Jessica Walsh, a 32-year-old entrepreneur who broke all the stereotypes to become one of the most successful women graphic designers in the world. She is by profession an art director, illustrator, teacher,and partner at the New York-based design firm, Sagmeister & Walsh.
Walsh was born on October 30, 1986, in New York and was raised in Connecticut. Her passion for designing was evident from the age of 11 when she taught herself coding and website designing. Her innate curiosity made her download the cracked version of all kinds of graphic, 3D software, and flash. She even did freelance web works for individuals and small businesses when she was in high school. She attended the Graphic Design course at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). After graduating from RISD in 2008, she moved to New York where she joined as in intern in a famous design firm, Pentagram.
Before joining Pentagram, she apparently rejected a graphic design job offer by Apple. It was a brave step for a fresher just out of the college. But her urge for experimenting made her deny the role. “I would’ve been making a lot of money at Apple, and it would’ve been a safe bet for my career. But I also would’ve only been doing one thing i.e. working on a specific section of their website or a specific area of branding. I wanted variety and challenge, not safety,” Walsh reflects on her decision.
She then worked as an associate art director at Print magazine and her illustrations were featured everywhere from various books, magazines to newspapers including The New York Times. So far it was all hunky-dory and she was excited about her work getting recognition. But, the turning point of her career came when she met Stefan Sagmeister in 2010, another successful name in graphic designing. Her future business partner Sagmeister had high-end clients including Lou Reed, the Rolling Stones, David Byrne, HBO etc. He recounted that he had no intentions of hiring anyone when he had first met Jessica. But her talent impressed him and he ended up offering her a job. Later, recognizing her amazing ideas and creativity that she brought on the table every day, she was made a partner in the design studio and it was then named as Sagmeister & Walsh. The creative agency is known for creating spectacular designs and specializes in brand identities, campaigns, social strategy and content creation, commercials, websites, apps, books, environments, and more. As a partner in Sagmeister & Walsh and an art designer, she along with her team designed the visual content for the latest Frooti campaign, India’s oldest and most loved Mango juice brand, created concepts for campaign for Aïzonedepartment store, launched ‘Sorry I have no filter’, a huge online store that raises money for the agency’s non-profit feminist initiatives, Ladies, Wine & design etc. are a few example of her incredible works.
Jessica is also a vivid blogger who is famous for her blog 40 Days of Dating, which was a dating experiment she carried out with a fellow designer, a travel enthusiast, a brilliant photographer, a social media activist and what not.