Meet the Designer: Jill Zielinski

Jill Zielinski aka” Kniterella”

If you’ve seen my DIY specials, listened to my podcast mini-series or read either the Craft Corps book or website, you know how much I love to interview creative, interesting people.  I also love giving a forum for fellow designers to shine. It’s been a while since I’ve shared one of these conversations on this blog, but I’m thrilled to be able to do so today with the lovely and talented knitwear and graphics designer, Jill Zeilinski. Enjoy! –Vickie

VH: You’ve said that you’re favorite graphics projects to work on are knit-related. Why is that?

JZ: My two passions are knitting and graphic design, so anytime I can combine the two I’m one happy graphic designer! In addition to my freelance graphic design business, Jill Zielinski Designs I also have my knitting related business, Knitterella so I have a good understanding of the fiber industry and that makes me feel like I’m the best graphic designer for the job!

VH: You’re both a graphics and knitwear designer. In what ways, if any, are the two processes similar to each other? Do you ever find that your graphics background helps you when designing a knitted piece?

JZ: I’ve discovered that they overlap quite a bit. As far as my freelance graphic design business, I find that at some point all knitting/fiber related businesses will need a graphic designer. Not only for logos and ads but also for pattern layout, book design, charts and schematics. As far as when it comes to designing my knitting patterns, being a graphic designer totally helps me in that area as well. It’s a huge bonus to be able to do all your own pattern layouts, charts, etc. There are no limitations! Not to mention it saves time and money if you don’t have to hire someone else to do it.

Jill’s hat AND layout design for pattern.

VH: Is there anything that makes your graphics-designer-eye twitch when you visit yarn-related websites and blogs?

JZ: Pixelated images! That really makes my eye twitch.

VH: For all the aspiring, indie knitwear designers out there do you have any tips for choosing the right direction for their logos?

JZ: There are two things that I can’t stress enough when giving graphic design advice to knitwear designers and that’s the importance of a strong logo and professional photography. Although I know a logo can seem pricey you have to keep in mind that this is the most important piece of graphic design you will invest in. A strong logo is the first impression of your business and will help you stand out from the rest. Therefore, a good logo is a must! The second is to use professional photography to showcase your knitting patterns. Everyone appreciates a pretty picture and good photos can make any pattern look better and sell better too!

The logo Jill designed for my charitable organization.

VH: What projects–graphics, knitting or otherwise– are you currently working on?

JZ: I’ve really found my calling! Turning my original graphics into colorwork knitting feels totally natural to me. I really enjoy experimenting with graphic motifs, patterns and colors. My Mojavé pattern is a perfect example of this. You’ll see a lot more colorwork designs coming from me this year and next!

Mojave Scarf

VH: I love that one — I just added it to my “Azteca” board on Pinterest! Beautiful job, and absolutely on trend for the season.