Connecticut Creatives | Stephanie Baumer
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Stephanie Baumer

What do you do and where do you do it?

I work as an Art Director at Taylor Design in Stamford, CT. We are a medium-sized studio with about about half of our clients from education / non-profit / small business backgrounds, and half from corporations. I started out freelancing here after working briefly at a firm in New Haven. I am happy to say that Taylor Design’s diverse range of clients and projects has kept me challenged and inspired.

What inspired you to choose this profession, and what makes you stay in it?

I grew up drawing a lot, trying out different media, and was always drawn to color. However, I didn’t realize I was interested in typography until I finally discovered that typography was actually something you could be interested in. I didn’t switch my major to design until fairly late—after my first year of college. I stay in this field because I love how much everything changes from week to week, and sometimes day to day.

What is your career highlight so far?

I have thought a lot about this particular question and I still do not have a good answer. But I will say I am happy to be an Art Director at a studio with so many talented designers. It’s also nice to feel like I know what I’m doing at my job (most of the time), and to be able to help mentor younger designers.

What do you want to accomplish before you retire?

I think my dream would be working only with clients who allow me to produce good work. And I want to design for as many different projects, media, clients, and industries as I can. I don’t want to be doing the same thing my whole career—I’d like to shake things up at least once a decade and have to learn a whole bunch of new things.

Who/What are your biggest influences?

Of the famous designers, I’ve always been particularly fond of Saul Bass, Louise Fili, Stefan Sagmeister, Michael Beirut. But truthfully, my biggest influences are the people I am working right next to (and for, ha). Fortunately for me, that has been a lot of talented people. I also get to research and work with a lot of illustrators and photographers which is really fun. Working with people outside of—but parallel to—design keeps me exposed to lots of different and fresh artistic styles. I have worked with many really talented illustrators and photographers, but there are a few particular people I always recommend to my clients but haven’t been able to work with yet—for instance I’m always chasing around Lotta Nieminen and Jill Greenberg. Someday…

Who are the best creatives you’ve worked with? 

I am lucky, and can say I have worked with some truly talented designers at every single job I’ve had.

What cause means the most to you?

Well, recently it is easy to have a lot of causes since so many of them are being attacked by the current administration. It feels as if it’s hard to place one cause above another because of how many basic rights are being threatened. I think those that need particular support right now are women’s issues, civil rights/race relations, environmental protection, national education policies, the voting system, and our country’s growing xenophobia.

I know now that I don’t know much at all. Every time I get comfortable, things change. But it’s a good thing.

Why Connecticut?

To be honest, I spent my entire childhood in Connecticut thinking I would move away. But at this point in my life and career—and now having a kid of my own—I have to say that Connecticut is just downright pleasant. My mom grew up in New Haven, and I’ve always been really fond of that city/area in particular. And, we benefit a lot from the welcome influence of NYC and Boston, which keeps some great clients in the mix.

What are your loves/passions outside of this field?

Interior design. At some phase in my career, I would love to be able to mix some interior design and graphic design together a bit and see where it could lead. I’d also love to build more travelling into my career.

What do you know now that you didn’t know then?

I know now that I don’t know much at all. Every time I get comfortable, things change. But it’s a good thing.