July 28 2020
At TopSpot, we appreciate our Team Members and recognize their unique strengths. Each month, we showcase some of the great people we get to work with every day. Today, we are shining the Spotlight on Janette Guzman. Read on to learn more about this incredibly talented artist and see some of her amazing designs.
Meet Janette Guzman, Lead Web Designer
How long have you been at TopSpot and what do you do here?
I’ve been working at TopSpot for nearly 4 years (it’ll be 4 full years this fall!) and throughout that time, I’ve held 2 roles. I joined the (small but mighty) website development team as a Web Designer and 7 months later, I moved into my current role as Lead Web Designer where I manage a Team of 5 designers.
In this role, I work with the design team on all new website designs we create for our clients. My job is to make sure the new sites set each business up for success, have the clients’ goals at the forefront and drive more business. I also take part in creating internal tools and software that enhance the way our company provides insight into client relationships and organizational performance while finding data-driven ways to better our Team workflow.
What has been your favorite project since working at TopSpot?
I’d have to say my favorite website was the one we built for the non-profit, Formula4Success. They provide corporate ethical leadership training through online educational material to young professionals and aspiring CEOs. The curriculum brings in well-regarded leaders from various industries to capture the attention of the students with real-life lessons, story-telling and fast cars.
The website’s assets were top quality and cinematic, which made our job of harnessing the message to the key audiences of investors, teachers, and students really fun.
We were also given creative freedom on how to execute the site and were challenged to make the site feel high-end while staying within budget hour constraints and meeting timeline expectations.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
I have a background in and an affinity for both product and interior design. I love working with wood and coming up with concepts for products, but I really want to explore epoxy resin and build small furniture or functional decor with it. When I see a new epoxy website or client work come in, I get so excited and want to learn more. It’s such a satisfying process with great end results. It’s an art in itself that leaves me in awe and wide-eyed.
Growing up with a dad who is a hands-on maker that worked in construction, carpentry and as a truss designer, I learned how to map out ideas on paper and bring them to life with the use of power tools early on. Thanks, Dad!
Another skill I’d love to learn would be how to surf and snowboard. I loved extreme sports and watched them growing up, so that’s definitely on my bucket list.
Describe your ideal day outside of the office.
I’m a big advocate for personal fitness and love running, weightlifting, kickboxing cardio, hiking – anything that makes you move. A perfect day would be spent outdoors during the month of October, exploring a new trail in a new country overseas with my two huskies, Ryder and Leto, my boyfriend, and my family & friends. Or for an ideal day in the States, I’d travel to Florida and make a trek to Main Street and enjoy a Disney World and Universal vacation.
Who or what has influences your design work?
The way people navigate and move through the world influences the way I design. I’m also influenced by things just as much as people and processes. I believe you can be inspired by something as simple as a vinyl record or how someone holds a coffee cup; it can be the geometry of the object, the use, how the light reflects on it, or the problems that object poses for the person interacting with it. That’s a puzzle that design can solve.
Graphic designer, Stefan Sagmeister, has work that can give a visceral reaction. That really inspires me. Some of his most well-known works use typography with real-world elements to communicate a social message.
Classic animation foundations have also paved the way for how I look at a design problem and how my style has evolved over the years.
For example, the visual process of storyboarding helps explain the plot, conflict, and resolution all with captions, arrows, and signs for movement, splashed with strategic color to evoke emotion or tone. The layers of cel animation inspire the depth in my work, and how you build a product from the bottom up. It taught me to ideate, get comfortable drafting loosely, wireframe, and iterate, over and over again.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I love animation, especially cartoons and animated films. The first movie I saw in theaters was The Lion King, and as my mom tells it, I made them sit through all of the credits until the lights came back on. As we walked out, I told her I was going to ask Walt Disney if I could help him make movies and she’d see my name at the end of the next Simba movie one day. I wanted to grow up to be an animator that worked specifically on anamorphic films. But one thing Barbie taught me was that I wanted to be a woman with many hats. So that meant being a Disney animator that was also a dolphin trainer and SVU agent.
Here are a few things Janette’s Team Members have to say about her:
In the past 4 years, I have seen so much great work and truly outstanding examples of value that Janette brings to our team. She is always eager to grow in her role and as a leader amongst her team, and always willing to go the extra mile for her clients and team members. We are lucky to have her on the Team.Stephen Rifai, Janette’s Manager
Janette, your web designs are simply stunning. I just looked at your recent client website design, and I’m in awe! Your designs are always such great examples to strive for, thanks for always leading by example.
Thanks for proactively meeting with the developers to talk about things that we could do on both sides to make site creations more efficient, and where we all need to improve. Hopefully we will have more opportunities to be collaborative in the future!
Thank you for always being ready, willing and able to help me with the often random requests I come to you with. You are clever, kind and efficient, and I appreciate you!
Want to join our team and work with talented people like Janette every day?