Owner and graphic designer
how long in the design business
Stacy Claywell has worked in large agencies, boutiques, freelance and Latin markets in Philadelphia, Manhattan, Miami and Savannah for almost 25 years. She’s owned and operated her own design company since moving to Savannah a month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
her experience in the design world
“I went to an art school, Moore College of Art and Design and majored in graphic design. I started working my junior year in college at a major advertising agency in Philadelphia as a required internship, and it turned into freelance. In Philadelphia, I had the great opportunity of working in not only large agencies, but in boutique design firms with award-winning older designers who are extremely experienced and taught me the art of typography and the art of paper. Just going back to the basics of design really.”
“I basically interview the client for what they are looking for, who they’re trying to target and help them develop a brand and a marketing strategy. Then I really help them develop and work within their budget.” After the interview, she designs the overall concept and contracts workers to help her get the job done.
“I work with different PR people. I have a pool of copywriters that I work with. So I just pull in different resources depending on what suits the client.”
“I have a 10-year-old daughter named Zoe who is a little urban girl at heart. And Caleb is my son. He’s 12 years old, and he is an incredible young man.” There is no Mr. Claywell right now. “That’s a recent change of lifestyle.”
“That’s a loaded question. I am never closed. I think now, between cellphones and texting and Internet and email, people expect that immediate response. But, in theory, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week.”
who she designed for
“In Miami at Wunderman Cato Johnson on multi-cultural accounts there. I had clients from Microsoft, Sony and AT&T doing everything from package design to TV commercials, point-of-purchase, collateral pieces and everything and anything in between.” In Manhattan, Claywell designed for Ortho McNeil and Johnson & Johnson.
who she designs for today
After moving to Savannah, Claywell spread her business by word-of-mouth, picking up big-name and small-name clients around town, such as Telfair Museum, Bouhan + Falligant, Savannah Country Day School, JT Turner Construction and Savannah Philharmonic.
“I recently branded two brand new women-owned startup business. One is Department 7 on Broughton Street, the restaurant that went into the Tea Room. And Savannah Squeeze, the juice bar over on 64th Street. I helped her with branding.”
why she loves her job
Not only does she never have to miss her kids’ events, but “I’m a designer first and I’m so passionate about it. I love to come up with the big idea and solve the problem. It’s problem solving and just being able to see the creative work and the collaboration between myself and the client come to fruition.”
how she gets business
“It really has been word-of-mouth. I mean, fortunately, Savannah is a small town and people confer with each other. So the majority of my work has been word-of-mouth, and I take that as a huge complement.”
Mac or Microsoft?
“Mac. Mac all the way.”
tips for business coming to her
“They normally will come to me with their business plan, business strategy and some sort of wish list of we need a website, branding, business cards and letter head. And then I will help and guide them through the process.”
what else she is involved in
“I’m involved with Dancing with the Stars with the East Coast of Georgia. I’m paired with one of the dancing stars, and they set a goal for us to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s. The dancing is fun, but the fundraising has been really fulfilling. That has been extremely challenging. I’ve never ball-room danced a day in my life. I’m having an amazing time, and the pro that I’m paired with has been extremely patient.”
can’t leave the house without
“Sunglasses and Jacques the Yorkie.”
Compiled by Elizabeth Sheffield