Pyramigo Profile: Suzanne Boretz

An interview with our designer

Posted: Nov 11, 2015

Every day we’re excited to come into the office. Not many people can say that. But we can, because we know the work we’re doing matters. We believe we can change the world. Each of us has a different story to tell, a different story about why doing good in the world matters to us. We thought we’d share it with you. Get to know the Pyramigos!

Fresh from the University of Washington, Suzanne Boretz’s passion and knack for designing for social causes drives her work at Pyramid. 

Tell me a little about yourself, Suzanne. 

I’m a relatively new designer at Pyramid. I’m really passionate about the nonprofit world and the way that design can communicate their message to people in an exciting way. I moved to Seattle so that I could go to school here.

You are definitely in good company! What are your favorite types of design projects? 

My background is mostly in print design; so I’ve made logos, symbol sets, brochures, and publications. However, over the past year I’ve picked up a lot of digital experience, including the Digital Publishing Suite in InDesign to make interactive digital publications and Processing, a coding language for designers. I enjoy mixing the two types of design, so for example, fine-tuning a graphic in Illustrator and then using it to contribute to a really smooth and interesting digital experience.

That’s quite the skill set. Why are you attracted to designing for nonprofits in particular?

Design can make people consider ideas they would not have considered otherwise, and that’s so important for nonprofits. Visual design is especially compelling because it can make you react suddenly in a way that words often can’t. For example, a photo can make you feel empathy for its subject. When that’s combined with all the other communications that Pyramid does (shout-out to all the amazing writers and strategists here!), it’s crazy powerful. 

It sounds like you really love designing for nonprofits. How did you arrive at an agency like Pyramid?

Last summer I interned at the Clinton Foundation, where I did graphic design work. It’s fun working with a big brand, but I wanted the experience of having more varied projects that an agency like Pyramid could offer. I’m passionate about special education and women and girls’ empowerment, and interested in conservation and sustainability. So Pyramid is a great marriage of my design skills and personal interests.

What was it like working at the Clinton Foundation?

It was incredible to be working in midtown in New York, and the people I worked with were insanely smart. That office also had some rad snacks. Plus, sometime the Clintons would walk by my desk—it was crazy. 

Did you meet Hillary Clinton?

Yes, I got to ask her a question about how she forms her opinions. I also almost rode and elevator with her once but her security kicked me out. [Laughs.] 

Suzanne kayaks the Hudson River during her summer in New York.
Suzanne kayaks the Hudson River during her summer in New York.

Too bad! Other than the Clinton Foundation, where else have you worked?

Before that I did odd jobs for an arts co-op called the Side Street Project in Pasadena and taught English in Colombia for a summer. 

What are you interested in outside of nonprofits and design? 

I love comedy, reading everything, and going all the places in Seattle I’ve still never been.

Do you perform comedy?

Yeah, I was on my college improv troupe, which was a blast. I still love watching improv and comedy TV, especially by my favorite ladies Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Amy Schumer. 

So you said that college brought you up to Seattle. Where are you from originally?

I’m from Upland, California, which is an hour northeast of LA. I love the Pacific Northwest so much, even the rain! I imagine I’ll probably move back to California to be near my parents eventually. I want to be able to swim in the ocean and camp by the beach.

It sounds like you really like the outdoors. 

I really do. I enjoy running and being outside. I ran a half marathon last year and hope to run a full one in the next year. For my first marathon, I ended up running through Leavenworth, which is a mini Bavarian town, and where our client Icicle Creek Center for the Arts is located! The whole marathon I was distracted by how cute the town was. [Laughs.]

That’s great. Okay, one last question. Is there anything else you want people to know about you?

I’m an outstanding dog-sitter. And I definitely accept payment in the form of gourmet sandwiches from Pear, or burritos from Los Agaves.