Wendy talked with her about how she began, what brings her joy and what her client experiences are like, plus some of her favorite designs are below!
So who is Alyssa Joy? Tell us a little bit about your company.
Well, I am a freelance graphic designer. The idea of Alyssa Joy Photography and Design was really born upon the arrival of my daughter, Fayth. She was just too adorable to not be able to be around 24/7, so I left my full-time graphic designer job and ventured into the freelance graphic design world! I began working with a few people that I knew, and also using crowd-sources (insert horrific gasps here!) sites. While I wouldn't recommend these from a user standpoint in every circumstance, it's a nice way for a graphic designer, new to the freelance world, to build a clientele. I provide all different types of design all the way from T-shirt design to Squarespace web design and setup. What I really love to get my hands on, though, is branding packages. I love to be able to see someone's vision and passion become a beautifully-branded reality that will go on meeting their consumers' needs for years to come.
What made you want to begin design? What types of design do you offer?
Honestly? I really just stumbled upon it, I was never a big drawing artist growing up or anything, and I really really thought I wanted to be a school teacher when I was getting ready to graduate from high school. (Praise the Lord He stopped me from taking that route otherwise there would be some really unhappy students out there somewhere! haha!). I happened to be working at a church as a secretary where the graphic designers was constantly inundated with way too many projects to be able to produce herself, and she taught me how to pick up those lose ends and the rest is history! I wish I could say I spent several years at some fancy art school studying design, but really it’s been a self-taught kind of journey!
Here are just a few ways we have been able to help businesses bring their products to their consumers in beautiful looking ways!
- Single custom logo design all the way to full brand identity packages;
- Brand cohesion with things such as custom Facebook headers, business cards, brochures, promotional magazines, signage, and more;
- Collateral sales materials featuring custom design and photorealistic product mockups;
- Squarespace website design and setup;
- Product photography;
- Marketing materials such as postcards, call-to-action cards, posters, and more!;
- Tradeshow banner design.
What made you want to go into photography? What about photography brings you most joy?
That’s a simple answer right there, my daughter! And really my husband was the one who “pushed” me in the way of supplying my first DSLR camera (the trusty Canon Rebel t3i!). I didn’t want to miss a thing, I wanted to capture every moment and bottle it up, cause I knew I’d never get exact second back every again! That’s the part I love -- capturing the emotion in people’s life moments, the way their family is at that exact moment that won’t repeat itself no matter how hard we try, the way that little baby sleeps when it’s all fresh and new, the way that one-year-old dives into their first birthday cake, the way that senior feels oh so victorious to have finally arrived at being a senior on the verge of a whole new world, or the happiness a family feels when they find out they are expecting their first… boy or girl!
How does a "typical" client experience go, start to finish, let's say for a logo design?
Well, first off, I really love to get to know my clients, I feel like behind every successful business is an amazingly creative and strong person that’s a unique individual and no matter where that business turns down the road, hopefully they will always be that root, so I want them to shine through their branding!
So the first step is just conversing with them about what they do, what drives them, what they love in the business and outside of the business! Then comes all the technical - and sometimes boring, BUT oh so necessary stuff.
First, we discuss what they want for their project, I send over a quote, they look it over and ask me any questions they might have. Second, once the quote is accepted, they sign a design contract (don’t worry, I’ve put it in pretty plain understandable English ;). Third, they are invoiced their initial payment of 50% of the quoted price to start their project! Then, the fun stuff begins!! I always encourage clients to Pinterest - pin it up my friend, pin it up!! Colors, pictures that speak to you, logos you like and dislike, all that fun stuff and share it with me! I also send out a specific questionnaire that gathers general information about your company as well as directs you to think through what you want to achieve with your brand and what type of look you think you are going for so we can come up with the prefect logo!
Then comes drafting and design time! Once I’m done with a first draft, I send it over (secretly hoping that you burst into tears because I have captured you and your company oh so perfectly;) and you give me your feedback and we move into revision rounds. We tweak and complete you perfect logo, invoice your the final 50% payment of course ;) and then send you and your beautiful brand off into the business world to achieve great things!
