After several years with a big Manhattan ad agency, I “left the rat race to the rats,” and headed to the mountains of Lake Tahoe. Here, I’ve designed hundreds of logos, brochures, signs, t-shirts, etc. for Restaurants, Retailers, Breweries, Tech, Sports Equipment OEMs, and others, including Subaru and The North Face. Via the web, I work with businesses of all sizes throughout the U.S... some of whom I’ve never met in person.
Nearly anyone with a computer can do passable graphics. But what’s behind the work? Are there real creative ideas and solutions based on years of marketing experience? Is there collaboration with the client and a long-term perspective? Do the communication elements (website, logo, direct mail, etc.) work together and speak with one voice? Do they send the best message to the right audience? While graphics that look good are a beginning, I aim for design that works. Creative marketing-driven design lifts my clients above the competition, increasing desirability, Sales, and profits.
Communication is direct with fast turnaround so ideas don’t get bogged down or diluted. On-call freelance and supplier contacts enable me to handle every aspect of nearly any size job while keeping overhead (and rates) low. I try to develop graphics, branding, website design, etc. that give each client their own signature look, not mine. And I often do any printing, imprinted logo promo items, direct mail, silkscreening, vehicle wraps, and signage that clients need, so all pieces work as a cohesive whole.
I’ve always had a keen interest in advertising, design and sales – being intrigued not just by what a particular piece looked
like, but also the sales proposition behind the facade.
At college, I studied marketing and writing. As an honors project I developed packaging, a logo, tagline and ad campaign for “Haiku Perfume,” a product I dreamed up. (Yes, the campaign featured haiku poetry.)
After college came progressively higher level jobs at ad agencies. Though I eventually occupied a window office on Madison Avenue with a job that people would supposedly kill to get, I felt stifled by the corporate world and the watered-down product. So I got out of there, trading skyscrapers for mountains. It proved to be a great move... I highly recommend it.
Nowadays, I can often be found in the studio... perhaps designing a logo and slogan for a new restaurant in Truckee (one of the best slogans I’ve done, I think, was for a local bakery...“While you sleep, we loaf.”), or maybe a back-lit sign and packaging for a brewery in Reno. I might also be found working on sourcing a new give-away logo item for Subaru.
When not working, I spend time enjoying my family, outdoor sports like windsurfing, skiing, mountain biking, and SUP paddling or noodling on a vintage guitar (My grandmother got me a guitar for my 7th birthday, and I’ve been playing ever since. My interest now is in finding, restoring and playing very old guitars and banjos, and discovering the new songs that they have hidden inside.) The latest challenge is trying to play bottle neck blues on a 1917 Knutsen Hawaiian Harp Guitar (pictured)... but that’s a whole ’nother story.