Madisen Montovino is a graphic designer from Camas, Washington. Her personal work explores nature and mental health through colorful and playful forms. She graduates from Whitworth University in the spring of 2020 with her BA in Graphic Design. There she worked as the Design Editor and currently as Editor-in-Chief of the university’s yearbook.
Big Sister is a fictitious second-hand online boutique, inspired by the experience of raiding your older sister’s closet. It was designed to appeal to a target audience of 15-25-year-olds and uses botanic patterns and textures to emphasize the brand’s eco-friendly values. Branding for this project included the creation of a logo, a letterhead, business cards, sales tags for clothing items, and packaging for the clothes to be shipped in. This project became a marker of several things for me: this was the first time I really started to put myself in the shoes of the audience I was trying to reach, thinking about the type of person who would be interested in this company. This was also one of the first times I used integrated illustrated elements with my design work, which is a strategy I have continued to expand upon throughout the past several years.
The brand development for Ciocco & Co. was created as part of a packaging design workshop with the Spokane branding company, Maker & Made. Participants were given a logo and brand guide including fonts and several colors. The pattern was designed using key ingredients from the products as well as plants that are local to the area the company is based out of (Portland, OR). I illustrated this pattern to mimic the unique small business feel and handmade quality of the product brief. This chocolate pillow pouch was designed to attract a demographic of women from 25-45 with its eye-catching colors and whimsical patterns.
During the summer of 2019, I had the pleasure of interning at DLR Group’s Seattle office. During my time there, I worked directly with this 1200-person firm’s in-house Creative Services team to develop various graphics projects and assets. Typical processes included reviewing a creative brief with the firm’s global head of in-house graphics; discussing and exploring potential directions; crafting 2-3 design options; and refining art into a single solution.
While interning with DLR Group, I worked with the firm’s Creative Services team on graphics related to an annual in-house event called DLRU (a gathering of emerging design professionals from across the company’s 30 office locations). Work included illustration and layout for a series of wayfinding placards. The creative brief emphasized whimsy and humor on top of the firm’s core brand palette.
Another project was creating a series of divider pages intended to be used in a variety of project proposals for the K-12 sector. The dividers were created to be relatively gender- and race-neutral, in hopes of representing the diverse body of students in the districts the proposals were appealing to. The design is artistic and eye-catching while remaining consistent with the company’s brand identity.
For almost half of my life, I have wrestled with a form of OCD that is fixated on my skin and hands. Being an artist and having this disorder has created a vexing dichotomy: I see my hands either as a tool that can be exploited by my OCD or one that can create beautiful things. Much of my personal digital illustration work explores this complicated relationship. Visually inspired by the cutouts of Henri Matisse, these bright colors and whimsical shapes create overtones of hope and healing, as well as a sense of escape from the feelings of anxiety that often accompany this disorder. This visual aesthetic of color and playfulness bleeds into a lot of my other work as well. When I design something, I want it to remind people of the joy and beauty in the world that exists alongside whatever struggles they are encountering. I pull my illustrations into my design work to bring in an element of human touch and connection that we so desire.