And remember, we are always only an email away from making your business beautiful all along the way! :)
Do you have a favorite design experience so far? What made it special?
It was a branding project for a freelance writer. She came to me with her grandfather’s fountain pen and knew that she wanted that incorporated into the design. I was able to basically hand draw a vector image of her grandfather’s fountain pen, including the crosshatch pattern on it to be included in her catchy smash-up business name and logo design. When she opened the first draft I sent over, she said she immediately burst into tears. It was a perfect fit and it brought that part of her own personal history into her business where the passion is taking and preserving other people’s family history! Not that I like making my clients cry ;) but I love being able to be a part of that happy emotional reaction to something that’s so near and dear to their heart!
What are some of the challenges you face as a designer? How do you handle those and learn from them?
Honestly, sometimes I feel like my biggest challenge is “proving” to a potential client that the investment in a custom design just for them is worth it! Nowadays, there are so many other “sources” for getting graphics that are pretty inexpensive, yes, but aren’t custom to your company. I am all about your graphics, whether it’s a logo, a brand identity package, a brochure or any marketing product being custom to you and to your brand! Sometimes people just see the immediate sticker price and “oh that looks nice” instead of searching, spending the time and money on making something that fits their brand and is cohesive and professional for their customers on an even bigger scheme of things. How do I learn from it? Well, I am not really sure haha, BUT I do know, that I do my absolutely best to give all my clients a rocking brand, so that all those others will catch the fire and want that for their business! :)
Why is a cohesive brand and outside design so important for professionals and small business owners? What makes a good photography design, for instance?
While now days everyone likes throwing around the description "hot mess" (defined as: a person or thing that is spectacularly disordered), I don’t think any one of us would ever want that description to reference our business, right? Well, cohesion tells people you are orderly, your organized, you’ve got it together; and if you’ve got it together, that tells them you’re gonna work hard for them and the final product you deliver, whatever that is - is gonna be worth their investment! Who wouldn’t want that from something they are investing in?
Now think about when you’re walking through a store, maybe you’re christmas shopping for a friend, you’re parousing [the beautiful aisles of TJmaxx if you’re shopping for me ;)] and something pops out at you and you think, “ohhh that’s sooo [insert friends name here]!” You’re dear friend’s “brand” is cohesive, you know her so well, you know JUST the perfect gift for her, that’s how your business should be. People should be able to surf through their Facebook feed, or their instagram feed and when your photos comes by or your post, without even having to read the name, they say “ohhh that’s sooo [insert business name here].” That right there, my friend, is brand cohesion. Brand cohesion makes you pop! Not sure how to do this? That’s where we, as graphic designers come in! Contact us today - and we can help you make your business beautifully cohesive! :)
What inspires you?
I LOVE what I do! I find great satisfaction and true joy in designing the absolutely prefect logo to bring a client to tears - that emotional reaction, inspires me! I LOVE my kiddo, she’s adventurous, she’s always creating all sorts of things, from stories, to “projects” as she likes to call them, to her own beautiful stick figure artwork, she inspires me! I LOVE Jesus, He gave me the ability to do what I do, He gives me the ability and the resources to keep doing what I love, while being with the people I love, that inspires and equips me!
Are there any changes/improvements coming to AJPD in the near future? Where do you see yourself in five years?
I am SUPER excited about a new little thing coming for our branding customers!! I love my clients and am working on a little project to show each one of them JUST how much I appreciate them, their trust they place in me with the business brand, and to help equip them to rock their brand! Want to know what it is?! You’ll have to head on over and follow us on Instagram [www.instagram.com/alyssajoypd] because we will be posting some pretty pictures of our first little Brand Love Boxes in the near future!! :) There might just be one with my sweet friend, Wendy’s name on it here soon! :)
Five years from now? Can I dream real big? I’d love to have sent out about 60 Brand Love Boxes by then, because that would mean I’ve met and helped 60 wonderful bosses make their dreams come to life!