I’m a font-naming phenom who feels the most energized by matching a sage green background with a pop of copper on a ground beef label. Since birth, I’ve been inspired by all things visual, which led me to pursue a Graphic Design degree at Iowa State University. Since 2008, I’ve been designing professionally; and since 2014, I’ve been designing under my own business, Gold Spark Design (formerly AEG Design Company).
My Design Style
Every designer has their own unique style. Mine is very layout-focused. I enjoy layering photography, shapes, colors, and type in visually appealing ways. I thrive on unexpected color combinations, and I’ve rarely met a pattern I didn’t love. With all of my work, I try to maintain a look and feel that is consistent with a company’s brand. Sometimes I am asked to create that brand from scratch, and I use trend research and real world inspiration to do so.
Thanks to my undergrad training, I have a solid background in the basic design principles (my favorites being balance, proximity, and visual hierarchy), and I exercise these principles in everything I create. I am not satisfied with a design until all of these pieces come together, and my eyes are happy.
One thing I am not is an illustrator. Other than very basic shape-based illustrations, I can’t draw to save my life, but I do have tools in my back pocket to compensate for this. I have connections with illustrators who I can pull into certain projects, and I utilize stock illustrations when necessary.
Get to Know Me
Q: WHY FOOD?
A: It’s serendipitous in every way. First, my mom prophesied this when I was in middle school. I was always so obsessed with our next meal (but isn’t every preteen?), and she often told me that my future would somehow involve food.
A few months after I moved to Denver, I tried getting a job at Marczyk Fine Wines, even though the only thing I knew about wine was that white was served cold and red was served room temperature. I went into the store and handed my candy bar leave behind (with the wrapper designed as my resume) to the owner of Marczyk Fine Foods. He knew I wasn’t fit for the wine shop job, but thought that their store needed some work in the signage arena, and they created a job for me. The rest is history!
Besides my serendipitous plunge into the world of food, I truly do believe that this line of work fits me and my design style perfectly. Food is something that everyone needs to survive, but yet, most people have found a way to make enjoying food a pleasant experience. Because of this, the food industry is full of innovative and cutting edge design. I get to use fun shapes and colors, and push design to its limits. I couldn’t imagine an industry that’s a better fit for my style of design.
Q: WHAT KIND OF FOOD LABEL HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO DESIGN?
A: A coffee bag or chocolate bar. I’m obsessed with coffee and chocolate – both have such an interesting geographical component, and I love trying to decipher flavors from specific regions. Plus, some of the best packaging work I’ve seen is either a coffee bag or chocolate bar – fun patterns, unexpected color combinations, and luxurious substrates all make these designs so memorable. UPDATE: I just designed my first coffee bag! I implemented world maps into the design – another one of my favorite things.
Q: IF YOU WEREN’T A GRAPHIC DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
A: That’s easy – an Interior Designer for restaurants. But if I had to pick something that isn’t in the field of design, that’s also easy – Secret Agent.
Q: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN DENVER?
A: Hands down, Hop Alley. I am obsessed with Chinese food – I order greasy Chinese takeout about once a week, and Hop Alley is a trendy Denverized version of delicious Chinese takeout. Plus, it’s got a hip hop vibe, which (surprisingly) works perfectly with their spicy Sechuan cuisine.
Q: WHAT KIND OF FOOD DO YOU LIKE TO COOK?
A: I’ve never been much of a cook, but I’m working on it – that’s actually my main resolution for 2019. I decided to start with the Instapot. Once I have that mastered, I’ll probably move to Asian cuisine, since it’s my favorite. And while I’ve never been a cook, I’ve always been a pretty good baker. I got into making macarons last summer and it was really fun.
Q: DID YOU WRITE ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS?
A: I did, and I must say, it’s the first time I’ve ever been the interviewer and interviewee at the same time.
Every now and then, Amy Park, the owner, gets a wild hair and decides to blog. What about, you ask? The answer is: anything related to “design” and “trends”. It doesn’t have to be graphic design, either. She’s interested in fashion design, interior design, and film, too. So if you feel like reading about the latest resurgence of scrunchies, check it out.