Spotlight :: Annette Berry

Friday, May 8, 2015

Annette Berry (center) with the models featured on the cover of Tokyo Adorned....  "Thomas Card's publication featuring vibrant portraits of Harajuku's most original and fashionable." Annette's partnership with 3+ Collective was responsible for Design, Typography and Layout.

My Spotlight series continues today, focused on a Q&A with New York City based Annette Berry. You've probably seen completed projects from Annette's portfolio and not even realized it was her work. The depth of her design talent is seemingly unlimited....  Annette offers her clients a vast range of Creative Direction services through Advertising, Art Direction, Branding, Concept Development, Copywriting, Design Systems, Film/Video, Identity, Interactive, Packaging and Print. Her clients include Anthropologie, Brunschwig & Fils, Calypso, The Brooklyn Home Company, Celerie Kemble, Dwell Studios, Jack Rogers, Jonathan Adler, MoMA, Nordstrom, The New York Times, Sferra and many more! She is also a partner in the design firm 3+ Collective. Learn more about Annette below.....  *I have her to thank for creating my Duchess Fare logo.

*Girls From Savoy -- "Creative direction, website design, photo art direction, typography."

Where did you grow up along the East Coast?

I was born in Manhattan but my family was peripatetic. We went from Manhattan to Brooklyn to Manhattan, back to Brooklyn, down to D.C. then finally settling in for a long stretch in Larchmont, NY. 

You are the proprietor of Annette Berry Design .....  What was the spark that led you to establish your own firm?  What year was it founded?  And what type of services do you offer clients?

I did not have any grand plans to build my own business. It was more of a gradual shift than a spark. When I was working full time I would take on freelance jobs to supplement my income and diversify my work. Around 2001, it reached the point where there was so much freelance that I was working round the clock. So I decided to quit my full time job so I could get some sleep. 

The services I offer are broad and include design, packaging, advertising, branding, photo art direction, concept development, photo research and more. To accommodate larger projects, hiring and collaborating with other talented people is a must. Expand when needed, keep lean when not.  

*Uncommonly Chic Store -- "Concept, art direction, design and typography."

Could you provide a little insight into your work history/experiences prior to founding your own business?  

I had a variety of full time design jobs before venturing out on my own. Each firm had a different focus. There was package design at a big agency, then fashion and interiors work at a boutique firm, then theater advertising, then an interactive start up company. The cumulative effect of this diversity was to arm me with a well rounded comprehension and hands on experience with branding, design and photo art direction. I also learned the importance of production, which is the backbone of any job. 

Was this always a field you saw yourself working in?  Did you purse any specific schooling/education in preparation for your career?

When I was around 11 or 12ish, I clearly remember looking at the Mercedes logo with its three pointed star perched on the front of a car and thinking....i know that this symbol means that this is an expensive, fancy car. How cool would it be to create a symbol that represents something that is recognized by most everyone? No name, just a symbol. This was unusually insightful for me, especially at a young age. 

With this creative interest in mind, I took some classes at FIT and Parsons in high school.  I then studied design at Boston University, in the school's very classically focused Fine Arts program. At BU, before a student could even think about design, there was a required core program of painting, drawing and sculpture. Finally, in the second semester of sophomore year, they let us start playing with typography. Hand lettering, of course, but hey, it was a start.

*Kemble Interiors -- Logo Project

Could you share what a typical day might be like for you when working on a job with a client?

I’d say that half my time is spent in front of my computer, the other half is divvied up among meetings, photo shoots and teaching at Parsons. So, there really is no typical day. I like it that way!

Do you have any treasured standout job or client memories?

I do love watching an idea come together successfully on set. One of my concepts had a girl swinging from a chandelier. Seeing that image brought to life (after a lot of hard work, union contracts and a harness), was fantastic. 

*Brunschwig & Fils -- "Creative direction, international advertising, packaging and promotional materials."

What are some of your words of wisdom to offer those wanting to work in the design field?

Aim high and, if that means starving for a few years while you’re young and time is more flexible, do it. It will pay off in the end. I think I wasted a lot of time in the beginning of my career, taking jobs out of fear instead of trusting my gut and going for what I really wanted to do. 

Is there any upcoming news on the horizon in 2015 for your business you would like to share?

I started teaching at Parsons The New School, last year. This semester I’m co-teaching an amazing class with Noël Claro. It’s called Indie Emporium. In it we help guide students to create pop up shops and experiential events. It’s a blast. The first public pop up will be a temporary tattoo parlor on April 16, the next will be the Parsons student Pop Up Shop at Industry City in Brooklyn, May 9-11, Google em! Come! They will be amazingly fun and creative experiences.

*Jonathan Adler -- "Creative direction, design and photo art direction with 3+ Collective." .....  Annette is photographed seated on the Zebra Rug.

Images Annette Berry

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