26 Dec

Pepper Talk with AC

Welcome back to Pepper Talk, this month we’re learning more about AC! Just a little background before we get started, AC currently leads one of our UX teams. She’s been with Eleven Peppers for 2.5 years!


1. Do you have any nicknames?
I actually go by my nickname, AC! My full name is Anne Carlyle but people get tripped up on the double name, so shortening it to AC made sense.

2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Coffee. Well, brush my teeth, drink a glass of water and then all the coffee. If I manage to get up before my kids it’s a nice moment to myself before the day starts, otherwise it’s just me drinking coffee amongst the chaos. Why do 3 year olds wake up with so much damn energy?

3. How would you describe your design style?
Simple, classic, and minimal. I don’t pay super close attention to design trends (I should really get better at that!), and have always been drawn to simple but impactful typography. I try and keep extraneous noise out of a design but you know clients always try and fill the page with content!

4. How did you get started in this industry?
Right out of college! My first job was in the Intelligence Community so I don’t really know the commercial world. I really love working for a meaningful mission and the people I have met are all so amazing.

5. What are your favorite tools of the trade? What are the worst?
InDesign will forever be my favorite, I miss using it every day. It is so intuitive to me for some reason! Photoshop terrifies me, I need to improve my skills.

6. What is your favorite thing about being an art director?
Definitely bossing people around! Kidding…I really like being able to have a vision and try and execute it within all the fun (and not so fun) constraints of our job. At the end of the day, I want users lives to be easier, so anything I can do to make that happen is my favorite!

7. What do you draw inspiration from?
Pinterest! What did we do before Pinterest? I’m also lucky to be surrounded by super talented designers, so it’s easy to be inspired by them and pick their brains for ideas.

 8. Rapid-Fire Round:

Caffeine or no: Caffeine
Sweet or Savory: Sweet. Ice cream is my weakness.
Favorite Movie: If we’re going by how frequently I have seen a movie then it’s going to have to be Frozen…
Favorite place to travel:

Everywhere!

Hobbies:

Daydreaming about when I had time for hobbies! read more

18 Dec

Giving Back to the United Way of Central Maryland

The holidays are a great time to reflect on how fortunate we are and to take time to help those that really need it. This year, we participated in the United Way’s Central MD Adopt A Family program.

Our team adopted four large families from the Ben Franklin Center in Brooklyn/Curtis Bay, a partner organization to the United Way. To make each of the 31 family members feel special and loved; we purchased, wrapped and delivered over 200 presents.

We wanted this to be a team-effort, so we split everyone into four teams to make sure everyone had someone to shop for and each item got checked off the list. Then, we all came together for a wrapping party, which consisted of eating Chick-fil-A nuggets, drinking adult beverages and perfecting the art of accessorizing with the perfect bows and ribbon.

Owner, Kristen Parks explained, “With a work culture already rooted around family, it was only natural for us to want to do something charitable, especially during the holidays. It allows us to not only spend quality time together outside of the office, but also to work together as a team to accomplish something bigger than ourselves. This year we decided to participate in United Way’s Adopt a Family program because we wanted to be able to give families in need one the many joys of Christmas, which is of course, opening presents!”

11 Dec

2019 Gift Guide for Creative Types

With two weeks left to get your holiday shopping done, we’ve put together some gift ideas that will be perfect for any type of creative person you have on your list! Happy shopping!


