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Molly Russell’s got designs on ‘The Write Question’

Missoula-based illustrator and designer Molly Russell and the final podcast cover for The Write Question, which debuted in January 2022.
Missoula-based illustrator and designer Molly Russell and the final podcast cover for ‘The Write Question,’ which debuted alongside an extensive brand package in January 2022.

This week on The Write Question, Missoula, Montana-based illustrator and designer Molly Russell chats about creating TWQ’s brand package, which debuted in January 2022 and included a podcast cover (shown above), multiple variations on a logo, and social media templates. In this conversation, host Lauren Korn and Molly talk about the design process, about the client-designer relationship, about Molly’s return to the color pink—and so much more!

About Molly:

Molly Russell is a designer and illustrator with a formal education in media arts. She likes her coffee black, her whiskey neat, and she never leaves the house without a sketchbook. Her dedication to community, hospitality, and craft have driven her to focus on branding and design for the food and beverage industry. She specializes in collaboration with small to mid-sized businesses, creating visual identities that are true to their values and resonate with the right audience. She develops brand systems that are more than just a mark, telling a story and diving deep into the ‘why’ of the brand and its extension to printed materials, packaging, digital platforms, and environmental experiences.

Molly Russell recommends:

The illustrations of Lisa Congdon

Books written and illustrated by Alison and Martin Provenson

Books written and illustrated by Eric Carl

Doing Business by Shawn Harris (Norton Young Readers)

Books illustrated by Brenden Wenzel

Books written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel Books)

Books written and illustrated by Edward Gorey

Lauren Korn recommends:

Molly Russell’s designs; take a look at her Instagram account!

Hoodzpah Design Studio, based in Southern California

Workmanship Co., a design studio based in Butte, Montana

The designs of Missoula, Montana’s Noteworthy Paper & Press (and their head designer, Adrienne Langer)

The Art of Ramona Quimby by Anna Katz (Chronicle Books)

Paul Goble’s children’s books (Aladdin Paperbacks), along with this biography by Gregory Bryan, with full-color illustrations! (South Dakota Historical Society Press)

Books by Tommie dePaola, particularly Strega Nona (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

The team for this episode of The Write Question included Lauren Korn, host and co-producer; and Chris Moyles, co-producer, editor, and sound engineer.

The Write Question logo and brand (2022) was designed by (duh!) Molly Russell. You can see more of her work at and on Instagram @iamthemollruss. Our music was written and recorded by John Floridis.

Funding for The Write Question comes from Humanities Montana; members of Montana Public Radio; and from the Greater Montana Foundation—encouraging communication on issues, trends, and values of importance to Montanans.

The Write Question is a production of Montana Public Radio.

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Lauren R. Korn holds an M.A. in poetry from the University of New Brunswick, where she was the recipient of the Tom Riesterer Memorial Prize and the Angela Ludan Levine Memorial Book Prize. A former bookseller and the former Director of the Montana Book Festival, she is now an Arts and Culture Producer at Montana Public Radio and the host of it’s literature-based radio program and podcast, ‘The Write Question.’
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