You guys are in for a treat today! Below features an interview from an essential piece of the One Ray Journal- the graphic designer who created and brought the entire journal to life. 🙂
Alright so tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Hi! I’m Emily Frazier, and I am a graphic designer working primarily in print design (but also a little web/environment design). I grew up in Mentor, Ohio, but recently moved to St. Augustine, Florida after I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a design degree. Outside of work, I’m an avid reader, tea-drinker, knitter/crocheter, and music listener—occasionally all at the same time!
When did you know graphic design was something you wanted to pursue as a career?
Not until I got into the design program at BGSU. I wasn’t even considering a career in art during high school until my senior year when I learned that graphic design was a field that even existed! I decided to pursue it on a whim and just see where it went, mentally prepared to switch majors after the first year. Thankfully, I never had to.
Once I got into the basic design courses and learned more about what design is, I realized this is exactly where I need to be. And for the most part, I’d been there for most of my life without realizing it. As a kid, I used to make birthday cards on my mom’s publishing software, I would spend more time formatting Powerpoints for school than on the actual content of the presentation, and I would volunteer to make posters for friends when they ran for student government.
I think the coolest thing about design is how broad it can be. As someone who had a difficult time deciding what I wanted to be when I grow up because EVERYTHING was interesting to me, graphic design as a career is a great solution because it can be applied to nearly any subject. My dad says you should learn something new every day, and design definitely allows me to do that!
Do you work for yourself freelancing or a company?
A little bit of both actually! I work full time at Mosaic PRO in Jacksonville, which is a marketing arm for a few larger companies, so I get to work on a variety of projects from designing grocery displays to go in Walmart to promo items and print collateral for Google, and nearly everything in between. Outside of my day job, I like to take on freelance projects that more closely align with my own values and interests—like the One Ray journals! I would love to one day do freelance full-time focusing on serving small, women-owned businesses.
What specific resources best spark your creativity?
Too many to name! I’m a firm believer in interdisciplinary work, and that the best ideas and solutions will usually come from the places you wouldn’t expect them to. I was extremely fortunate to be part of BGSU’s design program that values this interdisciplinary approach, and it has definitely impacted the way I work. If I’m trying to solve some design issue, you probably wouldn’t find me looking for a solution in a design textbook. I’m big on reading, both fiction and nonfiction, everything from short articles to full length novels. If I get stuck, I can almost always get through it by working with my hands on something repetitive for a bit, like knitting or crocheting; it allows my mind to wander for a bit and take some focus off of the issue at hand. The beach is a 5 minute walk from home now, so I’ll take my dog and do some thinking there also.
How did you come up with such a beautiful design for journal?
Thanks! The cover was a lot of process work—I think I had over a dozen iterations of it initially. They looked nice but there wasn’t much of a driving idea behind any of them UNTIL I got to the one that ended up being the cover now. Here’s where that interdisciplinary work comes into play—the swirling blue rings inside of the sun are inspired by the rings you would find if you cracked open a geode. Somehow all of this information about geodes I retained from probably middle school science class came back to me, and it just clicked. Geodes look like ordinary rocks on the outside, but the inside of each of them is unique—formed by different environments with different temperatures and pressures.
What’s been your favorite part of bringing One Ray to life?
It’s been a lot of fun to play with the typography for the daily quotes for sure—seeing which words need to be bigger or smaller and how that affects how the quote is read. The coolest part though is seeing everyone’s reactions. I love seeing those reposts on Instagram and reading the feedback from people that use it daily!
What is your dream project to work on?
I don’t know what exactly the project would be or look like, but I love working on projects that allow me to work with my hands (sewing, screen printing, textile arts, ceramics, etc.), that have some kind of health/environment focus, and that have lots of text to work with—I’m such a typography geek lol. Most importantly though, I love when projects are deeply meaningful in some capacity or conceptually complex.
What was the transition like making a big move out of OH?
It didn’t seem that big to me! I did get to ease into the transition a lot slower than the rest of my family. I was already done with my freshman year at BGSU when we moved, and it made more sense for me to finish school there instead of transferring somewhere closer to Florida. I was able to stay near my friends in Ohio for 3 years but got to visit my family in Florida on breaks—best of both worlds! I did miss my family, especially the last year, when I was so busy at school that I only had time to call maybe once a week at best. So I moved down after I graduated and found work here! Outside of my friends from work, most of them are also from the Cleveland area (there are a TON of Ohioans down here). There’s a local club for Browns fans in Jacksonville that my family has been a part of for the last few years, and knowing other people that have moved from the same area definitely helps in adjusting. I still get a kick out of the obligatory “the weather down here is so much nicer than in Cleveland!” line every time someone asks how you’re liking Florida since you’ve moved from the north.
Maeve will wake me up around 5:30, so I’ll feed her and take her for a walk—on the beach if it is a low enough tide. Her walk is anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the route and how slowly I’m moving beforehand. I’ll come back, get ready for work, and grab something quick like yogurt or a granola bar on the way out the door at 6:45. It sometimes takes me an hour to drive to work now that we’ve moved to St. Augustine; I’ll listen to music all the way there. I’ll make coffee or tea as soon as I get to work, and eat my breakfast while I get set up for the work day.
Coffee or tea order:
If I’m at work, my coffee is hazelnut with one creamer mixed in. If I go somewhere for coffee, it’ll either be a regular latte or a matcha latte. Tea is probably what I drink the most though, and I have quite the collection going at this point. My favorites are earl grey and the Tazo Zen tea.
Usually I’ll just go for a long walk with Maeve, but sometimes I’ll do some chill yoga—not the kind where you’re sore the next day. I used to do a lot more yoga in college. My favorite classes I’ve taken are POUND classes. You drum on the floor for about an hour with slightly weighted sticks while doing squats, lunges, etc. It’s such a good workout!
Can’t pick just one! The Little Prince, A Doll’s House (okay technically a play but I’ve only ever read it), Paper Towns, The Stranger, Brave New World, Three Things About Elsie, Sharp Objects
Favorite hobby to de-stress:
I enjoy reading, listening to records, walking, and knitting or crocheting when I’m stressed.
Your bigger influential role model:
If our audience is interested in collaborating with you, how can they best reach you?
I have a website for my portfolio of work (I’m in the process of updating it!) at emilyfrazier.design. I can also be reached at email@example.com or on Instagram (@em_frazier).