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Inspiring Designers - Jessica Walsh.


Becky /

In this 3 part blog post, I will cover some designers that have inspired me or currently do so in my career. We’ll start with Jessica Walsh, whom I discovered early on in my career and who has continued to inspire me.

where did I find them?

I first came across Jessica Walsh by mistake in 2013. I stumbled across a ‘dating’ blog, and I put that in inverted commas on purpose. Because what started with me invested in her romantic woes ended with me returning more to see what design she would post to coincide with her writing. As well as being a lover of reading and writing, I was also disastrously single back then, so it resonated with me on all fronts!

forty days of dating

Forty days of dating

Back in 2013 we were only starting to think about responsive design. It was a time we were still learning about the digital world and how to design for it. HTML5 and Javascript replaced flash. Full-screen images, videos, and animation were all appearing on websites. Parallax made its debut, and a big trend was to add a cinematic and storytelling experience which this site did.

I’ve also loved fonts and typography since I can remember. Each post for the blog included these punchy covers and a lot of playfulness with typeface and colour. That wasn’t seen as much in digital back then as on billboards or magazines. So it felt like this site was bridging some gap between print and digital. This isn’t entirely surprising as ‘Walsh’ says of her time at Print Magazine as one of the best things to happen to her in her career as it was how she developed her personal style

What do I like about them?

What I liked about Jessica was that she tricked me. Now I see through all the reality TV drama to get us to buy into someone personally enough to purchase products they promote, but Jessica was my first. I realised not long after the blog finished and her 40 days of dating was up that this whole time it had been a marketing site for her design company Sagmeister & Walsh I loved her even more. Other facts about Jessica:

  1. In 2012, at the age of 25 she posed naked to announce her partnership with (already acclaimed) Sagmeister to create Sagmeister & walsh, two years after she started at the company. The image went viral and so their job was done.
  1. In 2013 she wrote a blog (mentioned above) that received more than 5 million unique views in less than a year. Warner Bros purchased the film rights. Walsh appeared on talk shows like the view - not a bad personal PR piece.

  2. In 2019 she left Sagmeister and Walsh and started her own company called ‘& Walsh’. She was one of 36 female-led creative companies at the time.

What do I like about their work?

  1. She’s not afraid to speak her mind. We know how fickle the internet can be, and having an opinion is one way to get yourself ‘cancelled’. However, Walsh has and likely will always post creative shots that let us know what side she sits on. Great power comes great responsibility, and I like those with big followings, to be honest, and cut the crap.
  1. Her values regarding her work align pretty much with mine.
  1. Her work is undeniably ‘Walsh’. She’s not afraid of colour. Fonts are used to their limits, and her imagery and cinematography aesthetic is always visually pleasing. It’s a little like something being a bit ‘Wes Anderson’, but in this case, it’s a ‘Walsh’.

  2. She keeps with the times. I think &Walsh was one of the first sites I saw using 3D animation, which is now starting to trend. She seems to always have her finger on the pulse, or maybe she’s part of the pulse. Either way, she always seems to get it right.

  1. Her professional portfolio is so inspiring. It’s just gorgeous. Whilst creating for other brands, there is always something a bit ‘Walsh’ about it, perhaps the choice of colours. Still, undeniably everything oozes freedom to be creative and push boundaries.

Geltor and walsh

  1. Everything has that ‘wow’ factor. If that’s not inspiration enough, then I don’t know what it would be.

and walsh

My Interpretation

For this series, I will create a design that is inspired by each designer. This time I have created a tea subscription service in the style of Jessica Walsh.

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