Constructing a Website for A.Z. Shmina

The A.Z. Shmina project has been one of the smoothest website projects I’ve ever worked on and I’m proud of the final result. Working with Mike Bell Creative, John McQuillan Creative, and Foundation, we created a contemporary site that fully integrates messaging and design, and stands out from the competition. This blog post details the process from start to finish.

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U of M School of Public Health T-Shirt Project

Concept A Concept B Concept C Refined Concept C Final Art Thumbnail sketches I recently had another opportunity to create a t-shirt design, this time for the University of Michigan School of Public Health’s Innovation in Action competition. IIA is an annual... read more

Karen & Walt & Dolly

Every now and then you get to do a project that is just fun to do… A friend of a friend emailed me asking for some custom tee shirt art for his in-laws 50th anniversary celebration. The family was planning to meet up at Dollywood, so naturally he wanted a... read more

Thanks, Dave!

On May 29, 2015, Hile Creative closed its doors when owner Dave Hile retired. I started working at Hile almost exactly 10 years ago, just out of WCC and eager to learn what real-life graphic design was all about. Over the years I morphed from production designer, to designer, art director, project manager, web director, sr. designer, and director of operations. I loved the variety and enjoyed the opportunity to work on everything from board games, to cleaning products, candy packaging, tradeshow booths, animated ads, to university websites. The staff were good people and fun to be around, and Dave became a friend and mentor.

Some of the things I learned during my time there, in no particular order:

How to produce clean, printer-friendly files
How to design not just by instinct, but with conscious reasoning and purpose

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In a past life…

In putting together my portfolio for this site, and dealing with the self-reflection that goes with that process, I decided to dig out some photos of work from my life before digital design. I worked with Barney Judge as an assistant muralist for 5 years, painting signage, residential and commercial murals, and even faux-tiled outdoor fountains. Had it not been for a couple of specific projects that required Photoshop skills, I may not have gone into graphic design. But because we took on those projects, and I was able to learn as I went, I decided to sign up for the Graphic Design courses at WCC, and with the encouragement and guidance of a particularly helpful advisor (Kristinne Williman, thanks!), I found my way to my into the much cleaner world of digital design and it’s magical “undo” button.

Here’s a sampling of previous work.

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Second Heart

My sister made this beautiful short film “about the moments between loss and restoration”. She completed it while I was visiting in Seattle, so I got to see the final painstaking decisions as she worked with the composer and editor to finesse the sound of... read more