About

What I do

I draw in my sketchpad, and sometimes on a computer

I’ve been working as a designer since 2004, when I got my first freelance job developing product illustrations for vacuum cleaners. Luckily I moved on to a short stint in the printing industry, a slightly longer stint with a not-for-profit organization, and six years working in higher education marketing before settling in at a food and beverage branding agency in St. Louis, Missouri. I’ve also continued teaching design at the university level along the way.

The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.
Kurt Vonnegut

Education

Illinois State University

Master of Science in Arts Technology

I received a master’s degree from the Arts Technology program at Illinois State University in 2012. In this new media program I was able to focus on web design and development, design for social media platforms, video and sound editing, game design, and more. I taught a course in the graduate program shortly after.

Illinois Wesleyan University

Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Art History

I graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2005 with a bachelor of fine arts degree with focuses in graphic design and art history. In 2014 I was able to return to my old graphic design program to teach for a semester, and face the same abuses that I had put on my professors nearly ten years earlier.

Work Experience

MarketPlace, the Food Marketing Agency

Senior Art Director, December 2014–present

MarketPlace develops brands and marketing tactics for the food and beverage and pet industries. In my role as senior art director, I primarily market ingredients and technologies for B2B food and agribusiness companies, and consumer pet products. As a branding agency, most of our work consists of full branding or rebranding campaigns for our clients in addition to the design and/or formulation of consumer goods. In a nutshell, I do a lot of logo, web, and packaging design. And I get to do it in my favorite city: St. Louis, Missouri.

Illinois State University Marketing and Communications

Senior Graphic Designer, December 2008–December 2014

As a member of the in-house marketing department I designed materials for community- and university-wide campaigns, served on the design team for Illinois State magazine, and directly handled an on-campus client base, art directing almost all of my work. I also supervised design interns, and worked with the licensing department to manage the university brand across licensed products and merchandise.

Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Communications Manager, January 2006–December 2008

Someone decided to put me in charge of a $1 million advertising budget at the age of 23, and give me full reign over a portfolio of publications, advertising, and other promotional materials for a not-for-profit tourism office where I was also the sole in-house designer in a world of “business people.” I even had to do all my own copywriting and editing, in addition to managing design and marketing interns.

Bloomington Offset Process, Inc.

Prepress Tech/Production Artist, June 2004–January 2006

I’ve always said this was my “best worst job” because I gained a ton of knowledge about the printing industry but I also had to deal with a coworker who insisted on calling me ‘college boy’ (it was meant to be derogatory) and I spent a majority of my day inhaling spray mount fumes in a room with no windows. I began as an intern operating a plate processor and an HP Indigo digital press before being promoted to the prepress department, where I got to design a little bit.

As a self-professed Typophile I’m fairly vocal about my love for all things type. It’s a crest I proudly wear, a core characteristic of my identity

So much so that I almost wonder why, when meeting someone for the first time, they don’t immediately strike up a conversation about American hand-painted signage or the opening credits of Alien. A blessing and a curse, my type fascination allows me to both appreciate and scrutinize the mundane. I used to run a typography blog, The Weekly Typeface, and most of my essays will eventually find their way onto this site’s blog.

Get in touch and we can talk type.

Teaching Experience

Lindenwood University

Adjunct Professor of Graphic Design, Spring 2015–present

I teach Intro to Graphic Design—with a focus in visual storytelling—and occasionally a print production course to undergrad students at the University’s main St. Charles campus.

Illinois State University

Instructional Assistant Professor, Fall 2014

I taught one semester of Typography and Composition, a typography course that catered to both undergrad and graduate students in the Arts Technology program.

Illinois Wesleyan University

Adjunct Professor of Graphic Design, Fall 2014

I taught one semester of Graphic Design II, a sophomore-level class with a focus on story telling through image making.

Rachel's Dreams and Hats

Children's Book and Media

In late 2015 I teamed with some other creative people to publish the children’s book Rachel’s Dreams and Hats, a story about a girl who wears different hats throughout her day, and every time she puts on a new hat it opens her mind to new possibilities.

Rachel’s Dreams and Hats has been published in 5 languages. You can learn more about the book at RachelsDreamsAndHats.com.

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