Designer, writer, teacher, and finder of the found object
After twenty years of experience in the design business, I am reminded of an early conversation I had with a marketing leader who was looking at a series of images. She had a panicked look on her face and screamed out, “Yes, these are beautiful, but what are we going to say?” This question gets to the core of my work as a designer: a focus on message.
With a background in both writing and design, I have been described by one colleague as “the most word-conscious creative director I have ever worked with.” I believe strongly that the message drives successful creative development and serves as the foundation for any creative project.
I have worked on both the client and the agency sides of the business, at small agencies, startups yearning to live with the big guys and at large technology companies. I have done a lot of designing. My approach is simple and direct; I am told the outcome is elegant and, if all goes to plan, beautiful.
I have also managed cross-functional teams including designers, art directors, writers and project managers, in areas as diverse as brand identity, web and UX, product branding and packaging, as well as campaigns and messaging. I also work as a graphic design instructor with a specialty in typography.
A native New Yorker, I grew up in Southern California, and got my Bachelor’s in English from the University of California, Berkeley. I was working as a writer in New York City while I got my Master’s in Communications Design from Pratt Institute. My thesis—“Designs of the Times: Teaching Graphic Design History through Practice”—outlined a unique approach to understanding the creative movements of the past hundred year’s through studio practice.