Ranger Talks: let’s get creative!

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Welcome to our continuing series featuring interviews with the behind-the-scenes experts here at Earth Rangers! We’re excited to share stories and insight about the work we do directly from the source.

Meet Doriana Pressacco, graphic designer in the creative department here at Earth Rangers. Her work helps shape and define many of the things you SEE from us! Her talent is a fundamental part of our storytelling and community engagement!

Q. Tell us about your creative process as a Graphic Designer? How do you arrive at the end result?
A. It can vary so much. It depends a lot on the audience. Is it media made for kids? Is it something for our parents? My critical thinking changes depending on who we’re connecting with, but my approach is often the same: an idea, a mockup, and then execution. For larger projects, I find it’s better for me to block it out first and then move the elements around, like puzzle pieces, to find the right fit. If I start designing right away, I might potentially get attached to a piece that just won’t work in the end. The less energy you waste in the early stages is key. That way you save your creativity for the mid-way and end of the design, where projects really start to come together and shine.
Q. What kind of tools do you use? Do you have a favourite piece of tech? 
A. Most of my work is made digitally nowadays. I used to paint and draw a lot with real pencil and paper, but I’ve found that digital is more of a fit as my career has evolved. A huge chunk of my work comes from my iPad. I’ve tried a bunch of different tablets over the years, and the flexibility and speed that the iPad brings to my workflow is really great. Procreate is an amazing software that I use almost on the daily with Earth Rangers. 
Q. What are some of the design elements that make up the Earth Rangers brand? Can you point out some things to look for in the design?
A. Our brand stands out by being fun, friendly and colourful! When it comes to visuals, any animal picture that makes us smile is just right for Earth Rangers. A few of my favourite elements for our work is the use of outlines to emphasize important figures, and fun doodles to reflect the childlike wonder that we encourage in our members. They can sometimes be pretty subtle — try and look out for them!
Q. What are some specific projects you personally work on?
A. I work on our educator’s portal, ER Homeroom, and all of the super cool lesson plans and materials on that site. I was involved in our recent website revamp, putting together a collection of images that represent what we do here and all that we have to offer our audience (if you haven’t stopped by our website in a while to see the update, check it out!). I work on our communications and promotional material as well — this story you’re reading right now was put together by me!
Q. What drew you to the world of design?
A. My dad. He loved to paint when I was a kid and I ended up following him in that regard, because seeing his paintings around the house when I was young made me want to make some of my own. As I grew up and got more serious about making art, I learned just how much you can do in the creative industries and how much of society is actually touched by creative minds. I decided to invest in my craft and dedicate my professional life to it as well.  I love connecting with other people through art and design. Since we evolved as a species we’ve been drawing pictures for each other, singing songs, and writing poems. It almost feels like carrying on tradition, and it’s a part of being human.
Q. I think people believe designers work alone all day at their computer! How collaborative is your work?
A. Haha, sometimes it can be that way! But it’s a lot more involved than most people think. Every piece of media that you see has been seen and inspected through the eyes of so many people. Getting feedback from the other folks on your team is a really important part of the development of any project. It’s a chance for everyone to share new ideas that can benefit the piece. The design process is super collaborative, and there’s plenty of problem-solving and discussion involved.
Q: What type of design do you enjoy doing the most?
A. I really enjoy making illustrative content. My background is in illustration, and it’s what I do even outside of work — pictures just make everything better in my opinion. I love making youthful, colourful work that brings people joy.
Q: What do you tell people about the role of design in storytelling?
A. It’s incredibly important. People are visual creatures, and being able to tell stories and share information in a format that’s more digestible and engaging than a plain wall of text is pretty great. I’m always amazed by the impact that art has on people, and how we can connect a community through it. Everyone has their favourite books, movies, songs. Seeing the connections that Earth Rangers makes with kids and their families is something special. I love being able to craft important stories for them to cherish, through lessons about wonderful animals and our beautiful world.