Graphic Artist Sarah Ann Design Interview | Destination Wedding Photographer Jeff Brummett
Sarah Ann Design
I’ve been on the lookout for a really great graphic designer for a while now. There are tons to choose from but not many fully understand the needs of someone in the wedding industry. I’d find a great graphic artist, but they wouldn’t be able to design and implement things on a website (or visa versa). Thankfully, a friend introduced me to Sarah Erickson of Sarah Ann Design. Not only is she adept at design AND implementation, she was very familiar with the needs of wedding professionals. Sarah turned out to be the perfect fit for my re-brand. I asked her a few questions about her background, my re-branding process, and advice for brides looking for a designer.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m Sarah, a brand and website designer for creatives. Most of my days are spent with pencil in hand, sketching out new ideas with a cup of hot coffee (or a tall glass of red wine) forever within reach. I’m an introvert, an Enneagram One, and a collector of far too many plants.
Tell us about your work and what you specialize in.
I design intentional brands and websites for creatives. My goal is to combine aesthetics and strategy to help you attract your ideal audience… and turn them into booked clients! I love working with small businesses and consider at honor to play a part in their brand story.
How did you get started in design and branding?
I’ve always had an affinity for letters. I even loved our second grade penmanship class. But it wasn’t until college that I discovered my interest had a name: typography! My eyes were opened to a whole world of graphic design… the perfect combination of aesthetics and strategy to convey a visual message. I majored in Creative Advertising and Graphic Design, and have been enjoying it ever since. How do you approach the design process with your clients? I like to start with a lot of research: getting to know you and your brand… and then putting myself in the shoes of your clients. I bring in visual inspirations and typographic influences to create a design that will appeal to those ideal clients, a design that will elevate your brand in their eyes.
How was my rebranding process for you? What were the challenges you faced?
I am so thankful we were able to work together! When working with a photographer this talented, the challenge lies in finding that balance between clean design and ample portfolio work. We want to showcase a wide variety of beautiful images that are guaranteed to impress your clients… without erring into an overcrowded or cluttered design. I think we were able to strike the perfect balance with this one!
What was your goal with the branding and how did you accomplish it?
This brand refresh didn’t need too much! We updated the graphic with a hand-illustrated sketch to soften the brand a little bit and add a touch of artisanship. A few simple type updates completed the look!
How did you make sure to incorporate my style and story into your work?
I was blown away by your portfolio of stunning imagery. In addition to that, I could tell that you really take a unique approach with your couples. It was important to me that we showcase 1) an impressive visual portfolio, and 2) the truly intentional approach you take with every single client. Beautiful imagery and polished typography work together to tell the whole story.
Did your final design end up different than you first envisioned?
We stayed pretty close to what I originally envisioned here!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
It’s always exciting to help creative entrepreneurs bring their brand vision to life… but the real excitement for me comes after they’ve launched their brand. I love hearing from my clients that they were able to book a dream project, raise their prices, or make a memorable impact on their audience. It means a lot to me that my clients have entrusted me with part of their business, and seeing their return on our investment is so rewarding!
You are amazing at doing personalized wedding invitations and paper design. Is that something you still do?
Thank you! I am still working with a small handful of wedding stationery clients, but my calendar for this season is already filled! I am so thankful to be able to work closely with each of these brides, and I’m also excited to have more room in my calendar for branding/website design projects.
What are a few things brides should think about that they usually donâ€™t when it comes to paper/wedding design?
A few things come to mind:
1) Always start with your love story. I know it can be tempting to explore Pinterest and bridal magazines, but I’ve always found that the most memorable designs are completely unique to the couple. Let’s incorporate floral illustrations of your grandmother’s wedding bouquet, or a favorite literary quote you both adore… or maybe a pattern inspired by your wedding venue. Inspiration is everywhere, but theÂ bestÂ inspiration starts with your love story, not somebody else’s.
2) Set aside one stationery suite for wedding-day photos. I always provide my couples with a styled suite, dressed up with calligraphy, wax seals, and embellishments (we can even mail it directly to your photographer!). Your suite is a tangible part of your love story that you’ll definitely want to see in your wedding gallery.
3) Don’t forget to budget for stamps! By the time you add stamps to the main envelope, rsvp envelope, and thank you notes… these can really add up. Be sure to build a little extra margin into your budget to accommodate the necessary postage.
Is there one aspect of your work that you enjoy most?
I always love the beginnings of projects, before any ideas are really hatched. It’s fun to dive into the research and explore the possibilities of what could be. I love the process of sketching and ideating until that one perfect concept reveals itself. It’s a fun part of the job, but it’s also easy to get lost in new ideas and creative explorations!
Are there any current trends you really love or don’t like in design?
I love the concept of minimalism (especially for invitation suite design)… but I think it’s an aesthetic that requires you to go all-in. You can’t marry a “minimalist” design with formal invitation wording (which, by nature, contains far too many words to ever be truly “minimalist”). I think some couples are nervous to really commit to a unique design concept, but it’s so worth it when they do!
What is something you would love to do that you haven’t yet?
I’ve always thought it would be fun to design a brand for a boutique luxury hotel or a local coffee shop with lots of character. Who knows, maybe someday!