Featured Studio

Nice People

March 2019

We recently caught up with Creative Director & Designer Amber Asay of Nice People! Amber tells us about how they've been getting more and more celebrity clients due to their proximity to Hollywood, we discuss gender equality in the industry, and we learn about the meaning behind the studio name and the culture and lifestyle they're fostering with their new studio model.

Did you have a plan for graduation and what actually happened?

When I graduated from design school, I had lofty goals of running off to NYC and getting a design job at a cool studio like RoAndCo. I ended up going to Florida instead, which didn’t have much of a design scene and rooted myself there for a bit. One of my professors said it’s better to be a big fish in a small pond because you become more memorable and wear more hats, and that was what I decided to make of my situation that I landed in. Since then I moved back to California and continued to push myself and pave my own design career without the New York life that so many designers dream of. New York isn’t the only way!

How did you name your practice and what does the name represent to you?

Nice People is a nod to all the horrible bosses we’ve worked with in the past. It’s a rebellion against the boys’ clubs out there, the competition some creative directors would push for, and the 9 to 5 life that not all creatives were built for. We’re trying to set up a new model for creative studios. One that allows for flexibility, leaves room for creativity, and has a rule for only working with nice people.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

We’re a full service design studio that likes to look at the big picture for brands and implement that in several stages, from strategy to branding to print to web. We love working with businesses big and small and are constantly trying to push clients to step outside their comfort zone and commit to something that resonates with their audience. Because that’s when memorable experiences happen.

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I love the idea of taking a talented student under my wing and having them turn into a creative asset to work with in the future.

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How does the local culture of where you live affect your design work and getting clients?

The nice thing about living in LA is that there really aren’t a lot of branding studios here. It’s mostly advertising agencies. So in that sense, we don’t get too much competition when clients want someone local. Since we’re close to Hollywood, we’ve been getting more and more celebrity clients, which is a very specific niche for our area and pretty fun too!

What’s your take on internships? (do you take interns now?)

As a studio, we fully believe in paid internships and hope to be able to take on a student intern in the future. We also realize there is a training investment involved in the process, which is why we don’t have the capacity for it now. But I love the idea of taking a talented student under my wing and having them turn into a creative asset to work with in the future. We live close to Art Center which is a huge hub of creative students and even go to the occasional recruitment event to see the amazing talent over there.

Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?

I think the design industry is turning towards being more women inclusive. I heard a crazy statistic the other day that there are only 12% of women in leadership roles in design. Because of that, women are leaving those places and becoming independent designers. Starting Nice People is my goal to help change that.

Website: nicepeopleco.com

Instagram: @nice.people.co

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