Hello. I am a freelance designer in Chicago specializing in visual communication and information design.
Design at Morningstar
My 10+ year career at Morningstar was an education in clarifying complex information, setting beautiful type, and hewing to brand standards. I developed my design skills and gained practical experience.
Capabilities Brochures, ads, interactive forms, investment reports, invitations, marketing and product websites, chart and information design, html emails, marketing collateral, html & css coding. I collaborated with talented colleagues, created marketing campaigns, and managed projects while adding processes and efficiencies.
Illustration and Photography—The Morningstar energy sector icon tops the birthday candle on the image I photographed and manipulated. For the ‘Taste of Morningstar’ invitations, I referenced the ‘O’ in Paul Rand’s Morningstar logo
Designing Information—A new portfolio line contained both passive and actively-managed funds. I extended the active segments to show both components in one graphic.
Investment Magazine Ads—The challenge was to use only type and illustration to communicate the product benefit within the existing Morningstar ‘Red Box’ ad template.
One Brochure—The division had four product-focused brochures (inset) that contained redundancies, were expensive to print, and became outdated when the product line changed. Collaborating with Morningstar copywriting and photography talent, I developed a single capabilities brochure. The white debossed cover was designed to stand out on a financial advisor’s desk and the noisy environment at conferences.
Focus on Capabilities—The writer interviewed our investment managers and we told a story about the team: their travel, integrity, expertise, and thorough research.
Materials for Financial Education Seminar
I worked with a Chicago-based financial firm—Performance Trust—to rethink the attendee experience at their monthly educational bond seminar.
Improving the experience and clarifying the dense content necessitated creating all new presentation and print materials. I led the design and project management from beginning to end. I managed other contractors, facilitated meetings, completed all pre-press and specified printing.
Cross-Platform—The new materials were designed to coordinate across print and digital platforms. A flag on the live presentations indicate the page in the accompanying workbook. Attendees can also view and interact with the live presentation on their own computer or mobile device.
The Toolkit—Previously, attendees received a 4 lb, 300-page, 3-ring binder containing reprints of 1,000+ slides. We reduced printed content to only hands-on exercises and notebook, and packaged them together with workshop tools in a custom box. The resulting Toolkit weighs 1 lb, translating to less waste, turn-key production, and lower shipping costs.
Twitter app Development, User Experience
I completed two courses—Advanced HTML/CSS and User Experience—at the Starter League in Chicago. My team developed a Twitter app called reHash. I helped define the user experience, create rough pencil sketches, refine the design, and code the front-end of the site.
I continue to apply and develop HTML and CSS skills. I've customized templates, organized, and implemened websites, including a site for the artist, Jason Brammer, and my own site in SquareSpace.
reHash Live Beta—The reHash app lets you schedule and record tweets based on username or hashtags. Our group went from concept—create “a DVR for Twitter”—to functioning beta site in four weeks.
Dashboard Sketches—The bulk of our time was spent defining and sketching the user experience on paper. Next, I rapidly ported hand sketches into InDesign for feedback. We specified the look, grid, colors, and measurements, and I partnered with a team member to code the front-end interface.
David Bowie at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
I was thrilled to work with the Museum of Contemporary Art on the David Bowie Is exhibit. The talented MCA design team had already developed the striking identity, including custom typeface and duotone color palette. Under tight timelines I stepped in to assist with the member magazine and to create collateral materials including object labels, advertising, and postcards.
David Bowie Ads—I worked on a series of ads for Chicago publications.
Postcards—Working with the internal client and print vendor versed in variable printing, I created a series of postcards that utilized digital technology to customize recipient message.
Design Fundamentals in Basel, Switzerland
I was one of seventeen designers who traveled to Basel, Switzerland for the Basics in Design and Typography program hosted by Wolfgang Weingart. We studied form, color, drawing and typography…with no computer. The experience and hands-on exploration inform my methods and work to this day.
An Evaluation—After trimmed and taping book-cover type explorations, Weingart added a ballpoint-pen mark to the compositions he deemed resolved.
Hands-On—Our tools were X-Acto knives, pens, brushes, paint, scissors, and tape. The objective was exploration and discovery.
Massimo Vignelli Master Designer Workshop
In July 2011, I spent a week at the Rochester Institute of Technology with Massimo Vignelli, George Lois, and seventeen other designers. With guidance from Massimo and Mr. Lois, each designer created a logo, identity system, brochures, and poster for the George Eastman House.
Eastman Identity—Although there were no constraints placed on our designs, I created this system with a non-profit budget in mind, keeping it to a single color. The letterhead and envelope can be output from a laser printer.
Eastman Brochures—I utilized a color system to distinguish the four segments of the museum’s holdings: photography, George Eastman’s mansion and gardens, motion pictures, and technology archives.
80's Film Festival at Eastman—This two-color 5.5" x 8.5" brochure opens to reveal a 17" x 22" calendar.