Blog > Designity > Creative Director Highlight: Vanessa C.

Creative Director Highlight: Vanessa C.

November 3, 2023
min read
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At Designity, our Creative Directors do it all.

They mediate between clients and Creatives, they build out timelines, they check out deliverables, and they keep each and every project humming along smoothly. They’re the unsung heroes behind every successful project and if sounds like it would take a special person to wear all of those hats, then you’re right!

And because they deserve some time in the spotlight, today, we’re going to step behind the scenes and get to know one of those special people just a little bit better.

Today’s blog is an exclusive 1:1 with Colorado-based Creative Director, Vanessa C, an account-based marketing whiz and design extraordinaire!

How did she make the jump from go-karts to Designity star?

Let’s meet Vanessa and find out!

How did you get into design?

My first job out of college was working as a marketing manager for a small go-kart track here in Colorado. My boss was basically the head graphic designer; he was the one that came up with the company’s logo, he went to college for graphic design, he had a whole history. 

He was amazing. He came up with all of the signage, and all of the marketing materials for this place. And it was really, really great stuff! It wasn’t basic. 

And he ended up kind of mentoring me a little bit and that’s how I started experimenting with Adobe tools and learning the ins and outs of typography and how to use white space. He introduced me to different terms and the principles and ideologies he learned while he was in school.

So, that was my first start. I’d also kind of had a penchant for design, but I never went to school for it specifically so learning from him was really helpful.

Did you have any formal schooling in design or are you entirely self-taught?

Social media ad design for Macrostax

I did not have any school in design, specifically, but I went to Syracuse University

I had a double major in PR and writing, so kind of within the same world of marketing, just not specifically for digital marketing or for design.  

During my school years there I did have to complete some of those courses, though. Like, we had to take an Adobe Indesign course in order to graduate, so there was a little bit of learning, but not too much.

Did you end up designing for the go-kart company?

Yes! My position was technically marketing manager, but I did end up helping a lot with design.

I’ve worked for primarily small companies or startups my entire career. I’ve always been in a marketing role but I’ve always had to do some type of design work in that marketing role.

So, even starting with this go-kart place, my title was marketing manager but I ended up helping him design and create our social media marketing, our email marketing, and some of the in-house signage.

For the majority of my career, I’ve been working in B2B SaaS and it’s been the same thing. My primary role was digital marketing, but I was also responsible for a lot of the design work.

How did you go from B2B SaaS to Designity?

About a year ago now, I decided to leave my full-time job at this tech startup and started my own marketing agency where I was specifically offering creative marketing services.

Being a Creative Director has actually been my goal for a while now. And then, I stumbled upon Designity and, obviously, Designity is flexible in work positions for Creative Directors that fit exactly what I want to do. 

So, I am able to handle some of the clients that I’ve gotten over the past year or so, being their Creative Director, brand manager, and marketing person, but also doing the same stuff for Designity’s clients too.

What is your favorite kind of project to take on?

That’s interesting.

I would say that there are two types. One is the type that I actually really enjoy and then there’s another type that I have just been doing for a really long time now and it’s just what I’m good at.

The one that I really enjoy is web design. I really like web designing. I don’t have as much experience as some of the other Designity Creative Directors in web design and definitely not in web development. There’s obviously the design piece and the development piece. Launching a site is very different from designing a site, but I love web design.

The type of projects that I’m most well-versed in is ABM (account-based marketing), basically marketing campaigns specifically for B2B companies. It’s a mixture of content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing, all within this one type of campaign and it’s just making sure that a company has ABC goal and it’s up to us to create and market that goal to their audience through different outlets.

That’s the thing I’m good at.

What is your favorite thing about working at Designity?

Landing page design for Macrostax

I think the ability to see or have access to so many different types of work and really good work too. I think that comes in two different ways.

So, Part 1, working with a variety of clients, and seeing what they do. I know it’s our job to sometimes give them advice and make our recommendations to them but I also like being able to see what they do.

I work with one client now, this guy has worked at a few different tech startups, and his job is to come in and increase their ARR. He’ll go from like 5 million to 20 million dollars ARR and then he leaves and finds the next company. So, I know that what he does is really good work and he’s got a perfect track record so I like being able to learn from some of the clients, see what they do, and learn their strategies.

Part 2 is that we have some of the best Creatives and designers here at Designity and just being able to see their work. All creative work is usually drawn from another piece of art or another piece of creative work, so it’s just being able to see all that work together and pull your own ideas and get your inspiration from them.

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?

I am pretty athletic; I’ve been a competitive athlete most of my life. I do a lot of CrossFit and I’ve started doing Muay Thai too.

It’s a lot of fun.

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Do you have any words of inspiration for future creatives or anyone who’s thinking of stepping into a Creative Director role?

I would say just, in your free time, create.

That’s the best way to learn the software and hone your skills. Anything you do in life whether it’s a sport, your career, or a hobby, the more you do it, the better you’re going to get at it.

No one is born being a really great designer, it usually comes with time.

I know a lot of designers who just create stuff for free with no direction from a client, it’s just whatever’s in their head. 

And that’s really the best way to experiment and learn and even though it’s not for a client, you can still add it to your portfolio so it’s not time wasted.

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About the author:
Sara Lopez
Sara is a Texas-based copywriter.
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