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We hope you have been enjoying the 2017 design campaign created by graphic designer & UAB graduate Heather Garner and showcasing the artwork of Tracie Noles-Ross. It’s beautiful! We love how she worked with the featured art piece and incorporated it into various designs for the campaign. We asked her a few questions about working on this big project, her process, inspiration, and aesthetic. Check out the interview below!


Heather Garner_2


As a graphic artist, is it exciting to get to work with fine artists and their work?
I think it is always interesting when two different artist works together and have a seamless outcome. For my case, I get to see someone in their own element, observe their own techniques and their approach to achieve a beautiful piece of artwork.

How does working creatively on an art festival campaign differ from jobs with other clients? Is there a difference?
I think with any campaign there are several components that go into making it a successful piece. With this Magic City Art Connection’s campaigns, I have to look at the art piece that is chosen each campaign and think of ways it will work for aspects of printing, web, and social media design. There is a lot of fluidity with these types of campaigns. You cannot be set in one type of approach because there is a chance something will come up and another design approach is necessary.

Creating takes such dedication. It relies on talent, vision, inspiration, and often can’t be rushed. What process or habits get you the best design results for clients? Do you get a thrill from those eureka design moments?
I think what allows me to get the best design results for my clients is taking the time and getting to know the character of the brand, defining what the needs of the project are, and doing your research. A lot of times people think designers rush to the computer and begin chipping away at the project immediately, but that isn’t the case. I believe the eureka moments take place when you step away from the computer, take a break or work on something else, do anything to allow yourself to just meditate on a design approach, and then there it comes to you, your eureka moment-sometimes at the most random of times, but it will come. And yes you are thrilled because you have a moment of clarity.

When you saw the featured art piece that Tracie Noles-Ross created for the Festival, what was your first impression? What design ideas and considerations percolated to the top for how to best present the work in the overall poster design?
The first impression was, “WOW! The detail is amazing.” The intricate details within the piece will call for a simple design approach in terms of how the typography will be used. With the fluidity of the piece, one must incorporate type within the piece so that it doesn’t cause a visual hiccup with the audience.

Do you have a design aesthetic in your personal life?
I always think that as your design skills mature so will your aesthetic. Right now I lean towards simplicity and take advantage of negative space and hierarchy. I take inspiration from Swiss and Japenese design. I often see my work at the crossroads of design and art, combining several passions of mine such as typography, illustration, sketching, and photography.

If you would like to see more work by Heather, take a look at her design portfolio on her website:


Moss Rock Festival

November 2-3, 2024