Breckenridge graphic designer owns Letter H Studio
May 11, 2016
Heather Nordquist, 35, is a longtime local graphic designer and owner of Letter H Studio. The Breckenridge resident opened her own graphic-design business three years ago right after coming back to Summit after an around-the-world trip with her husband, Brian.
The couple traveled to places such as Australia, Southeast Asia and Canada and hiked through the Patagonia region in South America.
After returning to Breckenridge, she decided it was the perfect time to start a new career, as she had left her previous job to spend 18 months out of the country.
"It was a good turning point and good opportunity for me to start my own business," she said. "I had always wanted to do graphic design, and I'd been on the client side of marketing for so long, that I wanted to get back on the creative end."
She started Letter H Studio and began taking projects first from friends, such as wedding invitations and announcements, before branching out to take other clients.
"It's such a great community of people here," she said. "Once you put the word out that you are doing this new thing, it was amazing the reception and excitement and workload that people just sent my way."
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Summit Daily News: Where could people have seen your work before?
Heather Nordquist: I do a lot of work with Keystone, their traditional ads and some other local businesses. I also have some international clients — I've worked with Holland before and some East Coast. Graphic design you can pretty much work anywhere, which is so great. … I use Adobe Creative Cloud, so everything is online, and I can access it from anywhere. … I also do the posters for KSMT.
SDN: How did you first get interested in graphic design, and what type of background do you have in the subject?
HN: My degree in college is graphic design. I really enjoyed design in college, and, just growing up, I always loved fashion and interior design. I was very attracted to good design — when you see a really good ad or a great package design or some kind of great product, I'm really drawn to something designed well. … That's inspired me to get into graphic design. I studied abroad my junior year of college, and I went to England and studied at a design school over there. That was a really great experience. They had a huge letter press workshop. I love letter press, it's such a beautiful craft, so we a lot of letter press work and typography. It's really inspiring to work in an international — especially the European, London — community; I think they have some really great designers, and they are just surrounded by amazing design over here.
SDN: What type of graphic design work do you enjoy most, and why?
HN: I like solving problems for a client. They come to me with an initial design they've worked with before and really taking it to the next level and communicating their strengths and what they have to offer to their customers. Really solving problems is a challenge, and it's fun, and it's my favorite part of the job. … Solving their problem and making the ad or the design or branding or logo very readable and approachable and customized to what they need.
SDN: What inspires you?
HN: Traveling is a good one. I love being outdoors. … Cities have a lot of things to offer sometimes, as well. Whether it's going to museums or just being out on the street and going to different markets, things like that. There's so many colors and textures out there. It's good just to get out from behind my computer and explore. I also love fashion and interior design. … It inspires me to do different things or use different textures or colors together.
SDN: How long have you lived in Summit, and why did you move here?
HN: I moved here in 2002, almost 14 years ago. I moved here to ski. I'm from Seattle originally, and that's where I grew up and had never been out to Colorado before. A friend from college and I just decided to move to Breckenridge just to ski for a season, one season. That turned into two seasons, and now I have a house and a husband, a business — it's crazy.
SDN: What advice would you give to aspiring designers?
HN: Go for it. It's definitely nerve-wracking running your own business because you are the only one responsible for it, but, if you want to get started, just start with little projects. If I friend needs some help or if you know a nonprofit organization that needs some help with design work, just jump in if you are passionate about it. Definitely fulfill your dreams or you are not going to do it, and there's no better time than now to start.
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