Meet Our Team: Monie Arreola, Graphics Reviewer
Today we’re catching up with our print and graphics template reviewer, Monie Arreola. Monie has a background in graphic design, and is highly experienced in the world of print publishing. She’s worked as a freelancer, as well as in advertising agencies, book publishers, and more! Monie is a true creative: she’s always been drawn to art and visual media.
Learn more about Monie’s role at Envato, how the review process at Envato works, and her tips for graphics Authors!
I want to say a big thank you to all of our Authors. You put your time, effort, and dedication to create and submit great products for people to use on their projects all over the globe.
Monie Arreola Graphics Reviewer: Print & Publishing, Envato
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I am a graphic designer with over 12 years of experience. I’m currently studying illustration. I’ve always been attracted to creating things. Over the years it’s been a mix of drawing on my bed sheets, sewing clothes for my Barbies, or editing HTML code for my Myspace page!
I’ve been very lucky to meet great people, teachers, and friends who guided me to explore different design niches like editorial design, branding, video editing, and even web design. This led me to work in advertising agencies, a book publisher, retail e-commerce, and have my own projects as a freelancer and lettering artist.
Although I enjoy mixed media, print projects have been a constant in my career, from flyers to magazines, event dressing to textbooks, children’s books, and even an encyclopedia. Each of them has a special charm!
How did you get started with Envato? What was your first interaction with Envato like?
I found Envato when I freelanced for an advertising agency. I used Elements regularly to search for stock images to complement my projects, and I loved how easy and complete the content was. So when I had the chance to be “on the other side” of the platform I was thrilled.
Describe your role at Envato. What do you do day to day?
I spend most of my time in the queues checking submissions to make sure they fit our library’s standards so we can offer quality templates and a wide variety of designs to the customers. It is a mix of curation to select new products and technical reviewing of the files.
I download the folder and inspect the editable files, I pay special attention to the layout composition, usability, originality of the content, the formats, the layers organization, the color profile, and the attributes applied to each asset to corroborate they have enough resolution to be printed. Then I check the links provided to any resources needed to edit it.
I am very detail-oriented, and I love finding out the way each Author works and their techniques to produce a great template.
All of this has the objective to make sure every item meets the requirements to be produced by anyone everywhere. I also keep an eye on the Author’s accounts and their submission behavior to avoid resubmission of rejected items or stolen designs.
Additionally, I review the Print application portfolios to become an Elements Author.
A good item meets the graphic and technical requirements, but a great design jumps out of the page.
Monie Arreola Graphics Reviewer: Print & Publishing, Envato
Are there any common frustrations someone in your role faces?
In general, I wouldn’t say I get frustrated while reviewing print submissions. Sometimes it can be a bit hard when the queues are spammed with very similar items, products that have already been rejected and were not improved, or that don’t follow at all the category’s requirements.
What or who inspires you?
Inspiration comes very easily, I grew up collecting CDs and reading the booklets while listening to it in my Discman. I actually still do it! Looking at every detail of the layout or packaging, watching music videos, the illustrations in concert posters… what a delight!
I am constantly inspired by my friends, who are all very creative, whether they are graphic designers, illustrators, wayfinding designers, florists, architects, or even psychologists.
Talking about trends, vlogs, podcasts that host creatives, our own projects and perception of any subject leads me to open my mind to new possibilities.
To avoid burnout I have a few activities that also stimulate my inspiration, like sewing, illustration, and traveling to new places. I just let myself be amazed by anything and allow my inner child to have fun.
How do you keep up to date with the latest graphics trends?
Usually by surfing the web looking at other artists’ portfolios and analyzing how they managed to develop the projects, the tools and techniques they used, their perspective of a subject and how it evolved to that piece, and finding out what or who they were inspired by.
I don’t only stick to print trends but try to research fashion, video, and technology.
Advice to Authors
What trends in print & publishing design do you think Authors should keep an eye on?
Some of the trends that are hot right now are retro line art, y2k, mixing fonts, abstract gradients, and humorous and fun illustrations. But my suggestion is to not stick exclusively to these trends. Use certain elements that fit your style, the niche and the theme you’re going for.
Consistency with quality and style are key. We do have a lot of Authors with a distinct style, which I love. They can submit print templates, mockups, or UX/UI kits, and you can tell they’re all by the same person.
What makes a print & publishing design great? How would you differentiate between a good design and a great one?
A good item just meets the graphic and technical requirements, but a great design jumps out of the page. The goal is to have a product that solves as many needs as possible and is user-friendly.
It’s pretty obvious when the Author has gone the extra mile. You can see when they have dedicated extra time to small details such as:
- Preview images with quality mockups
- Exploring different layouts, compositions, fonts, and graphics
- Finding or creating assets with very good resolution and details to increase the quality
- Naming the layers correctly
- Paying attention to the weight of the strokes in illustrations
- Including a Help document with detailed information on formats, source links, and steps to edit it. For example: how to replace the placeholder and change colors or create masks.
- Thinking about the customers’ needs and adapting the design to different formats. For example: A5, A4, and A3 print templates, and social media packs.
- Making packs of the design instead of separate items so the product is more complete. For example: business cards, letterhead, and invoices.
What advice do you have for graphics Authors who are new to Envato?
- Read the requirements to submit in each category.
- Allow yourself to be inspired by others, but do not copy or duplicate their work.
- Do not prioritize quantity over quality.
- Think outside the box and consider different niches or subjects that could be needed by many users.
- Adapt your design to different formats and sizes, so the user can be more attracted to the product by its utility.
- Do not stick to the same fonts or stock images as always just because it’s easier, give a look and feel to each item.
What are the most common reasons print & publishing design items are rejected and advice would you give Authors whose items are rejected?
My main advice is to keep designing and submitting! Additionally, make sure that you follow the requirements, pay attention to soft rejections, and try to meet the most popular graphics items’ standards.
Some of the reasons to reject an item are:
- Very poor quality and plain composition.
- If most of the items by the Author look a lot alike, for example: only replacing the placeholders, but texts stay the same.
- Duplicated designs or stolen from another Author, we take intellectual property very seriously.
- None of the Print Template requirements have been respected.
- The design is not editable at all.
Give some examples of graphics items or Authors that you love!
We have so many amazing Authors! I admire the style and technique of so many items and Authors. I try not to play favorites, but i am a big fan of these Authors for various reasons.
The quality and versatility of the content that BrandPacks bring to Envato is pretty wide. Their print templates are very intuitive and easy to use. Whether it is a birthday invitation, food menu, event flyers or magazines, the item is always on point!
Grapicapital, graphicook and pubric
I love their dynamic illustrations, color palettes and diverse typographies. Their templates are be very fun, even if the theme is corporate! Additionally, the layout is modern and eye-catching, and they’re all constantly creating new content.
Anything else you want to tell our Author community?
Just a big thank you to all the Authors, because you make Envato’s library. You put your time, effort, and dedication to create and submit great products for people to use on their projects all over the globe.
You all make us look good, and I am always amazed and learning from your creations.
Did you enjoy getting to know Monie? Well, good news: we have plenty of Meet Our Team articles. Check them out below, and get to know more of the wonderful people at Envato!
Photo or video Authors might like to Meet Javier, our Photo & Video Review Team Lead. Motion graphics wizards should check out our chat with Tyson Frantz, a motion graphics reviewer. If web and code is more your style, you’ll find our chat with Roberto Hernández super helpful!