As a consumer, it is easy to think that the products we buy magically appear on the shelves, beautifully designed and packaged from the moment they were created. In reality, there are designers that put a lot of hard work, thought and creativity into every little detail of a product, from the product itself to the packaging.
Tammy Sommers is a designer who has worked on many parts of the design process of the different products we make here at Schwinn. She is the go-to designer for anything you can think of, capable of designing bikes, making logos, directing photoshoots, and so much more. Read on to learn more about what Tammy does at Schwinn as well as what type of biking she is starting to get into.
What do you do at Pacific Cycle?
Tammy: I have worked at Pacific Cycle for 13 years and started out as a product designer. Now my title is senior graphic designer. I work on packaging, point of purchase display, web, social promotions, and special edition promotional packages. I work on all of the brands and maintain the style guides for each brand. I do logo work and some illustrative work as well. I also work on producing photoshoots, which means gathering talent, scheduling, working on styling, and location. In some cases, I art direct the photoshoots.
When did you know you wanted to be a graphic designer?
Tammy: I was always into drawing and illustrating, so it started with me always knowing that drawing and designing were what I wanted to do.
What’s your favorite bike you designed, the favorite helmet you designed, and favorite packaging you designed?
Tammy: There were a lot of cruisers I did that I was really happy with, one of them was the Schwinn Lulu. I designed the original Vantages and I was happy with how those turned out.
I also did the Excursion helmets in a matte shimmery navy. They had a metallic look, but they were still matte, which was something we had never done before.
My favorite packaging would have to be the work I have done for the Rideamals packaging. I am pretty pleased with the way that turned out.
How did you get into biking and what kind of biking do you like to do?
Tammy: Before working here I didn’t have a bike, but since working here I now own a Fastback and enjoy road biking. I also like going on leisure rides with my daughter. I have dabbled lightly in mountain biking, which I enjoy doing but still haven’t done a lot of yet. I started gathering the right gear and am slowly getting myself into it. It is a super great rush when you accomplish it.
Tell me about your favorite bike that you own.
Tammy: My Schwinn Fastback is my favorite bike and I ride it the most.
What is your favorite part about working at Pacific Cycle?
Tammy: This was especially true when I used to work on designing product. I liked the idea of creating something that somebody else was going to visually enjoy looking at and ultimately ride and enjoy themselves. It was a real treat to see people going past my house riding a bike that I designed.
Now, as far as the payoff, I think it is still just as fun to go into the store and see packaging I worked on, or go online and see ads and website banners that I designed. There is something cool about having ownership in those projects and being proud of that work. Creatively, I feel like I get to work on some really great projects that are fun to work on. Being part of a company where they are providing products that people can afford that gets them and their family out and doing something is nice. I feel lucky to have made some pretty great friendships here as well, so I like that part about working here. I also appreciate getting the opportunity to travel both overseas and in the states.
Do you have any artistic pursuits outside of work?
Tammy: Once in a while, I will break out and draw, but not as often as I would like to. I do a lot of doodling and tiny sketches. Some other things I like doing are making jewelry, and I also do a lot of interior design in my own home to create a certain feel. I also used to make handmade cards.
If you could bike anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Tammy: Ireland. That is what came into my mind first as far as being a great place to be able to take in the scenery and the surroundings on a bike.