Vanessa Tutka
Chapter Manager

Name: Vanessa Tutka
Position: Design System Theme Lead
Pronouns: She/Her They/Them
Company: Bayer


Since stepping into the design arena in 2008, I’ve enjoyed a vibrant journey through the multifaceted world of design, accruing 16 years of eclectic experiences. While currently working on Bayer’s Design System, my current adventure involves championing Accessibility and crafting distinctive Themes for Bayer’s 50+ brands. My philosophy is design with empathy, lead with humanity. Off duty, my studio becomes a sanctuary where I indulge in an ever-expanding array of hobbies, and practicing my belief in living a life as colorful and diverse as my design work

How did you get started in design?

I’ve always been creative, and the pursuit of elevating creativity in a commercial environment seemed noble to me.

What is something you’re most proud of?

Being where I’m at today despite teachers and peers who told me I’d never cut it.

Who are your creative heroes?

Akira Kurosowa for his use of framing, motion, and color for sure. I’ve always been really taken by Herb Lubalin’s type work. Everything that guy does is stunning.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Film is a huge source of inspiration. I like to sketch studies of paused frames. I also find a lot of inspiration in my peers. There are so many insanely talented people around. It’s hard not to get stoked about the things my friends are doing.

What is the best part of working in your profession?

The absurdity of some things we get to work on brings me unbridled joy. I’m getting paid decent money to illustrate a giant pizza monster? Incredible.

What piece of advice would you offer fellow creatives?

You, as a creative, have unique, innate worth. Your experiences in life, the challenges you’ve overcome, what brings you joy all shape the perspective you bring to anything you’re working on. No one else can replicate that, and that’s incredibly valuable.

What is one book that all creatives should read?

Ways of Seeing by John Berger

What was the last song you listened to?

I want to say something sophisticated but I’m definitely listening to ‘Shake It’ by INNDRIVE right now. It’s Friday.

What is your favorite place in St. Louis?

The Tick Tock Tavern holds a very special place in my heart. It holds a lot of memories of recapping triumphs with friends, catching up with visitors from out of town, and working on freelance late at night around people without feeling weird (extrovert problems).