Today I’m thrilled to feature a graphic jack of all trades. Carrie Ruby, a native Houstonian and current Manhattanite, has been a part of the creative team at Future Brand for the past four years. For anyone who’s familiar with the world of branding, they’ll understand that a brand must represent quality, consistency and a good degree of uniqueness. All of these qualities are evident in Ruby’s pattern work. Be it sharp vector repeats or organic negative space, each and every layout is distinctively fresh. Check out our Q+A for a glimpse into Ruby’s daily routine!
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PP: What websites and news sources do you generally start your day with-do you have a daily routine for news/blog/information consumption?
CR: Keeping up with current information is an essential part of my daily routine. I usually get to my desk a few minutes early so I can skim all the blogs/sites that inspire me and help to inform me about the latest specific trends such as color and texture and general developments in design and design criticism. Here are several of my essential daily reads:
PP: How did you discover your talent and how has it evolved over your creative career?
CR: When I was a toddler, I had this habit of making collages out of food. Surprisingly, my parents saw this as nascent talent and nurtured my creative tendencies enrolling me in art classes at a very early age. These art classes eventually led me to the School of The Art Institute of Chicago where I received a BFA in Graphic Design. I would definitely say that moving from Houston to Chicago to NYC has had a profound influence on my designs. My move to NYC inspired me to start creating pattern works.
PP: Please explain your design process when approaching new projects and pitches.
CR: My design process is fairly intuitive. I usually start with a brainstorm, mostly around attributes associated with project at hand. With that inspiration, I tend to make a small mood board, to use as a reference for color and texture and trends. I sketch by hand, which informs my sketching on the computer.
PP: What is your preferred method of execution? (ie. collage, computer, handwork, etc.)
CR: My preferred method of the execution is a combination of all of the above. I think it just depends on the nature of the project. Sometimes I create something that is 100% hand-sketched and then I just use the computer to enhance and help create a repeat. Other times I depend solely on the computer. I like think that the method of execution I use is related to the specific project at hand.
PP: When is the last time you took a professional/creative risk? Please explain.
CR: The greatest risk I ever took was moving to NYC four years ago for a three month contract job that paid $12 per hour and knowing no one in NYC. I had just received my BFA and thought this would be the time to make the move from Chicago to NYC. I never imagined that that a three month contract job would have turned into a 4 year career. Over the past four years, I have been working with some truly amazing and talented colleagues and this position gave me the opportunity to experience Dubai. It is the best risk I have taken so far!
PP: How do you incorporate commercial trends into your work and and is this a factor that drives your design?
CR: I definitely look towards color in commercial trends to drive the patterns that I create. Looking back on my work, I have noticed that you can see a clear color palette reflective of the season when I created the pattern. Also, I am always aware of current fashion when I design. Whether the world is going through a geometric, flannel, or neon phase, I use those fashion cues to inspire my designs and the color ways of my patterns