ayveyah McGowan is a St.Louis native with a BFA in graphic design from the Kansas City Art Institute. Her creative background covers the spectrum from digital design work to analog illustrations and paintings.
She currently works as the in-house graphic designer for Jazz St.Louis while maintaining her self-made art & design practice, Hevcasso Creations. When she’s not creating, Hayveyah enjoys being a foodie, visiting crystal shops and watching Netflix documentaries. I sat down with this amazing artist to discuss her passion for graphic design, tips nonprofit professionals should consider when creating their own graphics, and graphic design best practices.
Aleshia: Thank you for chatting with me today!
Hayveyah: Thank you for having me!
Aleshia: How did you get started with graphic design?
Hayveyah: I was first introduced to design by taking it as an elective in high school. Later, when I went to college, I decided that I wanted to balance my analog skills as a painter with the digital world of design.
Aleshia: What's the most impactful part of being a graphic designer?
Hayveyah: Design is everywhere and it's meant to make the world around us easier to understand. As a designer, you are helping people to interpret the world around them.
Aleshia: Many nonprofit professionals wear the 'graphic designer' hat even though they may not be a "graphic designer." What three things should nonprofit professionals be intentional about when creating graphics?
Hayveyah: Simple & clear design is always important. With a clean and simple design, less can be more. Graphic design doesn't require many frills to be effective. Clear messaging and readability trumps aesthetic every time.
Be aware of your audience. Who are you designing for? How do they think? Ask them!
Hierarchy is essential and creates balance. Think about how a viewer processes information on a page. Hierarchy allows users to understand information easily by creating different visual characteristics to sections of information (e.x., larger fonts for headings). What do you want the audience to look at first (big), second (medium) & third (small)?
Aleshia: Let's talk graphic design faux pas. We've all more than likely made design mistakes when creating our own flyers, social media posts, etc. What are the top three errors that you have seen when individuals are creating their graphics?
Hayveyah: White text on a light background is a no-no. You want people to see your message.
Using bright colors on large bodies of text. Neon or highlighter colors vibrate and can make it harder for people to read.
Spelling errors. You only get one time to make a great first impression.
Aleshia: As a graphic designer for a nonprofit, you know that resources can be limited. Can you recommend budget-friendly graphic design tools?
Hayveyah: I think an Adobe Suite monthly subscription is the way to go. If you have purchased the monthly subscription, you have access to all the software they offer such as Indesign, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro. They even give discounts if you can provide a student email address.
Aleshia Patterson: Yes! I'm a huge fan of Adobe Suite. I want to discuss branding and style guides. Typically, during high-campaign peak times such as Giving Tuesday, I see inconsistent graphics which can negatively impact campaigns. Can you talk about what a style guide is and how someone can go about making one?
Hayveyah: A style guide gives a rundown of your brand and how to use it. Having a style guide or brand book creates a set of rules so that your visuals & messaging stay consistent when creating deliverables. The main categories within a style guide include the mission, vision, target audiences/persona, language styles (tone/spelling/capitalization), typography, color, logo layout & logo avoidances. You can find style guide templates on the internet and make them in Powerpoint or Microsoft word.
Aleshia: Thank you for providing these graphic design tips. How can others stay connected with you?
Hayveyah: By visiting my website www.hevcassocreations.com or following me on Instagram and Facebook at Hevcassocreations.