re running your own design company, you also need to run a business, and that includes bookkeeping, advertising yourself, using spreadsheets like Excel, preparing files for printing, placing orders, and so on. It’s more than just creating designs, that’s for sure.

“The technology keeps advancing,” explains Mati Jacobovits, 59, the owner of Brooklyn graphic design firm Studio 1588. “What Photoshop can do is really crazy: You can select a piece of a picture, like an arm that’s bent down, and lift it to make it look raised” META TITLE Inside Job: Graphic

One of my favorite parts of the job is meeting lots of people doing lots of interesting things. I once had someone call me about doing a bentsher for his son’s bar mitzvah. This bar mitzvah boy is very artistic and was inspired by Gadi Pollack’s illustrated bentsher, so he drew illustrations to make his very own version. They had the images scanned, and I put together a bentsher in a style similar to Gadi Pollack’s. While working on the project, all I could think about was how much I love what I do because of all the fun, unique, and interesting projects that come my way.

My signature work is…

A project I’m really proud of is the work I did for a gala that took place in Los Angeles this year for United Hatzalah and Hatzolah of Los Angeles. The event celebrated the volunteers, who are regular men in the community, people you meet at shul or the bakery, but when their walkie-talkie alerts them to an emergency, they suddenly become these superheroes and save lives. I created a graphic that was a bit out of the box but very eye-catching — a man in a suit tearing open his dress shirt to reveal the Hatzolah logo on his superhero-style shirt underneath. Graphic design is all about communicating an idea with words and images, this was a great example of that, and more important, it was a big hit and made a real impact!

If I could go back to school now, I’d like to learn…

typography, to better understand the form of letters and how they work together. Web design and programming, so I could add that component to my business-design services. And marketing, because the core of any design for companies and organizations is knowing how to target your market and how to sell your product or service. I work with a business consultant on many projects, and for gala events, with an event producer. I learn so much from them, but I’d really love to know even more. Most of my clients want more business, and everyone wants a flyer that’s “eye-catching” and “different,” but what they really need to know is how to catch their target market’s attention, and that depends on the target market’s interests.

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