On the heels of saying farewell to one long-term employee, we get to celebrate the 20 year work anniversary of another. Beth Ponticello, our Art Director, has been working with us and our partners since 1995, which is no small amount of time in the graphic design world and is two eternities in the web world.
When Beth started, things were just transitioning from boards to a digital workflow, so she had experience at the drafting table marking up tracing paper with markers to show what color she wanted to use where and printing out press ready laser prints that were color separated. It wasn't long before things moved to digital workflows, but even that has changed -- from Syquest disks, to Zip disks, and finally uploads and FTP. There have been other dramatic changes in the printing industry -- Beth was an expert at designing in 1-3 colors to achieve unique effects and avoid astronomical costs associated with full color printing. "It was a nice creative challenge to pick strong colors that would work well - I would try never to use black but instead use very dark shades of blue, green, purple, or brown so that everything wasn't always gray toned." Today, with the invention of digital presses it has become very cost-effective to do very small run print jobs in 4-color and now many times it's actually more expensive to do a 2-PMS color run....so the entire printing dynamic has flip-flopped. Now even the smallest budgets can afford lovely 4-color design.
And the web world was basically born and evolved several times since Beth's first days with us. Email was still in its infancy and Beth helped us take our first baby steps online (along with the rest of the world). Since then the graphical HTML editors have come and gone, styling techniques have been developed and become outmoded, and various iterations of Content Management Systems (CMS) and Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) solutions have developed.
All that to say we owe Beth an enormous debt of gratitude for being a constant presence for our partners in the midst of changing times. (Beth has a long-standing relationship with many of our partners. For example, she's worked with the Religious Formation Conference for 20 years, and with Legal Services of Northern Virginia for 12).
Here are a few more thoughts from Beth about her years with the Stuart Center and CEDC* so far.
Favorite type of project
"My most enjoyable projects are normally ones that have allowed a lot of creativity. These have mostly been event/gala type projects which have allowed me to play with printing techniques like specialty die cuts, foil stamping, metallic papers, metallic inks ... but also some recent report projects for Schools of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco and WRAG - they have had very challenging data that need infographics that could convey very dry information in a creative and fun way."
What Beth appreciates about her job
"When I walked into CEDC for the first time I had no idea what the organization did, what they designed, who they worked for, or anything. [Any worries I had] were completely swept away as soon as I sat down with Kit at the meeting table and she started telling me what the CEDC did and the types of partners I would be working with. For the first time an interview felt right - I liked the idea of helping organizations doing good in the world versus making the next great Pepsi ad in some advertising agency, or a logo for the hottest new nightclub in NYC (which is what I was working on at the time). What I especially liked about CEDC was that it was not only a small staff doing great things, but that I would, even as a brand new member of the team, be meeting with clients, and working hands-on through the entire process from start to finish. It wasn't an assembly line mentality where a creative driector comes up with the idea and then 5 designers are each put in charge of 1 tiny little thing, never having even talked with the client or having any input.
Looking back at the last 20 years I can't believe the enormous variety of and amount of work I have completed! I have been lucky enough to work with clients around the world, on projects ranging from organizational identity and branding work; print design including brochures, folders, invitation packages and posters; publication design including newsletters, newspapers, reports, books, and magazines; digital media including both web development, web ui design, animation, and video; environmental design including trade show graphics, stage graphics, and metro bus and train advertisements; and even custom photography on location for several of our clients. I have been very fortunate to find a job I love, and one that has grown and changed with the times; as well as one that allows me to work remotely from home so I can be close to family. I am looking forward to many more years of challenging design work at CEDC."
Of course, Beth is more than her day job. Here are a few other nuggets:
- Beth has a rock music show on a popular Greek web radio station in Athens. She is the only English speaking DJ on their lineup and plays 70's to today Rock, Punk, Metal, Pop, Alternative music.
- She co-owns a successful t-shirt business with long-time friend. They've even had one of their tees make it on television show (CSI:Cyber) last season -- and they renewed their property release for the second season of the show so it should get more air time.
- Beth is a self proclaimed geek and Apple fan-girl: "A PC shall never pass thru my doors!"
- She has delved into virtual terraforming, landscaping and environmental design.
- Beth has 2 cats: Alice and Cooper.
Join us in saying congratulations and thank you to Beth:
How often do you get to celebrate someone's 20th work anniversary these days??Posted by CEDC - Center for Educational Design and Communication on Sunday, September 6, 2015
*CEDC was founded in 1984 and became an office of the Stuart Center in 2012.