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Courtside

Talking Shop with Amber Asay

Who are you?

I’m a graphic designer located in Los Angeles. I specialize in branding, print, packaging, and website design. I’m officially a rebel of the 9 to 5 life and jumped into freelance almost a year ago. I’m loving every second of this freedom and it’s allowed me to collaborate with great designers, studios, and clients. Plus I get to travel whenever I want now instead of being limited to only 2 weeks a year—who even came up with that system? It’s the worst!

What are you working on?

I’m working on branding and packaging for a new fashion bag brand called Within that will launch this year. I just finished branding another co-working space that’ll open up in LA, so that will be fun to see come to life. I also have a cool lifestyle and travel app that I’m working on for a client, plus a couple of packaging projects up my sleeve. I also started a side project with a couple friends—it’s a magazine called Big Sister, which is a submission-based magazine for and about women. Basically, I’m working on a little bit of everything, which is just the way I like it. And I feel so blessed to have the projects I have right now!

Choose a favorite shot of yours

Simple Love Films

Simple Love Films

by Amber Asay

Just wrapped up this branding project! I pulled from all sorts of vintage illustrations and even wood type for this one.

View on Dribbble

I finished this logo a couple months ago and can’t help but feel proud of it because it was such a labor of love. I don’t consider myself an illustrator, so it was a challenge for me to work around my weaknesses. Even illustrating a hand is near impossible for me, but referencing a lot of old vintage engravings and etchings helped me navigate through that. After lots of experiments and different logo compositions, I finally got to this mirrored look with a rose for the bride, and leafy botanicals for the groom. Moral of the story? When in doubt, seek out old references!

Tell us about your setup.

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I like having a corner desk because then everything is within arms reach. Laziness at its finest. I also have the worst posture, so having a large 27” iMac computer is so important for my long work days. I also have a 13”Macbook pro for when I’m traveling and coffee-shop-working. One of the cons of having a corner desk is that I’m also in the coldest part of the house, so I have a small foot heater under my desk to keep my blood circulating!

What is something you’d like to see change within the design industry?

Giving designers credit! This is something I’ve pushed for in my own career and hope that it becomes a norm. So many times at my past jobs people have pushed to keep my name out of the equation, but are completely fine with adding photographer credit, copywriting credit, etc. It even happens a lot when it comes to magazine or book design—it’s often hard to find the name of the designer. I think people assume that photography and illustration are actual art forms and deserve more credit than design, and I hope that mentality changes. With such a strong community like Dribbble, I’m confident we can push for this kind of change and to give credit where credit is due.

  1. big sister magazine
  2. Olive Oil
  3. Westbound Stamp

How do you find clients as a freelancer?

To be honest, it’s when I’m given credit for my work that others find me (see above). But I also think having valuable client-designer relationships is key to continuing to find work. I’m a firm believer in Karma, when you treat clients fairly or even show them how much their project means to you, they’re more likely to come back or send their friends to you. I also get a good amount of work from fellow designers. I’m extremely grateful to have close friends in the industry. It takes years of connections to get a steady flow of work, but it really does start small and consistent.

Find Amber on Dribbble, Instagram, and at amberasay.com.

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