Mainland Senior Designer Emily Iammarino can often be found in a flow state at her standing desk, Airpods in, tinkering in Adobe as she shifts her focus between a laptop, a main monitor and one of three wall-mounted screens.
And if she’s not there, it’s because she’s out snagging photo and video collateral for a client’s new website.
The digital team at Mainland leverages their combined skillset to cook up the most creative solutions for any client need, all while staying at the forefront of industry trends. Iammarino takes care of all the creative needs for the agency: everything from building websites and producing social media ads to animating and editing video content.
Of course, there are the occasional print materials, too, though Iammarino also happens to design those digitally.
After graduating from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois with a degree in advertising and design, Iammarino received a real-world (and paid) cross-disciplinary education by working a variety of gigs in art direction, advertising, social media design and event marketing.
She began working for No Limit Agency as a social media designer in July 2017, and after just four months, she began taking care of a wide swath of the full-service agency’s creative tasks. In 2018, she was given the title of Senior Designer.
“It’s fun to work in digital because it puts my finger on the pulse. I feel like I’m working on something that is at the forefront of what’s happening now,” she says.
From the pulse to her finger to you, here are Emily Iammarino’s top three takeaways about what’s happening now in digital.
Video is king of all content.
“Video has become a big focus of Mainland in general. It’s the direction things are moving—everyone wants video,” says Iammarino. “We go and shoot video for our clients, and add it to their franchise development websites—people love seeing that.”
Between social videos, CEO Nick Powills’ new video-interview-podcast Life Drives Success and 1851 Franchise’s weekly Live To Tell series, No Limit Agency is pivoting to video internally, too.
“Video is easy to digest,” explains Iammarino. “When you’re scrolling through your feed, it’s not just a static photo; it stimulates you more. Even if you’re not that interested, you stop and watch.”
She pointed out the still-increasing popularity of instructional videos and vlogs which explain step-by-step processes like simple recipes and quick workout how-tos. “Video is helping people learn things more easily and quickly. It really jogs the brain,” she adds. “Video and social also go hand-in-hand. That’s what people want to see more than anything. Brands have to be innovative.”
Tell a story, but keep it simple.
Mainland builds a variety of websites for its clients, but its sweet spot is franchise development sites.
“What we hear more and more is the desire to cut down on unnecessary content,” says Iammarino. “More often than not, you don’t need a whole paragraph when you could shoot a video and wrap the information up in that. People want photos, videos, short reasons why they should buy in.”
She really means that first point about video content.
“When building a website, our approach has shifted a lot toward simple storytelling rather than complex information overload,” she says. “That’s really helped give our clients more of what they need right now.”
When designing in digital spaces, always keep compatibility in mind.
“We are finding more and more that people are opening our sites on their phones, which influences our design,” says Iammarino. “Remember that simple site you just made? Now you have to simplify it even more. That video you edited? Make sure its size fits correctly in all the places you’re putting it. Every social media site has its own specifications for sizing.”
This is why having a Senior Designer on staff really comes in handy.
“If you’re designing something for the internet, keep in mind it'll be seen on a tablet, phone and desktop; on the Facebook app, on Instagram, on Twitter,” says Iammarino. “You have to remember that the specifications they allow inside those mediums are always different.”
Speaking of which: Follow Mainland on social media to see some of Iammarino and the team’s work.