In today’s busy world, temptation to lock our eyes to our cell phone screens persists. We’ve become increasingly drawn to images, making the visual aspect of marketing more important than ever. Whether it be digital or print advertisements, websites, billboards, brochures or infographics, our creative department translates marketing strategy into a visual language that speaks directly to the audience and expresses a brand.
Trilix Art Director Kerstin Ohnysty takes us through her creative campaign development process and explains what that looks like, from conception to release.
Tell us about your role here at Trilix.
As an art director, my role is to ensure that the clients’ desired message and image is conveyed to consumers. This includes the overall visual aspects of an advertising or media campaign for the client. I also work collaboratively with my fellow designers and production specialists on client campaigns, budgets and timelines.
How can visuals convey a brand’s values and tone?
When creating materials for a particular brand, you want to stay as visually true to what the brand represents. This means staying within their brand standards — a set of colors, typefaces and visuals that are specific and unique to the brand itself. For example, Coca-Cola has a recognizable typeface in red that they use on most branding materials. When people see that shade of red with the typeface, they know it’s a Coca-Cola product no matter where they are in the world or what language they may speak.
What visual elements grab viewers’ attention best?
Color really draws people’s attention first. As designers, we think a lot about vibrancy or how we pair colors to create something really striking. Bold type and photography also can be an eye-catching way to draw attention.
What tools do you rely on in your day-to-day work?
My Mac, my Moleskine planner, my headphones and my insane number of sketchbooks top the list.
As a designer, whose work do you admire?
Everyone in my favorite type book, “Dutch Type” by Jan Middendorp. There are too many to list from that book. Jessica Hische, David Carson and Terry Jones are designers I always come back to.
How do you keep up with the latest creative tools and technologies?
I’m constantly trying to learn new things about the programs I have used for over 10 years now. It’s not just about updating the actual programs themselves, but it’s also how you take advantage of all they have to offer. You can always find a more efficient way to make your design process easier and challenge your work.
How do you incorporate current trends and technologies into a campaign?
If the client is open to something that is more on trend in terms of a technique or color, then I think marrying what the client is already comfortable with and just pushing it over the edge safely is a good start to incorporating something fresh while staying on brand. If you can give a brand a new life or tell the audience a story, that is a very rewarding experience.
From conceptualization to release, describe your campaign development process.
Most of time it starts by meeting with the client, getting all the information and overall vision that they may have and then working with them on how we can tackle the particular message. Once I have an idea or direction, I can start doing some research. I sketch or do mockups we later share with the client. If the client has changes, I go back and revisit what those improvements are. If approved, we can start finalizing art. The process is different from client to client, but, overall, it follows the same outline.