A creative type…
I love to write. While my background is in creative writing, I relish all kinds of writing, from grant proposals to press releases. I love crafting slogans and ad copy and coming up with clever word play. I also regularly edit and polish other people’s writing to improve clarity and flow.
I also love art and design. I have a formal fine art background, and stepped into graphic design unexpectedly when I was awarded a graduate assistantship. I became the writer/designer/editor of Bradley University’s monthly faculty newsletter, The Catalyst. I was hooked. 20+ years later, I still relish graphic design as a creative mix of art and ideas.
with a logical bent.
While I love generating ideas, stories, and visuals, when I’m working for a client, logic and strategy drive the process. Are we saying the right thing? In the right place? To the right people? How does each project fit into the larger whole? I maintain a critical eye (and ear) with each project. Do we look and sound consistent? Are we staying true to the Main Idea?
Because of my critical eye, clients also use me as a “fixer” on projects that didn’t quite hit the mark. I’m frequently tapped to provide the drive and leadership to get a cumbersome (or previously abandoned) project across the finish line.
Branding is my specialty.
I put a lot of emphasis on developing—and maintaining—a client’s brand across a variety of platforms and design projects. For clients who have a well-developed brand, I am careful to follow their established fonts, colors, imagery and overall aesthetic. (No “brand drift” here.) I can easily match an organization’s distinctive voice and reinforce messaging.
I’ve also helped many clients create, update or better define their brand. I can quickly zero in on confusing or inconsistent elements in signage, print collateral, and digital presence and reveal what is and isn’t reflective of the client’s true brand. I refresh (or overhaul) logos, develop seamless identity suites (business cards, letterhead, and office stationery), and create branding guides for staff and other designers to reference.
What it’s like to work with me.
I want to know you.
I like to meet once or twice to get to know you, your business and the big picture. I’ll ask about your budget and what you’re hoping to accomplish.
I start brainstorming immediately.
I think fast on my feet and can pitch ideas on the spot. If I see any inconsistencies in your branding or gaps in your marketing plan, I’ll suggest ways to address them.
I get organized.
With each project, I work backwards from the hard (or soft) deadline and map out a timeline for design, content, proofing and production. If you need an estimate, I’m happy to provide one (although it speaks volumes that my personal clients just trust me to send them a reasonable bill). If you need a marketing plan, I tackle that first. I’ll also use this time to gather assets (fonts, photography, logos, etc.). I also maintain archives on every client project.
I can work alone.
My ability to strategize, conceptualize, write and design allows me to tackle projects with very little input or guidance. When I’m flying solo, I can work very quickly. Tell me what you need, and I’ll make it happen. I pride myself on hitting the right look and tone…usually on the first attempt.
And I play well with others.
While I have the skills to work independently, I also enjoy working as part of a team. I can be a valuable player—or I can direct a team that includes copywriters/communications staff, photographers, commercial printers, media buyers, and stakeholders.