The Interview Series: Jessica Savino
Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I currently reside in New Jersey.
How did you get started in design?
Quite accidentally! I've worked for PIMM for 8+ years in multiple capacities. I was given the opportunity to learn website design and I went for it!
Where do you draw your design aesthetic from?
There is inspiration everywhere but lately I have been drawing inspiration from Interior Design. There are trends in design, be it clothing design or home design, that cause a trickle down effect. Right now I feel inspired by arched doorways and earth tones so I may include rounded shapes or muted, sandy earth tones in my designs if the aesthetic allows for it. There is a famous scene in the movie "The Devil Wears Prada" where Meryl Streep's character Miranda Priestly explains to her assistant Andy (played by Anne Hathaway) the precise reason why Andy is wearing a sweater in an exact shade of Cerulean Blue. That scene perfectly represents how designs are curated and trickle down into the average person's life and influences their taste and aesthetic. That holds true across different design platforms including website design.
Are you inspired by various mediums of art? If so, who are some of your favorite artists?
I love art! I love finding local artists to support. I recently purchased a black on white screen print of bicycles from a Brooklyn artist that just paints paintings of bicycles. It makes me happy to look at it. My favorite painting of all time is Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Nights. I was able to see it in person years ago at a MOMA exhibit. It was amazing, you could see every brush stroke.
What are some of your favorite websites you've built?
Website builds are always different. Sometimes you develop a relationship with the client that is very simpatico and it just makes the experience that much more fun.
Supreme Makeup and Hair Designs was one of those builds. It is a subject I know a lot about so that made the client very comfortable and we had a great time with the build.
Bubbly Bar was just a fun, whimsical site to build, very pink and girly. Lastly NuEyes Tech. This was a hard build because I had to execute a very specific design that the client wanted. I was working with a team that included other designers so it was a huge learning experience that I still draw from.
What are some of your favorite websites other people built and why?
I don't know if I would call it a favorite but I do check Apple's website a lot. I think they are innovators and at the forefront of tech design. It just makes sense that their website will be as modern and well designed as their products. They also tend to change the design a lot which is smart because I am sure tons of people try to emulate their site. They don't want to look like everyone else, they stand alone. Just like fashion design may influence color choices, I think tech companies are at the forefront of web design and can influence website designs of other businesses. Apple may introduce a new design format and in 6 months that may be the new trend for website design. Always look to the people who are at the forefront of their industries. Those are the influencers. Look at Chanel.com and Tesla.com, notice a trend?
You have a background as a makeup artist. Do you find this has influenced your web design?
Yes! I think it's why I pay so much attention to color trends. My extensive training in color theory sometimes dictates my color choices. Of course the client usually has an idea and always has final say of what color palette they would like but there are just some colors that compliment each other and make sense together. I also tend to keep an eye on the Pantone Color of the Year because that will sometimes dictate upcoming color trends. Also, I think the world of makeup keeps me aware of what is youthful and fresh. I am mindful of that when I am building some of my designs. No matter what you are building, you always want to keep it modern and up to date.
What do you think the 3 main components of successful design are?
The most important component of website design is images. Professional, high quality images. Great images make the website look so much more professional. Next is a modern, functional framework. The actual design and layout of the website. Making sure it looks pleasing to the eye as well as being user friendly. Lastly, a simple color palette. I would try to stay with colors that compliment each other and are not overpowering. A good way of doing that is using different hues of the same color. It creates dimension without looking too cluttered with color. For me, black and white will always be a clean, classic color combination for website design that always leans towards modern.
Besides design, what are some of your hobbies?
I love to cook, I also love to be out in nature. Lately, I have become interested in acrylic paints and may try my hand at creating my own artwork.
Do you have a favorite show these days?
I watch way too much tv. Some of the shows I look forward to are Survivor and Succession and I do try to catch every NY Ranger game!
Do you have a favorite book?
I don't think I can pick one favorite! I am currently reading Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro