Meet Jenni, the lady at the helm of all projects at Tenth Crow Creative. As our creative director, Jenni applies over twenty years of experience in graphic design to each project and works on keeping our collective creative juices flowing. We asked Jenni a few questions about life, work and design—get to know her a little better below!
How did you make it to Tenth Crow?
By default. ;) I started at TCC years ago, fresh out of college, when it was Lisaius Marketing, and have continued to grow with them ever since. As times changed, so did our client base, so it really feels like I have worked for quite a few different companies.
Where do you find your creative inspiration?
Everywhere—being a native Vermonter I'm again and again amazed at the perfect balance, color, harmony and beauty nature offers us everyday. Order, yet disorder. I also find that my inspiration comes from creative conversations with a friend, or some quiet time during the drive home—just letting my mind wander. It's really astonishing how a project will lay subconsciously on your mind, seemingly forgotten, and then an unrelated conversation, image or written passage will make you think about it in a whole new light. POW—concept born.
What are the first 5 apps on your phone?
Well, I have 3 children—so they're probably something they downloaded! Perhaps a more pertinent question for me would have been 'what 5 books have you just read?' But, really, I believe 'going digital' is dependent on the audience, and in my case, making lists and reminders with pencil and paper is still most effective (crazy, I know). I am a 'minimalist' when it comes to my iphone, just sticking to the basics, but one app I am very fond of is Class Dojo. Via this app teachers can send messages and photos about what's going on in the classroom of my two youngest children—pretty special.
Is there a marketing campaign that sticks with you from your younger years?
The Energizer Bunny—mostly because my dad worked for Energizer (I think he even brought home a stuffed animal version at one point), but also because it keeps making a comeback.
What has been your favorite project to work on at Tenth Crow?
Just one?—that's a difficult task with 20 years of design under my belt! I can say that my favorite projects are those that challenge me to approach the subject in a unique way—and offer a chance to do some really interesting printing techniques. One that does stick out in my mind though is a project promoting mammograms for Northwestern Medical Center. They wanted to advise women on the importance of mammograms and deliver the message during Mother's Day. I designed a direct mail piece that doubled as a Mother's Day card and a conversation starter between loved ones. Rather than have the hospital espouse why mammograms were important, I wanted it to inspire the recipient to have that often awkward discussion with an important woman in their life, whether a mother, sister, aunt or friend. We touched upon the reactions a lot of women have when discussing mammograms and offered heartfelt answers. Upon completion, I was very happy with the concept and design but I was even more proud to hear that women scheduling their mammograms mentioned the direct mail and how it had truly touched them and motivated them to call. What more can you ask as a designer than knowing that you directly influenced someone receiving a potentially life-saving exam?
How would you describe your workday at Tenth Crow?
BUSY—and fun! In addition to my own designs and copywriting, I'm constantly fielding questions, doing research and reviewing everything with a meticulous eye—so usually the day gets away from me. But, that being said, music is playing, lively conversations and impromptu Nerf basketball competitions happen
What is an important lesson you have learned at Tenth Crow?
Being any sort of director isn't about ruling creativity with an iron fist and just handing out ideas (that just creates a studio with work all too familiar to itself)—it's about letting your designers and copywriters grow through fleshing out their interests and exploring their sense of creativity. Something may not be MY style, but I have to look at it with an open mind and assess whether the client, and ultimately their audience, will relate to it.