Stephanie Ward, Creative Director.
A maker at heart, Stephanie carries a passion for all forms of visual communication as well as the belief that design should be simple, elegant, and accessible.
Stephanie is a creative force in the world of visual communication. With a strong background in fine art and years of experience as both an agency and freelance designer, Stephanie keeps a foot in both worlds by looking to create designs that are at once beautiful and effective. As the director of S4’s creative team, she pulls from the group’s diverse and unique skill set to push the creative capabilities to the next level and ensure that the visual output from Station Four exceeds all expectations.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Stephanie moved to Chicago when she was 18 to study fine art. After finishing her degree in Knoxville, she moved to Florida where she worked at several agencies for a variety of clients including art museums, tourism councils, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, food packaging, presentations for national conferences, salons, non-profits, and festivals. Today, she hails from Portland, Oregon where she lives with her husband, two dogs, and a nostalgia for the golden era of glitter and bad hair choices known as the 90’s.
Four Quick Questions
What's your personal design philosophy?
Sometimes design can be perceived as shallow or even manipulative (the public perception of advertising sometimes gives it a bad rap), but it has the capacity to have a lot of heart. There’s a lot of power in creating something that serves a purpose. Everyday I see design inspire people to consider a new perspective or join a movement and believe that taking that human element into consideration often makes a design concept stronger.
What makes you passionate about visual communication?
Because I come from a fine-art background, I’m familiar with the difference between art and design. Fine art gets to be vague and open to interpretation. Design is only successful when your audience understands the message perfectly. I like that it solves a specific problem, and as designers, we get to decide what to pull from our creative toolbox to get the job done. What initially attracted me to design was that ability to communicate with people in a new way.
Do you have any other creative outlets that you’d care to share?
All I have ever been interested in is art and writing. Before I found a focus in graphic design, I studied classical and contemporary drawing and painting practices. I also enjoy video production and animation. I’ve been writing novels since I was seventeen and I draw autobiographical comics about the embarrassing things that happen to me. Graphic design became the great uniter, as I’m surprised how often these oddball creative outlets get pulled from when working with clients.
Are you a part of any design organizations?
I was on the AIGA board in Jacksonville as Membership Director for 5 years and attended and briefly spoke at a couple national conferences. I met Chris, all of my friends, and my husband because of that organization.
Four Quick Facts About Stephanie
Loves “make your own
luck” card games
Sailor Moon and Dragon
Ball Z for life
Archie & Skips
The best office mates
one could wish for
n*Sync & Britney Spears
all day long