In her home office of Ostwald Graphic Design, Amy works on one of her many projects currently in the mill. Ostwald has helped produce many of the things that we see on a daily basis from information and business fliers to signage along nature trails and most recently the “Guide to Walks and Trails of Grays Harbor County.”
Amy Ostwald stands in her home garden. “These were suppose to be only four feet tall,” she speaks of her sunflowers. Her garden ranges from potatoes to tomatoes to flowers and herbs. One of her many hobbies when she gets time away from her business as a graphic designer.
Chances are that you know this month’s random reader. If not personally, then by viewing materials that she has produced for Grays Harbor Tourism or area businesses.
Amy Ostwald of Ostwald Graphic Design has been producing some of the most sought after tourism materials in Grays Harbor County for the past 13 years.
“We met in Colorado, Mark, my husband, and I decided to go west,” said Ostwald.
Mark’s dream was to land in Alaska; Amy was not so convinced. The couple started their western adventure in Olympia.
“We followed Mark’s work as a wildlife biologist. It took us into Olympia, through the Satsop Valley, Lake Quinault for several years and eventually into East Grays Harbor, where Mark now works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (Service) in Lacey,” said Ostwald.
The bulk of her work up to that time was interpretative signs for national parks and business graphics in the Lake Quinault area.
Along the way, the couple also started a family with two children: Luke, now a freshman at the University of Idaho studying in the area of forestry, and Andrea, a sophomore at Montesano, spends her time with the track and cross-country team.
“We love Grays Harbor. Washington itself is such a diverse environment for outdoor activities,” said Ostwald.
When she is not working at her business or shuttling her kid to athletic events, Ostwald and her husband take time to enjoy the natural areas of Washington that helps influence her art that she produces.
As a couple they hike, backpack and participate in ocean kayaking.
“We recently climbed Mount St. Helens, it was a blast,” she quipped.
Along with her busy life as a graphic design artist, Ostwald also manages to have a home garden to serve another passion of hers.
“I also do love gardening; I specialize in natural flora and fauna,” Ostwald said, when she was asked about what kind of insecticides she uses.
Her garden is a mix of vegetables and flowers. In the center is a towering crop of sunflowers, meant to only reach four feet tall, that watch over the array of vegetables and herbs serving as family fodder.
“I have a good crop of yellow Finn potatoes this year; and the carrots are good,” said Ostwald.
Edging the front of their Chalet style home, yellow and red roses grow unrestrained.
The natural environment that she depicts in the majority of her work is only steps away from her front door. Often taking walks through the family property, it takes less than a minute before you feel you are deep in the woods off on a nature trail.
When she is not working designs on her computer arranging text and art supplied from clients, Ostwald takes pen in hand and works outside creating pen and ink drawings that she will later scan into her computer to create the detailed signs depicting the flora and fauna visitors encounter on any nature trail in the county.
Ostwald has provided work for Brown Creek Pond, Lake Swano and Lake Wynooche among others. One of her most recent projects was the Guide to Walks and Trails of Grays Harbor County. Created for Grays Harbor Tourism; it is one of the most sought after fold-out tour guides of recent time.
“I believe there is an increase in tourism from the time we have moved into the area,” said Ostwald.
With her work for the parks, Ostwald also creates business and promotional graphics for the Bishop Center of Performing Arts at Grays Harbor College and the Satsop Business Park. One of her current projects will be to create interpretative signs for the trails at Lake Sylvia.