Employee Spotlight — Melisa Weil

Melisa Weil

After more than a decade here at Page Design, Senior Art Direc­tor and Design­er Melisa Weil is a tal­ent­ed team mem­ber that every­one in the office knows and loves. And now, you have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to get to know her (almost!) as well as we do, because it’s her turn to be fea­tured in our Employ­ee Spot­light Series.

The Art Major that Was Almost a Medical Student

Mr Kaneko American River College
Car­i­ca­ture of John Kaneko, self-pro­claimed ten­nis god, with his favorite utter­ance, “Hey, man…!”  He was a well-known art and design teacher for many years at Amer­i­can Riv­er Col­lege, influ­enc­ing and inspir­ing sev­er­al decades of stu­dents. This design was cre­at­ed and worn by his stu­dents on the last day of class.

For those of us that know Melisa as a ded­i­cat­ed cre­ative, it’s always sur­pris­ing to con­sid­er that her career could have looked very dif­fer­ent if it weren’t for one per­son: a fun­ny, knowl­edge­able art teacher at Amer­i­can Riv­er Col­lege, Mr. Kaneko. Ini­tial­ly, Melisa was torn between art and sci­ence, find­ing her­self equal­ly pas­sion­ate about both. For a while, sci­ence had edged out a con­sid­er­able lead, and she was plan­ning to go into the field of healthcare.

How­ev­er, when she enrolled in a few art class­es at Amer­i­can Riv­er Col­lege, it wasn’t long before she was rethink­ing her future. Thanks to an incred­i­ble art teacher, who taught basic prin­ci­ples and graph­ic design, Melisa dis­cov­ered her pas­sion for the true hand­i­craft of graph­ic design. From paper and typog­ra­phy to a rain­bow of col­or palettes, she loved it all — and real­ized that it was the per­fect mar­riage of her cre­ative and tech­ni­cal skills.

Thirteen Terrific Years at Page (and Counting!) 

After her col­lege stud­ies prompt­ed her to pur­sue a decid­ed­ly cre­ative path, Melisa arrived at Page Design in 2007. When we asked her what it is that she loves most about being at Page, her answer was imme­di­ate: “The peo­ple are our secret sauce. We have a com­ple­men­tary col­lec­tion of super tal­ent­ed, hard-work­ing staff… and we also have a great base of clients that val­ues what we bring to the table. It’s a reward­ing exchange.” she explained.

When Melisa is knee-deep in a project, noth­ing moti­vates her quite like the poten­tial for a big reac­tion from a thrilled client. Whether it’s a new logo or a full-scale rebrand­ing, wit­ness­ing clients’ excite­ment over a com­plet­ed project nev­er gets old for her. Addi­tion­al­ly, one of her biggest pas­sions is typog­ra­phy, includ­ing the almost-lost art of prop­er type­set­ting, so she’s always excit­ed to see that rub off on her col­leagues. Her appre­ci­a­tion for the prin­ci­ples of good design are no secret, and serves as the basis of her per­son­al cre­ative phi­los­o­phy: “First and fore­most, in order to break the rules, you have to know what they are… A good foun­da­tion of graph­ic design prin­ci­ples and typo­graph­ic tra­di­tion would enable you to branch out and shake it up and be dif­fer­ent with some sub­stance behind what you’re doing.”

Over the years, Melisa has become some­what of a res­i­dent spe­cial­ist in tack­ling our biggest, messi­est projects with her trade­mark tal­ent for effi­cien­cy. She describes some of her most notable career mile­stones as the sit­u­a­tions in which a project has turned into a prob­lem, pre­sent­ing an oppor­tu­ni­ty to turn it all around and get things back on track. In her eyes, “The most impor­tant thing is to be a prob­lem solver. Skills can always be learned. To be suc­cess­ful,  you [have] to be will­ing, even eager, to embrace new things. Flex­i­bil­i­ty and growth is key because things change faster all the time.”

