Celeste Prevost: Designisfine
by Kate Andrews | October 21, 2009
After a stint in Colorado where she earned recognition for a clean, often humorous body of work now detailed on her newly redesigned site Designisfine, designer/illustrator Celeste Prevost has landed her creative talents in Minneapolis. In addition to working in-house at marketing firm Zeus Jones she takes on freelance projects that inspire her creatively. Here Celeste describes her career path, shows us the mood boards she creates for inspiration, and let’s us have a look at her design space at Zeus Jones where she and husband (Rob Angermuller, designer for ARTCRANK) spend their weekends being creative at their adjacent desks. Celeste is interviewed here by Emily Goligoski.
NoD: You sometimes make your designs available for little or no payment. What are your thoughts around arguments for creative and media work being shared for free online?
Celeste Prevost: A typeface I created and posted for free download, Hand of God, is kind of gimmicky and I made it to be used publicly. I’m not a professional typographer, but I was happy when a small Boulder company called Humanoid Wake approached me obout using it on one of their wakeboards soon. It will stay free for them.
I love to share my work and give back — sharing in our community is very important as long as it’s not abused. It’s empowering that people can use your work and I believe that having work out there is good for you. I’m a believer in Joy Engine’s mantra that “sharing is caring.”
NoD: Joy Engine is a Boulder-based online design magazine. You are from Colorado, yes?
Celeste Prevost: Yes, I grew up in Boulder and Denver and studied graphic design at the Art of Institute in Denver. I interned at an agency in Boulder, MoxieSozo, before freelancing at Sukle. Given the fact that Boulder doesn’t host major industries, freelancing there was tough, and good work and creative undertakings were often overlooked by the mountains. I worked on a few regional and national campaigns, and took on a lot of projects in the community, sometimes for pay, sometimes not.
NoD: What brought you to Minneapolis?
Celeste Prevost: My husband Rob and I were looking for a new city to land in, and Minneapolis seemed like a good place to be creatively. Large companies like Target and 3M have brought lots of smart people to the Twin Cities, and I was glad to find Zeus Jones,and keep doing my personal and freelance design projects.
NoD: What projects/clients are you currently working on at Zeus Jones?
Celeste Prevost: I’m currently working on a packaging for new home fragrance lines for Thymes. We just recently finished up a new site for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, and are about to kick off a really exciting project with Nordstrom> (Can’t say what… but it involves some futuristic Internets!) 🙂
NoD: You’ve worked at a lot of ad agencies. Is advertising your primary interest?
Celeste Prevost: No. I don’t mind doing advertising as one component to a project, but billboards just aren’t as effective now as a Twitter account and solid branding. I love doing logos for small and medium size businesses and for people who trust what I’m trying to do for them. I like helping people identify their role within their community and being involved from the start of strategy and concepting.
NoD: Have you seen agencies/design firms adjusting their approach to projects because of the effectiveness of Twitter and solid branding?
Celeste Prevost: I think Twitter can be a great tool to communicate and connect with others. I think lately agencies have been overlooking the fact that Twitter is just a tool and that any business can do great with or without twitter if they have a strong brand and are offering something of value. It’s not the end all be all and sometimes it’s just not appropriate. I think Twitter is most effective with companies that can provide something of real use and have the time to truly engage their market. They basically can’t be in it to make a buck or to interrupt the market with ad like rhetoric.
NoD: Given Designisfine’s emphasis on logos, do you get asked to do a lot of logo redesigns?
Celeste Prevost: Sometimes a logo redesign isn’t necessary. But I think that the best brand refreshes are those that are clean and have a modernizing effect.
I really like interchangeable logos that have multiple icons that can function in a variety of ways. Being able to move the icons and change their colors can give people a more concise idea of what the brand is, and I think the City of Melbourne is a good example with their recent redesign.
NoD: How did you approach the graphic look you just created for K.I.D. Collective?
Celeste Prevost: The creator, Casey Keasler, had seen my work in Boulder and asked for a header for her site. As I began to build a mood board and create visual icons that identified her recipes and designs, a pattern came together. I turned into a site skin and showed her how to make back-end changes in WordPress—I want clients to feel empowered to run with their designs.
For freelance work I only take on topics that are of interest to me, which keeps me excited. My hobby and passion is design, and beyond art shows and lectures, my husband and I spend most weekends on laptops across from each other.
NoD: What is your mood board setup like? Any chance you might be able to provide an image of your work/studio setup?
Celeste Prevost: My moodboards are usually digital only. I rarely make a physical moodboard with cutouts, but when I do they usually end up on the wall next to my desk.
NoD: Any chance you might be able to provide an image of your work/studio setup?
Celeste Prevost: So my desk is uber boring, but I attached images anyway.
NoD: How do you select the people you want to work with, be they clients or collaborators?
Celeste Prevost: I like working with people who are naturally creative and can appreciate aesthetics. A sense of adventure helps, as well as being open to what will happen in the creative process.
People come to me because of what I’ve done in the past, and knowing that makes it important to live up to their expectations. As my work evolves, I try to grow those skills any my own creativity. Money is not always the priority—the work is.
Designer and writer Kate Andrews was the original editor of Notes on Design blog, founded in 2007.