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
  • How to explain these design decisions to a client, or give art direction to a junior designer
  • How to shoot a nerf gun accurately
  • How to win at air hockey (2013 Champion!)
  • How to be an introvert and a leader
  • How to talk to a developer…and be understood
  • How to write a proposal (and how not to write a proposal)
  • How to defrost a fridge
  • How to mockup a complicated die-cut package
  • How to always be present on the day of a candy product photo shoot
  • How to wear earphones to a strategic advantage
  • How to ask questions… lots and lots of questions
  • How to truly serve a client

It was only because of my formative time at Hile, and with the support of some close friends, that I was able to take the leap and become a sole proprietor of my own design business, and I am grateful. Thanks Dave!


Illustration by Dave Hile