  1. Find Your Artistic Voice: This book is intended for every category of artist. Whether you are just starting your artistic journey, are right in the middle of it, or are rejoining after a hiatus, this book will provide encouragement and motivation.
  2. “You’ll Think of Something”: This decorative banner will serve as a reminder that when the creative juices stop flowing, or your back’s against the wall, don’t fret; You’ll think of something.
  3. Field Notes®: This latest innovation features tear-proof and waterproof paper so that you can take notes no matter where you are.
  4. Gig Posters: 18×24 limited edition posters from your favorite bands. Designed by DKNG, signed and numbered!
  5. Glass Ornaments: Take tree decorating to a whole new level with these Pantone collectible glass ornaments, available in a variety of colors.
  6. Wood Burning Kit: This collection of tools features a wood burning pen, 17 wood burning tips, a sharpener, a wood burning pen holder and 12 stencils to customize your DIY wood projects.
  7. Graphic Designer T-Shirt: A funny, cute t-shirt that will make any artist laugh. “I’m silently judging your font choice.”
  8. Custom Lettering of the 20’s: This unique publication collects over 4,500 examples of custom lettering from the heyday of Art Deco and the experimental modernity of the Futurists.
  9. 2020 Botanical Garden Calendar: A gorgeous yearly calendar featuring beautiful images of flowers that will brighten any workspace.
  10. Zodiac Bar Soap: Featuring luxe packaging designed by Danielle Kroll, these soaps features decadent scents of jasmine, rose, and sandalwood.
  11. Desktop Letter Board: Express yourself with this fun, functional, interchangeable letter board perfectly-sized for compact messages.
09 Dec

Celebrating 5 Years: Melissa London

It’s time to throw some confetti and pop champagne, it’s Melissa London’s 5th Pepperversary!

Melissa London was recently promoted to Creative Director of our Commercial Team. Her ability to provide strategic art direction, encourage team collaboration, and promote project growth has created a stronger presence for commercial design at Eleven Peppers.

When Melissa’s not working, she loves spending time with her family and friends. She is always ready for a good meal and a great glass of wine.

Our team would not be the same without Melissa. Her presence makes everyone feel excited about the work we are doing, and we’re honored to have her as an integral part of the Pepper family!

To learn more about Melissa, keep scrolling to read our special interview and infographic!



1. Best part of working at Eleven Peppers Studios?
The culture…it’s down-to-earth, family-friendly vibe.

2. If you were a pepper, what type would you be and why?
A Serrano Pepper. It offers a wide range of heat!

3. What is a favorite 11P event?
The 2019 Holiday party that just happened. EPS does it bigger and better every year!

4. What is your favorite Christmas present ever received from 11P?
A wad of cash!

5. What is your favorite 11P memory?
There are so many. The Disney Animal Kingdom Safari was pretty sweet!

6. Name a Pepper you can always lean on for support or advice:
I appreciate all the side hustle that goes on. Peppers who seek more challenges, more education and are always hungry to grow. I’m lucky to be around several of those individuals… Kate R., Ashley P., and R. Rice (to name a few).

7. Name a Pepper whose work or work ethic inspires you:
Kristen always has a very diplomatic and insightful view on how to respond to tough situations. She’s a great resource!

8: My spice meter :

  • Complete wimp
  • Will proceed with caution
  • A subtle flame
  • A little sweat never hurt
  • The spicier, the better!

Get to know Melissa a little bit better…

1. What is your favorite part about being a mom?
Watching her little mind develop. Small things like remembering family vacations, memorizing animals and mimicking her parents behavior (that last part is kinda scary).

2. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A perfectly cooked poached egg with hollandaise on top of avocado toast with bottomless mimosas (hold the OJ).

3. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I’ve never been there but I’m in a romantic relationship with Paris in my head and my heart. I think they call me a Francophile. OR an imaginary city that looks like the LA landscape but is populated with NYC people (2 cities I have lived in).

4. What makes you laugh the most?
My family is pretty entertaining. Also chic humor… Amy Schumer, Katherine Ryan, Ali Wong, etc.

5. What would you sing at karaoke night?
I typically leave the singing to my husband (who’s in a cover band) but if someone twists my arm… I think 80’s power ballads are fun to sing. The last 2 times I sang karaoke I bombed tho – Love is a Battlefield (Pat Benatar) and It’s Tricky Run DMC.

6. Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
My dog Stanley, he’s my security blanket and coffee. #basic

7. Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?
Everything has because it goes in cycles but I’d love to see more 70’s styles with better fabrics (no polyester) and can we bring back disco music? Mind you, I am a kid of the 80’s.

8. Any designer pet peeves?
Icon inconsistency, unnecessarily force justifying, thin type on light backgrounds, too much leading, too little leading, not dragging backgrounds to the edge.

9. What’s your favorite family holiday tradition?
Christmas crafting and cookie baking/decorating with the kids.

10. Any secret hobbies or talents?
I can sew stuff…pillows, drapes, pumpkin costumes!

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