Rachel E.S. Interview: Less Is More

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If you’ve watched a video game cover within the past few years, chances are you’ve come across Rachel E.S. She has worked with artists like RichaadEB, Crush 40, FamilyJules, insaneintherainmusic, and many more. In addition, she’s become a master of videography and photography, blending unique aesthetics with elegant simplicity. A jack-of-all-trades, Rachel shares her design philosophies as well as her favorite part of digital media design.

Less is more! Sometimes simplicity goes a long way.

How did you come to work with RichaadEB?

When Rich and I initially became friends in late 2015, one of the first things we bonded over was films and cinematography. One day when I was hanging out at his house, he lamented about having to edit a video. He didn’t like that aspect of his job which I found surprising, and I told him that I actually enjoyed editing! He also knew I was a photographer and asked if I would be willing to help him film a video. We quickly figured out we work well together; he asked me to help him design some merch, and the rest was history!

Did RichaadEB have a strong vision in mind when it came to branding/logos?

No, LOL. Rich is the most hands-off client I've ever had when it comes to design. He pretty much gives free range, for better or for worse, but he'll at least give me a theme or an example of what he wants to emulate.

What's been your favorite logo/merch/etc. that you've design for RichaadEB and why?

I like the new logo a lot. It's simple, but I really dig the vibe. I toiled away at it for a long time, making subtle adjustments, because I am a huge fan of the old logo. Jake McVey—it's original creator—is a way better artist than I am, so I hope I did it justice! And for the merch—the ones we haven't released yet! We've been sitting on them for a year, but hopefully by the end of this year we'll have some available! They are pure a e s t h e t i c.

Most people might know you from RichaadEB's channel, but what other artists (VGM or otherwise) have you worked with?

I’ve done design work and photography for the band Crush 40 and merch designs for LittleKuriboh. As far as the VGM community, I’ve personally worked with Sab Irene, Insaneintherainmusic, FamilyJules, and TeraCMusic. Not to mention all the video collaborations I've done through Rich's channel.

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If you could collaborate with any VGM artist, who would it be?

Oh wow...that's tough. I've been fortunate to work with a number of people within the VGM scene already. As far as composers go I would love to work with Tim Follin, but I think he's retired now. I'd also love to work with David Wise or Jake Kaufman—that would be so dope!

What's something that every VGM artist should know about digital media design?

Less is more! Sometimes simplicity goes a long way.

What are some of the biggest design mistakes that you see people making in the VGM community?

Sometimes, I think people stick too hard to staying “on brand”. Branding is important, but don't be afraid to experiment or change it up a little bit every now and then! Design is essentially building. You can stay “on brand” and still improve upon something, making it exciting and fresh!

What are some of the best designs you see in the VGM community?

I really love Little V Mills' thumbnails. This past year, he's really mastered the art. Also, Ace Waters is a master at video overlays, framing, 80s effects and ethereal album art, all things I aspire towards!

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What are some of your biggest pet peeves when it comes to digital media design?

Center alignment. LEFT JUSTIFY and RIGHT JUSTIFY ARE JUST AS VALID!

What's your favorite part of digital media design?

The Undo button.

What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?

Whenever we do collaborations with vocalists, those typically end up becoming some of my favorite videos—I love filming those shots! There's a couple of songs that I personally love that I'm really excited to have Rich put his own spin on!!

What's one thing that you want people to know about you?

I DON'T KNOW WHAT I AM DOING I'M JUST WINGIN' IT YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!! I also use to animate that's what I went to school for...I should probably do more of that someday—but it takes so much time!!!!

Also, here's a playlist of all the videos I'm most proud of: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8Wi84ZdAjtTv6zkyyGfRv2Mnr1MKwuOW

Rachel E.S.