Today, people don’t necessarily care about your age or “qualifications” as much as they value kindness, creativity, and guts. All of these describe Whitney.
Whitney Ray Thomas joined the Parachute team two months ago. She has been a major contributor to clients like The PEDIGREE Foundation, UMG Nashville, Pancho & Lefty’s, Evolve as well as tackling various in-house Parachute Media projects like white papers and graphics.
Her role is important in the creative process.
On social media, the viewer sees the image before they read the copy, then their eyes drift from the copy back to the image. They make a split second decision to engage with the ad or scroll past. Whitney understands how important the graphic is and that it connects the brand with the audience in a way that copy cannot.
She asks great questions about a project to get a feel for why it’s being created and what it’s meant to accomplish. “Her creative brain never stops,” as Rachel puts it, her coworker on The PEDIGREE Foundation. The end result is a graphic that speaks to the audience. After all, great copy is just words until an image or a video gives it life.
When asked who her professional hero is, Whitney answered, “Jessica Hische. I’m 100% obsessed. She’s so dang talented, at hand-lettering specifically, but overall she’s just a bad mamma jamma who does her own thing. And does it real well.”
Whitney is quirky and sweet…and lacks a middle name. According to Whitney, her only Christmas wish from year to year was for a middle name, which she only just recently acquired when she married her hubby, Brandon. When she’s not working, you’ll find her and Brandon at SATCO or at the dog park with Hattie the Dog.
Outside of Parachute, Whitney is an entrepreneur traveling to shows promoting her paper company, Paper & Plank, where she creates and sells paper goods, primarily greeting cards.
This is one of our favorites:
Whitney’s work at Parachute
Lyric card created for UMG Nashville:
Hot Car PSA graphic created for Evolve:
A screenshot from an Instagram Story AD for Pancho & Lefty’s:
Let’s learn more about Whitney:
Parachute Media: What sparked your interest in graphic design?
Whitney: In high school, I wanted to be a part of this club all my friends were involved in, Future Business Leaders of America, except “business” was so not my thing. Luckily, “Desktop Publishing” was a category that I could compete in. For my first FBLA competition, I did the branding for a fictional restaurant, complete with logo, colors, letterhead and a complete menu. I didn’t really know it was “graphic design” until a few years later when I realized I could study brands and design in college. Throughout school, I had several really awesome professors who fueled my fire for design and really encouraged me to push the limits of design to find my niche.
Parachute Media: In your work or creative process, what do you love creating the most?
Whitney: I really love typography, but if I can’t find the perfect font to work just how I need it to… I’ll just create it myself. In doing so, I’ve really found a love for hand-lettering.
Parachute Media: What is your grand, audacious goal?
Whitney: I’d love to own a sweet little gift shop where I sell the greeting cards I make (among other things) and feature other handmade local artists as well. I’m a big believer in supporting local makers and creators (probably because I am one and understand the struggle) – but I think it’d be such a fun thing to do, at any stage in life.
Parachute Media: If you could Skype with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Whitney: First, I’d have to learn how to use Skype… then I’d call Jimmy Fallon. We could segment the call similarly to the show, complete with sarcastic thank you notes, wheel of musical impressions, and maybe even a lip sync battle if things are going well. He’s just hysterical and would have tons of good stories I’m sure.
Parachute Media: What is your favorite quote? Or do you have a personal mission statement?
Whitney: If you’re not weird, you’re weird.