PRINT’s latest Designer of the Week Ashley Batton is an in-house designer at a fast-paced fashion startup in San Francisco, as well as a letterer and calligrapher with a love for designing prints, cards and wedding suites. Read about her biggest design challenge (hint: it involves learning After Effects in a week, sans classes), her ongoing side project and her take on finding inspiration that could be fun for you, too, to try.
Name: Ashley Batton
Name of Firm/Studio: thredUP by day, Lunchtime Lettering by night
Location: San Francisco
Design school attended: Michigan State University
How would you describe your work?
My work tends to be bright, light and fun. I enjoy creating things that (hopefully) make people smile.
Where do you find inspiration?
I think the best inspiration is found in new experiences. Whether it means hopping on a plane, getting in a car, or just walking up a new street, I always feel reinvigorated when experiencing something different. Inspiration is also sometimes found unexpectedly, which means it’s important to always be observant and have a sketchbook no matter where you are.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?
My favorite designers practicing right now are Jessica Hische, Molly Jacques, and Mary Kate McDevitt. The three of them really led me to learn lettering and calligraphy and ultimately to my design career. My favorite designer of all time is Herb Lubalin, with A.M. Cassandre as a close second.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?
My favorite project is an ongoing personal project that I call “Travel Sketchbooks.” Instead of taking a ton of photos of any trips I go I on, I try to spend more time doing one sketch of the things I loved most about the destination. It has been a great way to remember the trips I take. And of course it helps you practice!
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
Our thredUP Holiday Merry Makers campaign was both the most challenging and most rewarding project I’ve ever been a part of. I worked with Lauren, my art director, to create a campaign that included print, packaging, digital, stop-motion animation, social media and email. I worked primarily on the stop-motion pieces, which was challenging since I had to learn After Effects in about a week without taking a class. When you see the end product of these videos, though, it was so worth it. The campaign as a whole looks amazing together.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I’m very hopeful that I will continue to increase the amount of lettering and calligraphy–based projects I can take on. I’m still very green though, so I hope to just keep improving and finding work that I’m passionate about.
What’s your best advice for designers today?
Be kind to yourself. The internet is a strange and wonderful place for designers. It’s so easy to compare yourself to amazingly talented strangers and feel as if you fall short. Keep practicing, keep learning, and one day you will be that amazingly talented stranger.