You can’t teach passion. Either you have it or you don’t — it’s not something you can fake.
For anyone who has ever met Lacey Pyle, you’ll feel me when I say she’s not lacking in the passion department. If you haven’t met Lacey before, she’s the creative genius behind the Graphic Strategist, a Destin, Florida-based graphic design business that specializes in projects for entertainment, travel and luxury industries.
It’s basically “the fun stuff in life,” she’ll tell you. And why not? When you live at the beach, how bad can life really be?
In all seriousness though, Pyle’s Graphic Strategist business has garnered many industry awards and accomplishments, as well as rave reviews from clients. Some of the services Pyle offers include website design, SEO, creative strategy, logos and branding, brochures, signage, social media graphics, business cards, publications, photography, packaging design, and video editing.
And she has the chops to back it up. Pyle, who has always been the creative type, actually has degrees in Clinical Psychology (LSU) and Digital Design (Southeastern Louisiana University). She got her start in design while working at WAFB-TV where she worked in nightside graphic design before moving on to Lamar Advertising.
As a child, Pyle’s grandmother would if “she’s OK,” because she was more than content to sit quietly and draw the day away.
“She was worried I might have a learning disability,” Pyle says. “It didn’t help her fears that my teachers at Lake Primary School sent notes to my parents demanding that I stop drawing in class.”
Once her parents realized she was artistic, it was all in. Pyle began to focus her attention on drawing, painting, sculpting, sewing, jewelry making, and any other creative outlet she could get her hands on, which ultimately led to brewing beer.
Pyle fell in love with craft beer while exploring the brew landscape in Atlanta, where the beer scene “was light years ahead of Louisiana.” From Scotch Ales and hefeweisen to barrel-aged brews, Pyle became enamored with all things craft beer.
“I was intrigued that beer could taste like anything, not just Bud Light or Abita Strawberry Ale,” she says. “The app Untappd was wildly popular and it made a city of five million seem smaller.”
While in Georgia, Pyle had her first foray into craft beer design work, where she would create brochures for Cherry Street Brewing Cooperative.
And as they say, the rest is history. Pyle spent time at Jekyll Brewing and ultimately lent her skills to Destin’s first brewery, Destin Brewery, where she helped design their website, as well as labels for their beer cans.
“It was never my intention to be Destin Brewery’s graphic designer,” Pyle says, “but I’m grateful for the way it happened.”
Pyle has even brewed with the team at Destin Brewery. So as a creative type, what does she like about the brewing process?
Well, that’s easy.
“The sensory and the science,” she’ll tell you. “I love the smell of hot wort. I like how drastically different hops can smell and taste or change the beer. I love the sound of yeast happily fermenting away – the regular bwoop, bwoop, bwoop of CO2 bubbles soothes me.
The almost-beer is very much ‘alive’ at this phase; there’s a whole colony of life just doing it’s thing, making beer along the way.”
In addition to Destin Brewery, Pyle has done projects for the up and coming Fort Walton Brewing Company and a can label for Conehehead’s 30E beer in Cape San Blas.
As a graphic design professional, Pyle is accustomed to seeing her work, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not excited or giddy to see her handiwork on a store’s shelf.
“Most of my design work I don’t get to see in person, so it was surreal the first time I saw the cans on the shelves,” she says. “I was excited to see them, yes, but it was the strangest combination of ownership and removal. I designed them, but it’s not about me, it’s about my client.”
So what’s next for the Graphic Strategist?
“I’d like to continue providing design for other breweries, brewpubs, and beer hot spots,” Pyle says. “I’d like to expand my partnerships with other marketing or advertising agencies as well, providing my contract work for them when their teams are overwhelmed.”
Want to learn more about the Graphic Strategist? Visit the website at www.graphicstrategist.com, find Pyle on LinkedIn, Facebook or follow her on Instagram.