Designer of the Month: Ella

Where are you from? College? Job at FYP?

Hey! I’m Ella and I too, design for ForYourParty.com, which has been especially fun this year as we gear up for our…shhhh… brand new website launch! ETA TBA. And with such a fabulous, talented team of designers sharing the same space five days of the week, there’s always a reason to throw a little celebration. No lack of treats and toasts here, folks.

But how did I get to this point, you ask? Flashback to early 2000s when fashion was awful (and coming back in style already??). I was attending RIT in my home city Rochester, NY, having the time of my life studying and doing what I loved. I came out with a degree in Fine Art Photography but alas, when it came to entering the actual working world the hustle wasn’t what I sought, so I delved into a visual art a bit more applicable to hirers. I moved to Boston, opened up a phonebook(!) and landed my first Graphic Design internship with Alphabet Arm Design. ‘Course we all know internships don’t pay bills, so I also worked as Quality Control for a Print Shop as well.

Eventually, it was time to explore warmer, more fantastical parts of the country. In Los Angeles and San Francisco, I did Photo Research and continued freelance designing, doing mostly wedding invitations and logos. Then again, found myself packing up my little Honda and moving off to Chicago where I had some family members, met my now husband and generally felt more at home. Work for, and work parties at, ForYourParty ensued.

How would you describe your design style?  Where do you get inspiration?Printed Wedding Invitation
When it comes to design, simplicity is key, but what many don’t understand until they try is that it’s pretty tricky to get to that point. A graphic eye and a skill at editing are necessities. I’m inspired by vintage travel posters, architecture and fashion (excluding ‘90s, early 2000s—I have photos that speak as to why not). And at the risk of sounding dreamy, the ever-changing colors and textures of the sky are a huge inspiration to me as well. So to sum up my own design style: it still really depends on what the assignment is, but I go for clean and timeless with some character and movement. An example of movement in design would be the leaves in this letterpress invitation suite.

What are your current favorite font combinations?
Font combinations take some trial and error but when you get it right, you know! Contrast is key to a good combo, and as a general rule (that can be broken) one font should be more simple and neutral than the other. A couple examples would be Huxley with Mandate, TastyTwo with Antonio, or Flirt and PrintClearly like on this chic Personalized Cocktail Recipe Napkin. It’s also great when the fonts interact with each other like on this colorful boo Personalized Cup.

What’s your favorite FYP product?
I think our Petite Cocktail Napkins are by far the cutest. Not only are they part of our super soft and plush Linen Like Napkin Line, but at just 4 inches square they are adorable while still being substantial enough to land a beer or a bonbon! I love this lush green floral design. Green is my favorite color and also Pantone Color of the year, y’all!

Personalized Cocktail Napkins

If you were a dog, what breed would you be?
This is a great question. Having had beagles and beagle mixes in my life, you know I’m biased. Their big floppy ears and stocky stance make them irresistible, and in common with me, they have a keen sense of smell. Having had this discussion with a friend in the past though, the consensus was I would be a beagle greyhound mix, as the greyhound has that super chill, quiet demeanor, and runs like the wind. This is what a beagle greyhound mix might look like.

What’s your favorite travel destination?

My most fabulous travel stories come from a Costa Rican trip with my sister, specifically our five-day hike through the Corcovado National Park. Just the two of us, no guide, not another human soul in sight on the single sometimes ambiguous path that wound through wild hot forest and beach. This picture is near the end of one day’s hike, as if sent from heaven above after an eight-hour trek carrying a 40-pound pack, in sandals that cut into my feet, a waterfall pool all to ourselves. Later in the trip we hiked through cloud forests more inland in the mountains, and that is where I would go back to in a heartbeat.

What’s your favorite Chicago restaurant?
I’m pretty domestic these days, cooking dinners at home and lunching on leftovers. But our go-to last minute eat out spot is walkable from our place, has a great beer selection, outdoor seating, and I have yet to order food that I wasn’t crazy about, which says a lot for me! If you’re on the north side of Chicago, you should check out Peckish Pig!

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