It’s been a
I currently run my own small design studio in NY (Jennifer Rozbruch Design) and work on a wide range of client projects – in particular, I focus on small business branding and life cycle event designs; I also create various self-initiated projects that I turn into salable products. Earlier this year, I began working with a very exciting new client – the Jewish Museum in Manhattan. As someone who is in love with everything curated by the Jewish Museum Shop (I can peruse the store for hours), I was absolutely thrilled to get the chance to work with them. I am currently designing new products for their store, as well as redesigning some of their existing merchandise.
In addition to my design business, I am still running GreyMatters, which was my thesis project in the SVA MFAD program. I’m proud to say that last year, GreyMatters was named the Winner of Fast Company’s “World Changing Ideas Awards” in the Apps category, and it is currently available for download in the App Store for the iPad. GreyMatters is an interactive life storybook app that helps people with dementia & their caregivers stay connected to one another and experience a better quality of life.
What are some of your favorite recent projects? How did you get involved with the Jewish Museum?
I’ve loved working on my latest designs for the Jewish Museum Shop. Most recently, I created two illustrated Rosh Hashanah cards, which are currently being sold as box sets exclusively through their store. The “Circle of Life” card pays homage to the traditional foods served during the Jewish High Holidays, exploring their naturally round shapes as a reflection of the circle of
My work with the Jewish Museum grew out of some of the Jewish wedding designs I recently created for couples getting married at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As a non-traditional wedding venue, the space essentially called for visuals everywhere (with an abundance of poster vitrines and screens), so I had a lot of fun branding the entire space with posters, graphics & other collateral. This project offered much room for creativity, curation, and allowed me the chance to take a fresh, quirky approach to wedding design. In particular, I enjoyed bringing a sense of humor & delight to age-old Jewish wedding traditions and breaking them down to their basics – everything from an illustrated, step-by-step Hora dancing guide, to modernizing classic Yiddish expressions.
Jewish culture & food have become a recent focus in my work without even really knowing it. For a recent self-initiated project, I decided to draw an alphabet made out of traditional Jewish foods, entitled “Nosh” (which means “eat” or “food” in Yiddish). I am now working to turn this alphabet into various products for adults and children. Working on these types of niche projects over the past few years led me to take a leap and present a focused body of work to the Jewish Museum, and a relationship was formed!
Which designers do you admire most nowadays?
Designers who manage to find a good balance between work and family! My greatest challenge since I had my kids is finding the right balance. As a mom of two little ones, I am grateful to have the flexibility of working for myself, but I’ve also learned that you have to get creative with how you maximize your time and energy – you just can’t give 100% on both ends. So I really admire designers like Deborah Adler, Tina Roth Eisenberg, Tamara Connolly, Joy Cho, and other successful designers/moms who run their own businesses and seem to have it all together. I also love the designs coming out of Ampersand Design Studio – they have created an amazing multidisciplinary shop with their colorful, modern graphics, and their products seem to be everywhere right now.
What keeps you inspired?
I always just try to keep my eyes open to my environment, keep sketching (my Moleskine is always with me), and consistently leave space in my practice for personal design work. I have many side projects that keep me excited – whether it’s drawing my Jewish food alphabet or designing each of my kids’ birthday party themes, I always try to make room for non-client projects that are meaningful and fun (and often these turn into commercially viable products that other people want to buy as well). I completely attribute this entrepreneurial design approach to my experience in the MFAD program! In addition, I’ve recently gotten back to my painting background, creating abstract watercolor ketubahs (Jewish marriage licenses) for many of my wedding clients.
What design trends are you into these days
What advice would you give incoming students
What is your favorite part of the MFA Design program
What impact has SVA MFA Design had on your career
And if I ever have a moment of self-doubt, all I need to do is think back to grad school for a little reassurance. It’s that feeling of, well, if I can spend an entire day standing in a steam-filled bathroom creating a stop-motion animation out of strands of hair on a shower wall, I guess I can do anything?
How has the program’s multidisciplinary approach helped you
If you could choose a thesis topic today, what would you pick
The Jewish Holidays are fast approaching (Sept. 29) – check out Jenny’s new Rosh Hashanah cards, now available at the Jewish Museum Shop! You can see more of Jenny’s design work at jennyrozbruch.com, and learn more about GreyMatters at greymatterstous.com.