Ashley Ottinger stationery designer for

With roots in the deep south, Ashley Ottinger is a designer who finds inspiration in porch swings, patios and a cold glass of sweet tea. Corporate designer by day and stationery nerd by night, Ashley uses her stationery designs as an excuse to explore bold colors, classy serif fonts and unusual layouts. Today she shares a bit more about her journey, her style, and of course a few of her favorite things.

Could you share with us the favorite design of yours currently on and what the creation process was like?

I think my favorite design is currently Forty Years Young. It’s a little bit different from what I normally do, but I love the bold, type-driven aesthetic. When I was working on this invitation, I wanted it to feel mature, yet young and fun. I think the offset angles of “FORTY YEARS YOUNG” really accomplish that youthful feel. The bold color choices aid in that as well.

Can you share a bit more about your journey as an artist — how you got started to where you are now?

I’m not old, but the beginning of my journey seems like a lifetime ago. I’ve always been labeled the creative type, but I didn’t really start cultivating those skills until my teens. I was first introduced to graphic design in high school by my older siblings. At the time, my sister was a designer at a magazine and one of my brothers was in design school. I saw what they did and was immediately hooked. Before I knew it, my work on my high school yearbook staff turned into a degree in communications and ultimately a career as a designer.

After college, I got a job as an in-house designer. A friend at that job introduced me to the online stationery design community, and I dove right in. My foray into stationery has been an excellent creative outlet and contrast to my daily corporate design work.


What is the best advice you have ever received?

Of course I don’t know Ira Glass personally but nothing rings truer than his advice on what he calls “the gap.” Producing bad work is part of the process. You have to do it to learn. You will never be good until you’re really, really bad first.

“What nobody tells people who are beginners… is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not… your taste is why your work disappoints you… We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this… It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.”  Ira Glass

Share 3 favorites

Maybe it’s a fear of commitment, but I can rarely pick a favorite from such vast categories like musicians, films or colors. I seem to only be able to identify favorites in much more specific categories like…

  • Favorite Ice Cream – Moose Tracks, obviously. What? You don’t think ice cream is a specific category? Of course it is. There are only a handful of flavors worth eating. The best of which is clearly Moose Tracks.
  • Favorite House Cat Duo – my two cats Eleanor and Pippa. They are savages, but I love them anyway.

Ashley Ottinger's stationery workspace

How has your aesthetic style changed over the years?

My aesthetic has changed pretty dramatically in the last few years. I’d like to think it’s matured and that I’m headed toward the “timeless” and “classic” categories (a girl can dream, right?)

I’ve also seen a shift towards insanely minimal. And I’m not mad about it. You know the old saying about taking one accessory off before you leave the house? I’d say in most cases you’re better off taking two.

What part of the design process do you enjoy the most?

My favorite part of the design process is just putting on my headphones and tuning out the world. Those times when it’s just me, my best friend Taylor Swift, and my Illustrator artboard are when the magic happens.

Who or what has made the largest influence on your work?

Other designers that have taken the time to invest in me have probably had the largest impact. So many people (really, there are more than I can reasonably list) have spent countless hours answering my questions and offering feedback. Their investment in me has been priceless.

Thank you so much to Ashley Ottinger, number 1, for taking the time to share her passion with us every day through her designs on, but secondly for taking the time to share her story with us today. You can view her full Greenvelope stationery collection here.