One of Melisa’s favorite Page Design projects was the brand­ing and mar­ket­ing for the grand open­ing of the Bet­ty Irene School of Nursing’s new build­ing at UC Davis. She was able to break the mold for the UC Davis brand while still hon­or­ing some of its sig­na­ture stan­dards, result­ing in a final prod­uct that she and the client were both delight­ed with. 

Finding Inspiration in the Everyday

Camellia flower

Like many of our cre­ative­ly-inclined employ­ees at Page Design, Melisa is always encour­ag­ing the rest of us to con­stant­ly keep our eyes open for inspi­ra­tion. Describ­ing her­self as a “super curi­ous per­son by nature,” Melisa has a knack for see­ing the artis­tic side of just about any­thing. Some of her favorite sources of inspi­ra­tion include sig­nage, build­ings, unique typog­ra­phy, and even nat­ur­al ele­ments such as flow­ers, plants, and trees. 

And Melisa doesn’t just seek out inspi­ra­tion with her eyes; she’s also con­stant­ly search­ing for new expe­ri­ences to expand her cre­ative hori­zons. Every New Year, she resolves to mas­ter a new skill or trav­el some­where new, and her love for learn­ing has led her to class­es for for­eign lan­guages, pot­tery, and even tap danc­ing. With that in mind, it makes per­fect sense that one of her favorite fic­tion­al char­ac­ters is the Ancient One from “Doc­tor Strange.” All-know­ing and tapped into the lim­it­less poten­tial of the human brain, the Ancient One is the ulti­mate rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the val­ue of seek­ing knowl­edge in Melisa’s eyes.

But as much as Melisa enjoys chas­ing down a new skill, she read­i­ly admits that some­thing as sim­ple as a good meal and a cold drink can often be just as invig­o­rat­ing. Pick­ing just one favorite local restau­rant is impos­si­ble, and Melisa can eas­i­ly rat­tle off a long list of excel­lent rec­om­men­da­tions for any­one that needs a new spot to try. Her top choic­es include La Vena­di­ta, Hook & Lad­derPara­gary, and Mayahuel, where she says you absolute­ly have to order a mar­gari­ta — and trust us, her mar­gari­ta rec­om­men­da­tions are always right on.

When a deli­cious din­ner and drink just won’t cut it, Melisa is always up for a quick get­away to the North Coast. After a long dri­ve up to Bode­ga Bay or the Sebastopol area on her trusty motor­cy­cle, she’s always ready to dive back into all things graph­ic design.

Looking Ahead to the Fun Challenges of the Future

Down the road, Melisa envi­sions plen­ty of excit­ing adven­tures — both pro­fes­sion­al­ly and per­son­al­ly. In her work with Page Design, she says, “Keep the diver­si­ty com­ing with the clients,” which is some­thing we’re all in favor of. Ulti­mate­ly, she gets excit­ed about a future that’s packed with diver­si­ty: new clients, new projects, and new chal­lenges to conquer.

Of course, nobody can be all work and no play. When her future self isn’t busy at the office, Melisa hopes that she can find a com­fort­able spot on a sun­ny beach. Her first choice would be the Caribbean, but she’d take a sandy shore just about any­where — though a deli­cious trop­i­cal cock­tail would be manda­to­ry. As for Melisa’s answer to the Employ­ee Spot­light Series’ infa­mous mil­lion-dol­lar ques­tion? With a win­ning lot­tery tick­et in hand, her extrav­a­gant pur­chase would be a very extend­ed vaca­tion to a remote, five-star island in the French Polynesia. 

But until then, we’re hap­py to report that you can find Melisa right here at Page Design. Our hope is that we can spend at least anoth­er decade or so with her, and that she’ll nev­er stop inspir­ing all of us with her con­stant pur­suit of knowl­edge, cre­ativ­i­ty, and the best mar­gari­ta in town.

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