From The Desk Of: Jessica Comingore

Oct 27, 2016

We first met Jessica through a mutual client, Jenni Kayne. As a graphic designer, Jessica's refined aesthetic and sensibility are a true reflection the luxury brands she works with. We wanted to know more about how she finds creative inspiration as a designer and what it takes to make any meeting successful. Photos by Laure Joliet.

What’s on your desk?

Test prints from my current projects, a notebook, a vase of fresh flowers, a burning candle (Maison Louis Marie's are my favorite), and always a cup of tea.

Fill in the blank: "I don't show up at a meeting without _________."

A notebook and pen. I don't have the best memory, so if it's not written down, it's pretty much a guarantee I'll forget about it.

What's on your reading list?

I've slowly been making my way through The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits, but lately everyone I talk to seems to recommend Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic. Probably a sign that I should add it to my queue.

What’s in your bag/always on your person?

I hate to say it, but probably my phone. I'm such an avid list maker that whenever I'm not at my desk and an idea pops into my head, I'll grab my phone and add it to my Todoist (if you haven't already explored it, I highly recommend this app!).

I'd write to... / I would love to get a letter from...

Margaret Howell / Larry David

Would try once... / No, thanks....

Scuba diving / Skydiving

I'm a true believer in... / Major skeptic about...

Ayurveda / Chiropractors

Fear conquered... / Not quite there yet...

Saying no / Delegating

My proudest accomplishment is... / The next goal on the horizon is...

Growing a business from nothing to something. / Scheduling in more down time.

Subject I won’t shut up about lately... / Subject I avoid...

The 2016 election (in private). / The 2016 election (in public).

Constantly craving... / Don't see the appeal of...

Pizza from Frank Pepe's in New Haven, CT / Beer

_____ always inspires / ______ totally sucks

A drive north on Highway 1 / Sitting in LA traffic

I'm early for... / I'm late for...

Client meetings / Yoga class

I'm picky about... / Not so picky about....

Organization / Cleanliness

I'm getting better at... / I'm getting worse at...

Staying up late / Waking up early

I'll never give up _____ / Ehh, I'm kind of over _____

Tea / Cocktails

Describe your personal aesthetic in three words:

Refined, understated, elegant.

Describe the creative space at your company:

I work from home in a pretty modest studio, but we made L-shaped desks that line both walls, and luckily I get the side facing the window. Natural light shines through for most of the day, and there are a few neighborhood cats who hang out in our backyard that are fun to watch. When I really need to sprawl out, I move to the dining table to sketch and review materials.

What are your design inspirations?

The color palettes found in nature, the shapes explored in fashion, and the emotions felt while traveling.

How does one tap into their creative side?

The farther away that I am from my desk, the more creative I tend to feel. I think that's why it's so important to get out to see as much of the world as possible, even if it's just a walk around the neighborhood. Being a designer is a very mentally taxing job, so it's important to give yourself the space for new ideas to strike.

What’s the motto/life philosophy/advice you live by?

Always trust your gut, and kindness is key.

The paper product I can’t live without is ____ and I use it to _____.

My Appointed Co. spiral bound notebook / jot down notes for every meeting I have, whether in person or over the phone.

When do you feel like you’re at your best?

When I've given myself the time for a morning routine and self care. For me this means waking up early, meditating, going for a run, making a healthy breakfast, and brewing a cup of a tea before heading into the studio.

How does your brand convey its unique personality?

I find that social media is a great tool for this, as it allows you to really reinforce a personality through the content you share. Over time, I've become known for an aesthetic that I feel is uniquely me, and by reiterating that through platforms like a blog or Instagram, you can really start to build a brand that is synonymous with something.

Because of my experience doing __________, I tend to pay more attention than most people do to __________.

Designing brand identities / fonts.

Describe a typical day at work:

After my morning routine, I sit down at my desk around 9am to check e-mails and compile my to-do's for the day. After that, I'll silence my phone, throw on some headphones, and dive into my main tasks for the day. Sometimes this can be designing a logo, other times it can be laying out a look book, or it can be a day of back-to-back client meetings, and reviewing print samples with vendors. The variety keeps things interesting, and more often than not my day ends around 6pm to make dinner, catch up on news, and unwind.

What is the best professional lesson you’ve ever learned?

That there are no shortcuts in life, and that true reward only comes from showing up every day and putting in the time hard work.

What are the most exciting developments in your industry?

I think now more than ever, branding is a part of the conversation, and driving our consumer market in a huge way. In year's past, someone may have started a business without seeing the need for branding or design input prior to launching, and now it can be what makes or breaks many new businesses. With so many brands living and operating online, branding can be the deciding factor for someone to buy from you versus a competitor selling the same product. Creative or not, people enjoy interacting with a company who has a clear point of view, and hasn't left any detail unconsidered.

What do you love about what your company brings to its clients?

The personal component. More than knocking out a successful design, it's my goal to develop a genuine connection with each of my clients and let them know that they are in good hands. Branding a business can be a very personal thing, and it's crucial for me to create a process that they can enjoy participating in, as well as an end product that exceeds their expectations.

How do you start and/or end your day?

Always with a cup of tea. I think we're seeing a theme here.

The vice you’ll never give up is __________.

Chai tea lattes

Tell us about your latest printed project:

I just wrapped up the design of Satsuki Shibuya's first book, Moment. The process was a particularly exciting one due to the team behind the project, and we just approved the final proof last week. I can hardly wait to see the finished product!

What brought you to Paper Chase Press?

Jenni Kayne. I started working with their team on all things graphic design earlier this year, and lucky for me, they were using Paper Chase Press for all of their printing. A welcome (and long overdue) introduction!

How often do you use printed goods to promote your business?

I like to send client's a little something in the mail upon completion of each project, as well as gifts to close out the year. It's not my primary avenue for promotion, but I think it's the most appreciated (and far less fleeting).

What's the response like to these printed goods?

They love it. I think it's so rare to receive anything physical in the mail these days from someone you know that just the thought goes a long way. I've had some clients tell me that cards I sent years ago are still pinned to the mood boards in their offices.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?

There are many, but forging relationships with so many kind and talented people is definitely at the top of the list. Getting to play a part in bringing their new (and often first) business to life is a huge honor, and I don't take that for granted. From day one, their excitement is infectious.

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