Since first enrolling at Upper Iowa University, Amanda Pasket has pursued her passion for art and design. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design in 2009, the DeKalb, Illinois, native explored various opportunities in the career field before deciding to open her own business in 2018.
Pasket initially operated her graphic design/marketing firm, The Visual Element, from her Elgin, Iowa, home before moving its expanding services to downtown Fayette in June 2021. In addition to financial incentives at the local and federal level and the culture of the small college campus community, the Fayette location also allowed her to remain more easily connected to her alma mater.
Speaking from the heart, Pasket reminisced about her UIU education and favorite class, 3-D Foundations. She spoke of how she enjoyed addressing the different mediums, no matter if they were implementing two- or three-dimensional subjects in the class. She also appreciated the strong encouragement of the faculty, who had real-world experience, to freely express her creativity immediately as a freshman.
Similar to her education, the UIU alumna strives to create an intellectually stimulating environment for both her employees and customers, where all ideas are welcome.
“I hope to create a culture of entrepreneurship in the community,” Pasket said. “One where innovation is natural and there are no mistakes — just learning opportunities, or if you’re like the late Bob Ross, ‘happy little accidents.’ I believe I can achieve this through helping others in the business world reach their full potential.”
Pasket’s staff includes director of operations Josh Hennessee and designer Haylie Smith, who is currently double majoring in graphic design and marketing at UIU. The Visual Element also integrates the assistance of leadership coach Lisa Leuck and web designer Devin Green.
From the moment a customer steps through the door of The Visual Element, they are able to observe samples of the professional handiwork created by the talented team. However, graphic design is far from the only service that the staff provides. Organizational development, communications, advertising, branding and other essential marketing packages are also available.
Marketing plans vary slightly based on what service a customer is looking for. If the customer simply wants a new logo, talk may focus on how the company is currently structured. Meanwhile, a company desiring a whole new brand may venture more in the direction of ideology and its future outlook.
“The process of creating a logo is very distinct,” noted Pasket. “Generally speaking, I start by inquiring about any symbols, colors and values associated with the company. Each step in the process may take multiple attempts with designing and redesigning the logo, before meeting with the customer for final approval.”
Pasket also tells of how interpretation plays an influential role not only in the success of The Visual Element, but also in a community.
“That is the art of the design of an organization,” Pasket explained. “It is a place where art and design collaborate to produce tested and proven results. We aren’t afraid to take on projects or ideas that we have never done or have never seen done before. That is the exciting part. We create the world around us — why not make it the most accessible, high-reaching, all-inclusive world we can?”