A poster design I recently did for a Design week at SUNY New Paltz. It is called “Be Kind To Your Creative Environment” and it is about what I think is an important part of process and creative work. Self-doubt, at any stage of process, stops creative flow and ultimately project completion. What does the creative process boil down to for you?
Poster Design by Scarlet Duba
A bit of press. Read the story .. I’m #9!
A great surprise today. The Nature Journal cover design, I had my hand in, has been selected! Volume 529 Number 7585 pp127-248 January 14th 2016. Read about the ground-breaking research done at Cornell University (and beyond…) by William Dichtel, Damian Helbling and colleagues. There “is an alternative to activated carbon for water remediation…. porous polymers … absorbing a range of pharmaceuticals, pesticides and other pollutants.” This is the work I live for! Nature Cover Design by: Michio Matsumoto & Scarlet Duba
Veterans of war face a host of issues when they return home, but these members of the Vassar community are helping them adjust to civilian life and find solutions for PTSD. Cover Design concept: Scarlet Duba, Pirtle Design Inc.
I’m always searching for the balance between having a personal space to be creative and social/community outlets. Last year, I was lucky enough to work beside the folks at Stream Collective (a co-working space in Ithaca, NY) and had a great experience. I loved the idea of a co-working space because you can share ideas and resources with other small business owners and freelance graphic designers. But this year, I’ve decided to move to a studio —a creative space and “a room to call my own”—in the Dewitt Historic district of downtown Ithaca, NY.
My “boutique graphic design business” is a fast growing, small firm producing lively and original brand identities, illustrations, publications (and more … ) for both print and web environments. I’m able to maintain a high-quality creative spirit of the work because I always communicate directly with the client and have a passion for the arts.
After only my first week working at a co-working space (Stream CoLab) in downtown Ithaca, the Ithaca Times came by to interview us and write an article on Graphic Designers in Ithaca! It was unbelievable timing and serendipitous since I’ve been making steps to get more involved in the Ithaca graphic design community. Read article here…
I thought I’d share with you a few questions a senior graphic design asked me about starting out and working in the field of graphic design.
1. What is your favorite project that you have worked on? Why does it mean something to you?
My favorite project was the Walkway Over the Hudson brand development. It means something to me for a couple reasons—personal and professional! At the time, I was the Senior Designer at Pirtle Design! During that year, the project was building momentum and all the materials were getting produced in preparation for the Grand Opening in October of 2009. Logo[s], Signage, Wayfinding, Maps, Banners, Gates, Tee-Shirts, Pins, Brochures, you name it, we did it! When the day of the Grand Opening came, Woody Pirtle and I felt good about the work we had done—it all looked great because we had been a solid team. As the masses walked through the gates for the first time, I felt an enormous rush of excitement on how graphics interact and help unite people together. Banners hung above the crowds, people reading about the history on interpretive panels, using maps, wearing shirts and hats excited to be supporters of this new New York State Park! For the first time since the late 1800’s people were using the bridge—this time as a pedestrian walk!
Living a block from the Hudson River myself, it had become a special place for reflection and taking breaks away from the computer. The launch of a project like this gives me some perspective that graphic design and branding are not just means to market—they are an opportunity to contribute.
2. When did you know/ what inspired you to become a designer?
I made a decision, late my senior year in High School, that I really wanted to be able to make a living in the arts. I felt that graphic design would be a good choice (even though I didn’t know too much about it yet). I was never absolutely sure about my career choice, but felt inside that that if I stuck with something long enough, and was opportunistic, I would be able to make a living working in the arts.
3. What has driven you throughout the years as a working designer?
Being around creative, and just really good people of any age. My mentor, Woody Pirtle, and his wife, Leslie, have been very solid and positive influences in my life and career. I’m also driven by just simply wanting to do a better job, learning from all my mistakes, and picking up tricks of the trade along the way.
4. Who has inspired you along the way?
My mentor, Woody Pirtle, who I have now worked with for over 10 years!
In November 2014, I gave a talk at the Type Directors Club to the Marywood University MFA Design/Illustration students. I was so excited to be introduced as (and representing!!!) a Woman in the Graphic Design field! It was so great to share my work and my unique story to an inspiring crowd of designers and illustrators. — at Type Directors Club.
