Five from H5

Five from H5

Our work is only as good as our team. Fortunately Agency H5 is packed with passionate people who each possess their own one of a KIND spark. Welcome to the 5 From H5 series, where an agency expert shares tips for upping your work game.

Behind the scenes of Agency H5’s most innovative branding, website and creative is the design team, who juggle project after project to pack a punch for virtually every client on our roster. Graphic Designers Mollie Starnes and Allie Pietro are both integral parts of this team, and spend each day elevating client campaigns, capturing agency culture and staying on top of the latest design trends.

Mollie and Allie gave us a peek into how they start their day strong to stay inspired, providing a little inspiration of their own along the way…

  1. Podcasts and Playlists

Why wait for inspiration to strike until you get to the office? This duo likes to get their creative juices flowing on their commute.

“I like Design Matters by Debbie Millman, as a podcast for whenever I need some design motivation,” says Mollie. “I loved the one where she interviews Michael Bierut on the creation of Hilary Clinton’s logos for the presidential race. It was all about simplicity and why that is so essential in creating a logo.”

Not into podcasts? Try a new playlist – your favorite music apps make it easy. “Spotify’s ‘Have a Great Day!’ playlist is amazing,” says Allie. “It has a great range of throwbacks from 80s, 90s and early 2000s.”

  1. Staying in The Know

Anyone in the marketing world has their favorite news apps to scan each morning. Which sources are best for a graphic designer?

“My go-to is AdAge,” says Allie. “I’m a sucker for a good marketing campaign.”

“I get notifications from CNN,” says Mollie. “But I always look at Yahoo’s homepage for quick news alerts. They have a nice mix of pop culture and regular politics that seems pretty neutral.”

  1. The Right Morning Fuel

You’ve heard it a million times before: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This couldn’t be more true for Mollie and Allie, who have found the right fuel to help them get through their morning feeling accomplished.

“I love toast in the morning with tomatoes and cream cheese,” says Mollie. “I also love a cortado coffee, but I’m trying to work on my water intake – so I’m cutting back on that.”

Not unlike Mollie, Allie starts her day with “a nice cup of coffee… or two!” Clearly a love of caffeine is something many designers and marketers have in common.

  1. Prioritization Is Key

It’s too easy to let the morning get away from you if you don’t have a system in place. With so many different design projects on the docket, prioritizing activities from the get-go is how this team likes to kick off the day.

“I always check our design tracker first thing to see what projects are pending, upcoming or out for review,” says Mollie. “Then I’ll open Illustrator or Photoshop, but Illustrator is my top pick for most design projects.”

Allie’s advice is tried-and-true, but often overlooked. “I start by making fresh to-do list every Monday for the week ahead,” she says. “It’s the best way to stay organized.”

  1. Getting Inspired

When it comes to getting inspiration for the client work ahead, both Allie and Mollie agree on the one place they turn to as they sip their morning coffee.

Designspiration!” says Allie. “We love to scroll through the site to get our creative juices flowing.”

What part of your morning routine makes you feel the most accomplished?


About Mollie Starnes

As H5’s Creative Designer, Mollie applies her artistic skillset to a variety of accounts including Merci Chocolates, Master of Mixes, Pampered Chef and Inspired Interiors. Mollie’s experience in web and print design, photography and branding along with her fresh and creative approach produces high-quality and engaging work for her team and clients.

About Allie Pietro

Allie is a creative who has a love for advertising and branding, drawn to clean & simple aesthetics. She enjoys cooking, eating ice cream (even in the winter), traveling and photography – often of food from different restaurants she frequents throughout the city of Chicago. Her favorite part about working at H5 is the fun and welcoming culture accompanied by the office yoga sessions!