For my second adventure at M&J’s creative department, I got to sit with Saralee Gordon, M&J Trimming’s graphic designer. She is the woman behind the website graphics, the promotions and everything in between. Without her, customers would not receive the awesomely designed weekly emails and the website would not look as fun and inviting as it does!
Cookie Cohen: When did you start working for M&J Trimming?
Saralee Gordon:I started working for M&J Trimming in April 2012, right when I moved to New York from a small suburb in Michigan.
CC: What are your key responsibilities at M&J Trimming?
SG: I am in charge of designing the graphics for the weekly emails and campaigns. I also am in charge of redesigning the website to make it more intuitive.
CC: How did you get started with graphic design? What school did you go to?
SG: I went to Michigan State University, and started as having no preference. I decided to take a journalism class. One day our professor invited the graphic designer from Newsweek to do a presentation for our class. The presenter said that if we liked design and organizing, graphic design might be a good career path for us.
CC: What does your daily schedule look like?
SG: It’s different every day. Some days I spend designing the weekly email and other days I am setting up a photo-shoot with Chris, our photographer and Allie, our visual merchandiser.
CC: How would you describe your graphic design style?
SG: I like to keep things as clean as possible. It allows me to emphasize the M&J products.
CC: How do you decide how you would like to photograph the M&J products for the website?
SG: Allie, Chris, and I started to photograph the products in atmospheres instead of having the products float around. We also started taking close up pictures of the products, which allow you to see the details (stitching, beading, etc.) of the products.
CC: Do you have a favorite font? If so, which one?
SG: There is one font, Mrs Eaves, it’s similar to cursive. It adds fun little ligatures to the letters. It’s very fun.
CC: What’s your favorite graphic design software?
SG: My favorite is Illustrator because it’s easy to use. I’ve noticed that there is a love-hate relationship between Photoshop and Illustrator. I absorbed Illustrator quicker than Photoshop so I stuck with it.
CC: What’s your favorite part of Illustrator?
SG: You could merge shapes and then divide them, so basically, you could “hole-punch” a shape inside another shape.
CC: What’s one of the coolest projects you’ve done working for M&J?
SG: One of the funniest I’ve done is the van wrap. I made a graphic for the M&J van, and now my graphic drives around the city!
CC: What is your favorite M&J product?
SG: There is a new applique that I love. I just have to decide what to do with it. Maybe make shoulder pads? Another product I love is beaded trim! I just add some elastic and make headbands.
CC: Have any hidden talents?
SG: I have great memory for TV and celebrities. I could name any famous face and remember every episode of TV shows.