I’m excited to share this new website design for the Architecture Firm, Brooks & Falotico in New Caanan, CT. It was our goal to achieve a gallery and portfolio that would encompass the widest angles, down to the most intimate details, in every architectural project. This site has a very elegant responsive design, and is completely integrated with pinterest (the clients favorite form of social media). This project was a collaboration with website designer Elliot Toman, A Subtle Web. Check it out its responsive design on your tablets and smartphones! www.brooksandfalotico.com
Alumni Magazine Design for Vassar College
Vassar College, Alumnae/i Quarterly, Fall 2013 Volume 109 Issue 3
Design Credit: Pirtle Design, Woody Pirtle and Scarlet Duba
It’s no surprise that Fruition Chocolate and Windward Orchard made Oprah’s “O” List. They have such a great and honest product that really does raise the bar.
It’s nice to see our chocolate bar packaging design, and brand identity, in October’s issue!
With the help of the Kingston Land Trust, Kingston, NY is getting closer to becoming a green city! It has been a trend, in many industrial cities to repurpose with hopes to encourage community, health and recreation. This recent project involved a logo design for the regional trail networks for Ulster County, NY.
“The group’s vision is a system of non-motorized transportation routes linking Kingston’s residents to important social, cultural and recreational anchors and securing the city’s position at the heart of the County’s growing regional trail network.” Friends of Kingston Rail Trails
When I started the logo project, I realized that the letter “K”, has a nice convergence of lines, which was an inevitable solution to represent the connections of trails, bike paths and walkways. The logo is also reminiscent of the old railroad signs. I hope to see this Kingston Greenline sign, as often as Railroad signs in the near future.
Alumni Magazine Design for Vassar College
Vassar College, Alumnae/i Quarterly, Spring/Summer 2013 Volume 109 Issue 2
Design Credit: Pirtle Design, Woody Pirtle and Scarlet Duba
Fruition Chocolate in the center#4!
1) Select a team with multiple talents…
Photographer: This person also helps to create the aesthetic by adding assets (ex. high quality product photography, lifestyle photos, etc.) to the startup company.
Copywriter: they can build the brand messaging for the startup company, which includes short and sweet tag-lines with alluring copy. They can also build your social media following by having a consistent brand “voice”. Whether you are writing posts for a blog, or press releases, you are creating valuable content that adds credibility to you=the brand. BTW: You don’t have to think of a “blog” in the traditional way. There are MANY different ways to —elegantly— deliver the information on your site. That is the beauty of what will be your CMS (content management system), content working for YOU 24/7.
Graphic Designer: This person can be the “glue” to building your brand. They not only create an aesthetic of the business, but they can help put your best foot forward with all communications. From my experience, it is important to create an impactful first impression that targets your niche audience.
Website Developer: This person works with designer to develop functional website that is adaptable with the best practices and online marketing trends.
… In some cases you’ll need a brand /project manager and a copyright lawyer to trademark your start-up company, or create an INC. or LLC.
2) Get Started and THINK BIG
You might be thinking that you can DIY, and I’m sure you can! There are many tools on the web that make it easy for you to get up running. However, there is a lot to be said for doing what YOU DO best, and letting the others [above] help you reach your goals. Here are a few examples on how to begin on your own:
-Create 1-2 blog post ideas, weekly, in draft format. You can leave it unedited, but it will be important to build valuable content as time goes on (perhaps for your first self-published book?). Remember, you don’t have to think of a “blog” in the traditional way. There are MANY different ways to deliver the information. Go back through old emails (or notes) from clients about certain projects, case studies or experiences you may have had. Most likely, you’ve already written valuable content about what you do!
-Be a guest writer, on your favorite sites, and write about what you do best or find interesting in the field. This increases traffic back to your website, and you become a credible source of information on the subject, leaving a Google trail behind you.
-Start a Kickstarter campaign to not only raise funds, but to create an instant social following and BUZZ about the project. You’ll also find that you will have created an attractive business plan through the process!
-Open an Etsy Shop, and upload beautiful photos of what you love to make. Keeping your business small and creating a niche maintains the quality while creating a high demand for what you, and only you, do best!