I’m a creative thinker that solves business problems using innovative design + branding.
In the 13 years I have been designing marketing, identity, and sales collateral, I have created literally hundreds of pieces of work.
Below is a small sampling of this work, which is divided into categories. Please click a category below to filter pieces. If you have a question or comment, I’d love to hear from you!
Design runs through my veins.
For the past 18 years, I’ve been creating amazing designs for a variety of clients, large and small. I work in web, print, display, packaging, and whatever other medium my client needs.
A short history...
I graduated in 1999 from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelors in Visual Arts. I double majored in visual communications and illustration, which was difficult, but fun!
Midway through my senior year, I started teaching myself HTML and web development, since I needed a web site to promote myself to get a job!
Two months after graduating, I started my first job as a graphic designer at Paetzold Design. I also started Tangle around this time (my freelance side gig).
In early 2001, with a couple dozen web sites under my belt (plus interactive CD-ROMs and retail kiosks thrown in for good measure), I was promoted to Director of New Media at Paetzold Design.
As Director of New Media, I was involved more in sales calls to clients, estimating new media projects, and making sure those projects were successfully completed.
When mid-2002 rolled around, the Dot Com Crash’s aftermath was in full swing. Work at Paetzold dried up, and I was laid off. Tangle suddenly became my full-time job. Eventually, it officially became Tangle, Inc. I did it all: creative, account service, sales, etc. I got to work with some great clients including: Aronson Furniture, Dave Dorman, Triangle Dies & Supplies, and many more.
In 2003 I took a part-time job with VisualMedia in downtown Chicago while still doing my own work under Tangle. At VisualMedia, I was Creative Director of New Media and got to work in a cool office off of Lake Shore Drive. I'll be honest, it was pretty exciting. I learned a lot about web technology and html emails there.
By 2004, my wife and I were expecting our first child, and I realized I needed a more steady source of income. I closed down Tangle and took a job with LBP Manufacturing as Lead Designer.
I learned a lot about flexographic printing while there as well as prepress. I reinvented their identity, branding, and marketing, breathing new life into their product lines and culture. I also completely revamped their creative department workflow and organization.
By the time 2006 rolled around, I was growing bored at LBP. I felt I had done what I was hired to do adn wasn't being challenged anymore. I decided it was time to move on. I quit and started freelancing again.
I quickly realized I needed a business entity to work under, so I formed Rocket No. 9, LLC. This time, I decided I needed a business partner — something I sorely missed when running Tangle. I found one in Micah Choquette. We worked on a variety of projects, but our main focus was websites. Micah was a great partner and we did some great work together.
When the housing bubble broke in 2008, work at Rocket No. 9 began to dry up. Slowly but surely our clients pulled back on their marketing budgets. I eventually had to close up shop. Again. This time around I decided that was it. I had tried twice to run a business and had failed both times. I wasn't going to try again.
After a couple months of searching for a good job, I finally took one at Sun-Times Media (owner of The Chicago Sun-Times). I was hired on as an Interactive Designer, working on e-blasts, online ads, etc. This was the largest company I had ever worked for.
A couple months after being hired, the lead designer in the marketing department quit. I quickly stepped up and took over the role. I was officially promoted to Lead Marketing Creative a month or so later.
After a year of waking up super early and commuting to downtown Chicago, I was ready for a job closer to home. I found one, but when I gave my 2 weeks at the Sun-Times, they scrambled to find a way to keep me there. I was offered a position in their Aurora office as a Web Designer. It was close to home, and the pay was good so I took it.
I learned a ton about web development and coding while in this position. It was a great gig.
2012 saw Sun-Times Media purchased by Wrapports. Big changes were suddenly underway. One of which was that I was asked to work downtown again. I quickly started looking for another job.
Luckily I found one fairly quickly at Stevens & Tate as an Art Director. I was thrilled. I was an art director!
I was given a great deal of responsibility. I was in charge of many projects, making sure they were successful and stayed within budget. I worked on a variety of projects including print, web, and even video and radio.
Even though Stevens & Tate was closer to home than the Sun-Times, I still had a mind-numbing commute on Route 88. This eventually pushed my hand in 2014 to find another job.
A friend told me that Cygnet Midwest, a small marketing agency located in Aurora, was looking for a new Senior Designer. I needed something close to home. It was a good fit.
I’m still employed at Cygnet Midwest today, and am very happy there.