Designer Jenna Freitas on adapting to new trends & putting yourself out there

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Meet Jenna Freitas, Senior Brand & Editorial Designer at Her Campus Media—an online publication dedicated to college and GenZennial women. Jenna joins us to chat about adapting to new trends, designing for a younger generation, and putting yourself out there on social media.

Hello! My name is Jenna Freitas and I am a natural-born creative, type-geek, and gif lover working as a graphic designer in Boston, Massachusetts.

  1. You're Doing F**king Great.

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What do you work on at Her Campus Media?

My role at Her Campus Media is Senior Brand & Editorial Designer, which means I mainly work on design projects related directly to Her Campus Media’s brand, the brands we have recently acquired, along with all of our editorial platforms and social channels. Being in this position means having a strong pulse on the design trends our audience is most currently resonating with.

It’s so interesting to see the shift from designing for Millenials, to now moving our focus to the Gen-Z audience.

It’s so interesting to see the shift from designing for Millenials, to now moving our focus mainly to the Gen-Z audience. One of my favorite things about being a designer is having to adapt to these design trends—it certainly keeps me on my toes.

What kind of design projects do you love working on most?

I love working on projects that really push me out of my comfort zone. I just recently redesigned one of our survival kit boxes we send out to our Chapter Network. It was such a fun challenge thinking of ways to make a box that gets mailed out, beautiful—and not necessarily one you want to throw away. I think that’s always a goal of mine—how can I make this thing have a long life-span?

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Survival Kit Box Design — Jenna Freitas.

One experiential project I am most proud of was a back-to-school shopping hub designed in collaboration with Walmart. I also work a lot with our internal team on Her Campus shop merchandise and original social graphics. In a world where we are so quick to “repost” something, it’s always refreshing to be the one to have that first unique idea.

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‘Dreams are Built in a Dorm’ Landing Page—Jenna Freitas.

Some advice for newer designers

DM your heroes. I’m serious. Reach out to them. This sounds crazy but we are so lucky to have social media as a platform to connect to all these people we admire. I actually met someone at an event, followed them on Instagram and eventually asked them if they would be willing to give me feedback on my portfolio. It sounds scary, but they actually responded and took the time to review my work.

It doesn’t hurt to reach out! Put yourself out there, and remember that the worst thing that could happen is not getting a reply back. Don’t be offended, social media IS a place to network—so take advantage of it.

Put yourself out there, and remember that the worst thing that could happen is not getting a reply back.

Another thing is to be proactive about your portfolio. I found that all the work I liked the best of mine was mainly passion and side projects. I made a point to spend time updating my portfolio before applying to jobs to have work that was relevant to that job–and sometimes that just meant filling the gaps in my portfolio with interesting side projects I did on my own time.

On what it means to be a successful designer

Success means something completely different to everyone. I think to me personally, it’s more than just the monetary value of it. I like to find true meaning in my work—whatever that may be. A successful project may be something that #1. Brings me joy, #2. Brings someone else joy, #3. Has a greater social impact. I am grateful to be working in a field where I am actually excited about going to work every day, and not everyone is lucky to have that.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t designing, I would most likely be coaching college field hockey! I have been playing field hockey since I was in 6th grade, and it has always been a life-long passion of mine. When I first graduated college, I actually took a two-year job as an assistant coach for a local college close to my home. It was such a rewarding job! I know for a fact that that is where I would still be today if I didn’t pursue my career as a designer.

Fun Facts!

  • Favorite design tool: Adobe Illustrator
  • Coffee or tea? Coffee, Iced.
  • Favorite font: They are like my children. I can’t just pick one! Right now it’s Neue Metana—that’s just because it’s the last font I downloaded and I am so excited to use it.
  • What you listen to while working: When I’m really in the zone, I like to jam to Maribou State, but normally I am very loyal to Aly & Aj and love everything about their recent comeback.
  • Who’s another Dribbbler you admire? Monique Aimee—Her color palette selection is #goals.

Want to keep up with Jenna? Find her on Dribbble, Instagram, and at jennafreitasdesign.com.


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