DG+Design is excited to welcome Melissa Stafford to the team as our first Visual Designer! As a Visual Designer, Melissa works with our clients across the cleantech industry to provide a variety of branding, print and web design, user experience development, and video content support. Melissa began her creative journey in the arts more than 15 years ago. She currently lives in Upstate New York with her partner Eric, their two children, and their much-loved pets.
Faiza Haq recently interviewed Melissa to learn more about her. Check out her answers below.
I grew up just outside of Schenectady, New York. I spent a chunk of my adult life in Hudson, New York. However, I recently moved back to Schenectady. So, I’ve lived in Upstate New York my whole life.
I’ve been fortunate to have had an extensive and storied career in the arts over the past twenty or so years; one that has taken me across quite a few disciplines. While studying art history in college, I began working at the Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, NY. I became Assistant Director of the gallery and then Director and curator of a second gallery we opened, Carrie Haddad Photographs, and worked for the galleries for close to a decade. My segue into marketing and design grew out of what I learned as a curator and as an arts director. I was a freelancer and had my own design agency for about five years. After that, I worked as a developer and designer for a firm based in Albany, New York. During the pandemic, I shifted back to doing just freelancing for a bit, and eventually joined the team at DG+!
The simple love of storytelling is my inspiration. Growing up, I wanted to go into film and direct movies because I thought that was the best way to tell a story; but I’ve learned through my work with the gallery and in my career as a designer that there are many forms of storytelling. My desire has always been about using design to illustrate an idea or series of ideas, to synthesize complicated information and present it to an audience in a way that is original, thoughtful and unique.
Design can play a really critical role in telling stories for a company, particularly in the cleantech space. The cleantech space includes a lot of companies that are using innovative technologies and trying to convince people to come on board with it. Design can help concentrate on the solution that the company is trying to address and bring attention to how impactful it can be. It’s quite similar to working on political campaigns, where messaging, design, and marketing can help move people to vote for a candidate.
Before meeting everyone on the team, I applied to DG+ because I wanted to be at a company where I felt good about the work that I was doing. This was an important realization that I had for my career coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. I had also previously freelanced for clients that had a social-impact focus and really enjoyed the experience. So, I wanted to work full time in this space.
My understanding of DG+Design and its mission became clearer as I went through the interview process and met more of the team members. I was quickly confident that DG+ was a place I wanted to work.
Due to the pandemic, our family has been doing mostly nature and local outdoor trips. Therefore, I really want a city trip that is filled with museums and restaurants! Somewhere in Europe (maybe Italy or France) or Morocco would be interesting. Most importantly, the food should be out of the world.
I was born with no sense of smell (it’s called Anosmia).
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