The IT Creative Services group is responsible for providing a comprehensive range of services in visual communications and resources to support Berkeley Lab’s mission. Creative Services is well known for their artful design and illustration products such as branding and identity packages, book and brochure layouts, posters, exhibits, and presentations. They also support photography, web development services, video production, printing, and more.
Meghan Zodrow, Graphic Designer, is one of the newest recruits to join the Creative Services team. A creative problem solver with a passionate curiosity for learning, Meghan’s multifaceted background in a wide array of design mediums and disciplines is an important factor when it comes to working with the Lab’s own diversity in research and organizational needs. With about a year of Lab experience under her belt, we’re checking in to learn more about Meghan and what she’s been working on since starting her role in April 2022.
What is your professional background and what inspired you to work at Berkeley Lab?
I’ve worked in the graphic design industry for almost 20 years. After completing my Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, I landed various brand management and design roles before spending over a decade as a Senior Graphic Designer at a Mill Valley company where some of our clients include big names like Nescafé and Coffee Mate. As I reached the peak of my role, I knew I needed to look for other opportunities if I wanted to continue growing and branch out from commercial and corporate work.
The incredible level of scientific research at the Lab was a huge draw for me. Knowing that I would be supporting discovery science and solutions for global problems brings greater joy and meaning to my work.
I was confident in joining Creative Services under leadership by Caitlin Youngquist, Art Director and Berkeley Lab Brand Manager. Cait ensures that we’re always communicating about the latest projects and updates while still keeping our work fun. We’re a tightly knit team and highly collaborative within IT and across the Lab. I also love the atmosphere of learning and constant development that is so prevalent at the Lab. I stay on top of technological advancements impacting the creative industry and am always looking for new and better ways to improve my workflow. Completing my UX/UI Certification through UC Berkeley in 2021 was a really great way to refine my professional skills in an increasingly important area of user experience/interface design for the web.
You were selected to support the Berkeley Lab Design System (BLDS). Can you tell us more about this project and your contributions?
It’s been really exciting to work on the BLDS project. The new design system is a multi-year effort to improve the overall web experience for all visitors and users of public-facing Lab websites, including addressing inconsistent navigation and alignment with modern responsiveness and accessibility standards.
It’s special to be part of such a huge project that so many hands have touched. The IT Division and Creative Services are responsible for managing our enterprise technology needs, ensuring compliance with IT policy, and, of course, providing the Berkeley Lab brand standards and visual guidelines needed for the new system. Our partners include Strategic Communications, the Smith & Connors (S&C) design company, and all of the Lab staff who supplied data and input from their respective organizations.
Since joining the Lab last year, I began contributing my design skills to the web project by first working with Smith & Connors. Now with the team, I am helping to roll out the BLDS to Areas, Divisions and projects at LBNL. I work closely with all parties involved to ensure that IT Creative Services is meeting the customer’s needs while staying true to our latest design principles. Currently, I’m working with the Energy Sciences Area office and the Chemical Sciences Division to develop their new websites using the BLDS. I am also currently helping to develop the new Physical Sciences Area website.
It’s fascinating to watch the evolution of the Lab web environment in action as different groups at the Lab are adopting the new design system to suit their research portfolios and organizational requirements. I’m looking forward to continuing to support the future of design at Berkeley Lab!
Do you have tips for Lab staff who are interested in working with Creative Services and/or getting started with the BLDS?
We receive a good number of requests and questions regarding Creative Services and the extent of services we offer. We’re here to help with all types of questions related to visual communications and design. If we can’t support your request for any reason then we can point you in the right direction or refer you to one of our trusted vendors. Learn more about the Creative Services workflow.
Scheduling our time is critical, especially when you have a high-priority or time-sensitive project. Once we know your needs, we help you determine the scope of work, the project budget, and the schedule. Our services are billed via the recharge model to ensure quality services at equitable pricing. on our website. Submit project requests and inquiries using the Creative Services Request Form.
The Berkeley Lab Design System is separate from the Creative Services process. Whether you want to create an entirely new website, adapt an existing site, or integrate specific components, the best place to start is blds.lbl.gov. Once you’ve had a chance to review the basics of how to Use the BLDS then you can become further acquainted with the system using the helpful library of How-to Videos. If you’re ready to start a BLDS project or just have general questions about the system, please send an email to the IT Help Desk.
What else do you enjoy spending time on, when you’re not crafting beautiful websites and user experiences at the Lab?
Before the world flipped upside down, I loved going to the movies and enjoying spending time with family and friends. I love to travel, especially to national parks like Yosemite, and New Orleans is also a favorite. I’m hoping to have the (not quite annual) meet-up trip with some dear friends in Europe for a holiday soon. I’m an avid photographer, love to cook and to bake — trying to carry on the legacy of my paternal grandmother who was legendary for her baking (at least in my family). One of my favorite shows is the Great British Baking Show. I like a good problem to solve and I’m fascinated by true crime/murder mysteries. From Agatha Christie to podcasts, I’m an armchair detective on the side.
- Connect with Meghan Zodrow on LinkedIn >
- View Meghan’s professional design portfolio >
- Learn more about the Berkeley Lab Design System >
- Visit the Creative Services website >
- Submit project requests and inquiries with the Creative Services Request Form >
Read more IT Staff articles: