Principal & Creative Director
Vita Associates – Los Angeles-based Marketing Design Firm Communicating Life’s Essentials
Jeanine is no newcomer to the IABC family. With more than 18 years of active membership, including board positions and receiving the highly coveted Communicator of the Year Award (COTY) in 1998, Jeanine epitomizes the caliber and breadth of knowledge and experience of a veteran IABC member. Driven by a refreshing spirit of commitment, ingenuity, and passion, Jeanine’s company currently produces IABC’s monthly LA Chapter meeting announcement post cards.
As principal and creative director of Vita Associates, Jeanine has a 20-year history of success working specifically with clients whose businesses serve the public interest. Under her direction, the firm has received numerous industry awards, including two IABC Gold Quills, and its work has been featured in such prestigious publications as Print magazine, HOW magazine, and U & lc typography journal. She earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in communications design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Jeanine worked as a designer for the renowned Pentagram Design in New York City before moving west to establish her own firm in 1986. Jeanine has taught graphic design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and is a guest lecturer at Woodbury University in Burbank, where she serves on the advisory board of the school’s graphic design program.
We had a chance to sit down with Jeanine recently and ask her about IABC, her profession, and her hobbies.
Q: What is best value of IABC membership?
A: Incredible networking and increased marketing communications savvy through professional development opportunities.
Q: What advice would you give prospective members?
A: What are you waiting for? Join and get involved, attend events, volunteer your talents and make value-added contributions to make your membership rich with personal and professional rewards.
Q: What is your greatest IABC accomplishment?
A: Receiving the Communicator of the Year Award (COTY) in 1998, which represents the culmination of so much hard work, learning and honing my craft, and providing measurable and recognized acclaim for my life’s work.
Q: What’s new at Vita Associates?
A: Our name! Many of you may know my company by a different moniker, Jeanine Colini Design Associates (JCDA). After 20-years in business, it was time for a revitalization of our company that resulted with the adoption of a new name, Vita Associates. “Vita” means “life” in Italian and what we do here is focused on “Communicating Life’s Essentials.” We believe that our new name signals a reaffirmation of our continued focus on doing just that. We also have a new website launch in our immediate future, www.vitaassociates.com
Q: What makes a marketing design firm great?
A: Great firms work hand in hand with their clients as true marketing design partners, demonstrating that they understand their clients’ challenges and objectives. They know how to partner with the client, and demonstrate their ability to synthesize all the information, grasping the dynamics and nuances of the client’s company quickly and comprehensively. They’re experts at providing effective communication-never design for design’s sake.
Q: What is the toughest part for clients to understand about the creative and design decision-making process?
A: It’s the ‘safe versus edgy’ balancing act. What is challenging is that design is a very visual medium; however, most clients are more verbally oriented. So the challenge is clear: translating words into visual messages and then selling clients on the visual creativity. This often requires getting them out of their comfort zone to make great choices that will propel their organizations.
Q: How do you explain the creative and design decision-making process to a client?
A: We start by explaining how the final product benefits the clients’ business objectives that the client and our team have laid out, underscored by mutual understanding and acceptance. It is essential to remember that design serves a business solution need – it is not about creating a fabulously entertaining design just for the sake of creativity. It is a golden opportunity to really meet business objectives based on succinctly outlined needs and present this in a greatly designed package. When this happens you have something really special!
Q: With the advent of online communications why do you think print communications are still relevant?
A: They both have a place, leveraging off one another to create a marketing mix with a greater potential to reach the targeted stakeholders. While online communication provides immediacy and timeliness, printed communication allows more in-depth information and has a tangible quality that underscores the organization’s stability.
No member profile would be complete without a personal snapshot of the behind-the-scenes member. When not orchestrating the day-to-day business of Vita Associates, Jeanine enjoys attending classical philharmonic concerts, and fine-tuning her own musical skills on the piano. On a different note, she also loves spending quality time with her canine friends-the official Vita Associates mascots. If you want to reach Jeanine, please call her at Vita Associates 323.344.4200, or email her firstname.lastname@example.org