What do you consider your greatest creative achievement?

We asked the Creatives Roundtable members what they considered their greatest achievement in their careers. Read below to see the varied answers.

Local design work for my community

My greatest creative achievement is the work I have been able to do for my local chamber of commerce, the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce (TRCC). I have served as the volunteer chair of the TRCC marketing committee for the past year and a half. In that role, I have led branding campaigns and design direction for Tysons Restaurant Week and Tysons 2050, two of the organization’s biggest initiatives. These events have helped to boost the chamber’s brand awareness and bottom line and brought significant positive attention to the chamber at a time when most organizations were not doing these types of events. I created branding for the inaugural Tysons Restaurant Week and Tysons 2050 (first-time this event was held virtually) that was widely seen and well-received. Working with a team of volunteers and one staff member to accomplish this was a true highlight of my professional career. REGGIE HOLMES

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My favorite project is the e-cookbooks I created for Chef Erica Adler. For metrics, I have been the creative director on a podcast that recently hit 75 million downloads and my GIFs on GIPHY just surpassed 200 million usages. These are stats that I find fascinating. EMMA MCGOLDRICK

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Each project is a step towards the next one.

Each project is a step towards the next one. I have had a couple of milestones along the way, but most recently I was tasked with creating the branding for a local mayoral campaign. The impression of the brand reached across the water and engaged a new prospect in the UK only weeks later. CRYSTAL REYNOLDS

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Besides my kids (!) it would be the scenic illustrations I’ve been doing of all the beautiful places around the Pacific Northwest to which we hike. I can honestly say I don’t think I would’ve actually done this if not for my Creatives Roundtable group of motivators. All of my scenic illustrations CHRISTINE RAINS

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Working on the communications team had a huge impact on me.

Prior to starting my own business, I worked on an in-house communications team for 3 years where I mostly focused on the marketing for the company. They had rebranded just before I joined the team so I came in with a new brand and countless items that needed to be created. Over the years, I had to find ways to keep the brand fresh yet consistent, create sub-brands that could stand on their own yet were a part of the greater family, and do it across all various media—print, social/digital, events, etc. I really fell in love with that brand over the years and felt very protective of it. I used to joke that it was like my adoptive child. I didn’t create the brand, but I raised it to maturity! 

Working on the communications team had a huge impact on me as well. It was the first time I had colleagues who were not just designers and seeing how they thought about problems and the talking points they focused on (both those in marketing and beyond) really gave me a boost in confidence that helped me start my own business. I developed a deeper understanding of what clients were after and how they approached business goals.

I’m most proud of the work I did on my final portfolio project in college, when it was all about the work. I am so grateful for my art professor who believed in me and pushed me to get to my best work by doing the research and getting to a final design solution, even if it took all night or I ended up having to start from scratch. JEN LEONARDSON

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1 tweak resulted in our client making $50,000 in 1 hour.

Our greatest creative achievement was while working on an email campaign for a high-end client. 1 additional email, 1 tweak (adding a countdown clock), resulted in our client making $50,000 in 1 hour. While this task and email took roughly 30 minutes to complete, it was the culmination of years in the making of trial and error and trying bold things in marketing. LAURA CHEEK

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I recently launched my first ever product and am extremely proud of it. My Client Onboarding Toolkit is a simple process for turning prospects into paying clients and offers clarity, sanity, and confidence for creative professionals. In the early years of my business, my client intake process was messy, confusing, and time-consuming. Definitely, nothing to be proud of. It took me a few years to figure out how to structure and refine my client onboarding efforts into the efficient gazelle-of-a-process it is today. And now I’m excited to share this process with the world through my simple, 4-step digital course which covers contracts, vetting clients, money, and more. JILL ANDERSON

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My greatest creative achievement is every time my customer leaves elated because I represented their brand beyond their expectations. KARLA PAMANES

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I would have to say it is the Soby’s cookbook I designed. They are restauranteurs, not publishers. They listened, shared their story, and set high expectations. NANCY CUTLER

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We have won a few awards, but my personal greatest achievement was winning “Entrepreneur of the Year” with my partner in another business, Underground Events. The reason I am so unbelievably flattered by this award is that we earned it in 2020 when being an entrepreneur was the most difficult and the creativity that we showed in the toughest year, inspired others and that is thrilling! CASSIE BRKICH

