Hello out there! My name is Katrina and I am the graphic designer for Connecting Threads. I started at Crafts Americana in January of 2012 as a non-quilter and pretty oblivious to the vast world of fabric. I have been a graphic designer for almost five years, but have never been in love with the subject/products that I work around like I am with Connecting Threads. I’ve come to appreciate and love the art of quilting and my fondness for fabric has grown exponentially. It might even be a bit dangerous as I can’t even walk by fabric without touching it now…
Here at Connecting Threads, I am primarily responsible for web graphics. This includes designing the weekly newsletters, creating launch graphics with each catalog cycle and refreshing the look and feel of ConnectingThreads.com. I also design the print ads and assist Jenna with “fabric glamours” and in-studio photography. There is always a lot to do, but I work with such a great team that it’s always a pleasure.
The main part of my job is designing the weekly newsletters that Connecting Threads sends out every Wednesday. I work a lot with Alisha on what to say, how to say it and where to say it, because let’s face it – I’m much better at making the words look pretty than I am at making them sound pretty! Even though I’ve been creating the emails on a weekly basis for over a year now, it never gets old. I have a lot of fun coming up with new concepts or “themes” to help tie in all of the elements of the email. It’s especially fun to create the holiday-themed emails and be able to come up with cute little characters to help get our message across.
With every catalog cycle, the website gets a refresher as well. We call these “launch days” since it’s when our new collections are “launched” live on the website for everyone to see. Just like the physical catalog, there is a lot of information and images that need to be created, proofed, added and uploaded. It takes a lot of us to get everything all set and ready for the customers. From turning products on so that they're available to buy, to making sure all the links are correct. Three departments (Connecting Threads, IT and Photography) come together to ensure that all of the requirements are met so our customers can see and appreciate all of the new fabrics, kits, tools, etc. that are new with each cycle. We’ve also been working on adjusting the aesthetics and usability of certain aspects on the website and implementing those changes as well. Since a good chunk of our company is online-based, we are continuously striving to make your experience online as enjoyable and convenient as possible.
If you read a lot of quilting magazines you might have seen some of our print advertisements. This year I started designing our print ads. Throughout college I was most fascinated with print design so I have a deep-seated love for paper. It’s a nice change of pace to go from web graphics to designing something that people can actually touch. The most enjoyable part of print ads is planning the photography. I’m given a general idea for subject matter and a message and then I’ll start making plans for photos. Unless, however, they’re kit-based – then it’s all Jenni’s expertise! Keeping in mind the time of year when they’ll be in the magazine, I develop color schemes and moods that will help depict the products or message we’re featuring.
In case you’re noticing a trend with the “Behind the Scenes” blog posts – we have a great work environment! While there are always a lot of things going on at Connecting Threads, I wouldn’t change it for anything! I love coming to work and enjoying the company of my co-workers. Everyone works hard, but there’s always time for a joke or giving someone a reason to smile. Plus, you know you’ve found a place to call home when you can proudly showcase your nerd-love and not get discriminated, but rather joined. Which is why these guys will gladly look upon me without shame while I work: