Where Design Blooms


The creative process is joyful, full of the unexpected. When it blooms, you might even say it’s magical.

Garden Girl Creative brings the magic by providing innovative graphic design, expert art direction, and inspired photo styling. From designing comprehensive marketing campaigns and publications to styling studio and location photo shoots, I work with forward-thinking organizations to make beautiful things.

Let Garden Girl Creative sprinkle a little magic, and make your next project blossom. Get in touch now!

How Design Blooms


Garden Girl Creative works with people and organizations in many different industries, although my goal is always the same: to help you creatively communicate your message.

When I sit down with you, we forge a creative partnership and I lend my imagination to your cause. I can work with your in-house creative team, vendors, and established processes—or assemble a team and provide the project management. While there’s no “one size fits all” process (where is the magic in that?), my journey with clients tends to fall into four phases. In other words, this is how design blooms at Garden Girl Creative.



We chat about your objectives. I listen carefully and learn about your organization (the bright spots and the challenges), and then we figure out your design needs.



I blend your objectives with my imagination. This is where the magic happens, and all of the ideas from our conversations take shape. It might not be what you expect: hopefully, it’s far better!



We refine. You give me your feedback, and we bring a critical eye to the project. We look at what needs to be strengthened, edited, coaxed a little. I work with you through revisions and we finalize each piece.



I do all the production to make your files print or web-ready and finish the job for you. (I like to celebrate by treating myself to something like impractical shoes, but how you celebrate is up to you.)

Becoming Garden Girl


I'm a graphic designer and have always loved the fairytale magic of gardens. When I was art directing Horticulture magazine at F+W, part of my job was to find great gardens to feature. I spent a considerable amount of time talking to gardeners and touring their gardens. Somewhere along the way, people started calling me “the garden girl.” When I launched my own graphic design and photo styling business in 2012, the name stuck (and still suits me).

While I have worked with numerous “plant-related” clients, including designing and producing campaigns for Ault Park Advisory Council, signage for Krohn Conservatory and gardening catalogues for Gardens Alive!, Spring Hill, and Van Bourgondien, I serve a broad range of clients. I’ve designed publications, identity campaigns, signage, billboard, direct mail, and web sites for organizations such as Cincinnati Public Services, Glendale Heritage Preservation, Noelco Productions, North Light Books, and others. I particularly like to work on projects where I feel I can make a difference, whether that means helping to raise public awareness for something I believe in, or helping an organization better tell a story and pull the pieces together in a unique and compelling way.

I’ve been in the design industry for 20 years. I started at F+W as a production artist—a job that sharpened my eye for detail and the way good design truly works. I worked on promotions for events and products and designed publications such as Writers Digest and Decorative Artist's Workbook. Eventually, I became Art Director of Horticulture. Each publication helped me add to my box of tricks and encouraged me to find new ways to innovate and surprise. I continue to do that for my clients today, whether we’re on a photo shoot or brainstorming a design campaign.

If you have a design project you’d like to discuss, please get in touch now!


“Joan brings creativity and enthusiasm to everything she does. She is innovative, invested and committed to hitting a deadline.”  — anne hevener, editor, f+w

“Joan is a thoughtful and perceptive designer who takes the time to truly understand a project — from audience to expected response — before she begins. She addresses every project with passion, developing innovative solutions that are tailored to each specific audience. Not least of all, Joan is a true collaborator and calm under pressure — I very much enjoyed our work together.”  — katie dehner, freelance copywriter and copy editor

 Art Direction of Illustration & Feature Design“As a designer and illustrator I love partnering with Joan. She gives clear and thoughtful art direction to the assignment while at the same time, allows me to bring my own ideas into the solution. I've worked with Joan several times and it's always a fun and rewarding process that delivers great results. I look forward to working with her again!”— anne bryant, owner, anne bryant creative

“Joan is a very talented designer who manages multiple tight deadlines without getting ruffled. Her sense of humor and creativity make her a joy to work with.”  — meg canon, freelance writer and editor