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Initiating the Designers Roundtable and the Nashville Retreat. This opened up national experiences, speaking engagements, and global connections that I hold onto today. Sharing the room with independent creatives in Nashville, alongside national greats such as; Rashelle Roberts, Ilise Benun, Emily Cohen, Luke Mysee, James Krause, and more was something people are still talking about today. JENNY POFF

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When I worked with the owners of Pepperjacks Subs to rebrand their eatery. A full rebrand of a restaurant was always a dream project of mine—from logos to menus, signage, and campaign marketing. The owners had an eye on expansion and we positioned the brand for success with that expectation. So when they opened a second location, I was thrilled to be a part of that and celebrate with them. DEB DULIN

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Anytime I can surpass a client’s expectations is a huge thrill.

My greatest creative achievements have been personal projects over the years. Mostly in the form of video, oddly enough since it’s unrelated to my day-to-day work. One included taking a one-second of video (nearly) every day of my son’s first year of life and compiling it into a three-and-a-half-minute piece, and I recently created a montage of a big family vacation from last January. While they’ve only been shared with family and friends, they hold so much meaning to me and I’m proud of them. I’m also proud of the children’s book, Two Noisy, that I wrote and illustrated a few years ago. I’m hoping to do more books in the future. 

But for my business, it’s hard to pinpoint a single, greatest creative achievement. There have been many projects over the years that I’ve felt turned out wonderfully. Oftentimes, they were ones that initially lacked focus or had an abundance of information to communicate, so a lot of pre-design work was needed to get to the heart of the content and messaging. Anytime I can surpass a client’s expectations is a huge thrill. NADINE NOBLE

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My greatest achievement is not related to work. It was returning to school mid-career to earn a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, an experience that was both challenging and rewarding. I had the opportunity to work on a major consulting project for the Office of the Vice President of the United States, who at the time was President Joseph R. Biden. The team developed policy proposals for U.S. engagement in Afghanistan and presented them to the V.P.’s National Security Advisor. CAROL TUITE

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Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley rebrand. I’d been working with them for several years, and we’d done some good projects, but their work was disjointed. There had never been budget for branding work, and so they’d never created any sort of cohesive style or voice. There was no guidance for internal projects, so in-house work was inconsistent, unpolished, and didn’t reflect any coordinated brand voice. //We spent many months in conversation, teasing out the psychology of their brand, distilling it, and testing and building a visual library to create a dynamic and vibrant look and feel that leapt far beyond what they’d done before, and far beyond what their parent brand provides. They had long been a leader in their field, and now their brand reflects it. //Almost five years on, the core of the brand is still serving them well, with in-house work in overall alignment. The brand is flexible and complex enough that we’re able to venture into more experimental directions for marquis pieces like annual reports, while always maintaining a strong connection to their core brand. And we’ve built several programmatic/event sub-brands that were well served by that initial foundation. (See attached before and after.) JENN COLE

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It has always been a dream of mine to design my hometown Travel Guide. Then this dream came true . . . giving me an extraordinary opportunity to promote my area’s history, attractions, and neighborhoods. For me, using my creative talent in a way that benefits the community; was my contribution to supporting the region I call home. This accomplishment became more meaningful when I received a national award for the magazine. JEANNINE PAPELINO

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Running my own business is the most challenging—and rewarding—thing I’ve ever done.

More than all of the websites, magazines, brochures, etc., I’m most proud of the business I’ve built for myself. When I first made the decision to break out on my own, I would tell people “I’m going to give it a year and see how it goes…” Well, I’m now six years in and am really proud of what I’ve accomplished. Running my own business is the most challenging—and rewarding—thing I’ve ever done. TARA HOOVER

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I’d have to say that my greatest creative achievement is my business, Ventura Graphic Design. If you aren’t sure that building a business is a creative achievement, trust me, it is. From creating content to designing the logo, website, and marketing materials. From creating a reputation myself to forming my perfect niche. It takes the full powers of my creativity to sustain, nourish, and help this business thrive. LIBBY VENTURA

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I’ve been honored to be included in design books and magazines over the years, but my proudest business moment was celebrating 20 years of business in November 2020—especially in the midst of a pandemic and while juggling remote learning for two kids! LIDIA VARESCO RACOMA

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