Tessie Jones Schwanke, graphic designer and photographer here at Smartpress, works on a variety of different design projects every day.
Originally from West Fargo, North Dakota, Tessie moved to the Twin Cities after graduating from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a BA in Art and Design with a focus in photography, as well as a minor in Mass Communications. Originally pursuing a photography internship, her friend saw a job opening at Smartpress, and the rest is history!
Tessie has been working here for six years, and originally started out as a Customer Service Representative. She loved helping people figure out how to successfully submit and receive their print jobs, but wanted a way to express and exercise her creativity. When the graphic designer position was created, Tessie quickly applied and accepted the position after four years of being a CSR.
A day in the life of Tessie is unpredictable. She may help with the design of the website, create in-house marketing pieces, help with client work, or take pictures of print jobs to feature on the website. Tessie can be found anywhere!
“I love the variety. I can sometimes work on print pieces, web graphics, and add the photography into the mix (which was my first love). It’s been nice to have the balance.”
Because we are ever growing and constantly keeping up with the industry, Tessie comments about how much fun it is to experiment with new technology – especially our new motion cutter – and how that has pushed her to be a better designer.
“I’m always doing something new. Thanks to our new technology, I am encouraged to push the envelope, think outside the square piece and design more unique things. It is all about not settling.”
One way that Tessie has had the greatest impact has been through our Customer Outreach Program. She searches through all print jobs that go through Smartpress, picks the most impressive pieces, and contacts the designers to request the ability to showcase their design. After approval, Tessie works on the release forms, recreates the job in our warehouse, and photographs it. It is then showcased in blog posts, category pages, or somewhere else on our website.
“I’m definitely drawing inspiration from the customers’ print jobs. I’m always looking at the best of the best.”
Tessie firmly believes that Smartpress is different in many ways, but most specifically through our staff.
“There are a lot of things that set Smartpress apart from others. We get you because we are you. We get designers and think like designers because we are designers. We are always catering to the customer’s need because we are that person. We are part of the group we are serving.”
When not designing, Tessie donates her time and services photographing charitable organizations. She loves hanging out with her husband and their dog, Lola, as well as traveling around the country looking for the perfect shot of what nature has to offer.