YOU MADE IT! Take a look around.

Creative
Innovative Strategic

A wise business friend once told me “To find the correct path forward always start at the end and work your way back to the beginning. Then you’ll now how to get where you need to start, as well as how to get where you’re going.”

Yep, I thought it was weird too, but it works, and I do this with every creative challenge I tackle.

Professionally

Stated short and sweet –

  • + 25 years as a creative lead
    (agencies, in-house marketing teams, start-ups, business owner, franchise)
  • Deep portfolio
    (strategic planning, creative direction, team builder, synergist & mentor)
  • Experience across nearly all media.
  • Teacher to Dreamers
    (I love teaching and mentoring as much as doing)
  • I cultivate understanding & generate interest

(But for those who just need MORE, see below.)

Creative Direction

Business leaders love to say they look at a topic from a “10-thousand foot view”. Creative direction is looking over that leaders shoulder with kaleidoscope glasses. We see the big picture but in countless different ways.

(Page to come.)

Brand Identity

If a business or a product had a true “soul” it would be its BRAND.

All caps – yes!

Done correctly it is the visual, tangible and ephemeral culmination of that soul in a single visual statement.

(Check it out here!)

Media Creation

In a nut shell, “OK creative guru, you just verbally painted me an amazing concept…

Now Make It Real!”

Video for Web, TV, Radio, UI design.

(Page to come.)

Brand Strategy

A good brand strategy means everyone know who you are, what you do or sell and why you’re so awesome all your competitors emulate you.

A poor brand strategy is everyone else.

You want details, buy a book.
Or hire those of us that already have that knowledge.

(Check it out here!)

Web Design

Everyone wants a cutting edge, SEO monster, Lighthouse loved web presence.

Anyone can figure out Word Press.
(I taught the high-school robotics team I coached how to do it.)

But making it pretty ans semi-functional is only a third of the work.

(Check it out here!)

 

Photography

Point and click, point and click. Cameras today are amazing, but a real photographer know lighting, stage setting, and all the tricks that distinguish phone photography from Ansel Adams.

I know just enough to be dangerous and am wise enough to know who to hire and how to work with them to get the shot that is the “want” and not just the “need”.

(Check it out here!)

Started at age 17

Over Three Decades of Generating New Ideas & Creatively Solving Problems

Before being hired by a Detroit agency as an Art Director in 1994 I spent years working in print shops, teaching art and Adobe Design Software, and doing desktop publishing.

Years Creative Direction

Years Graphic Design

Years Web Design

Years Mentor & Teacher

My Skill sets

I’ve been doing this long enough to acquire a variety of mainstream and some frindge skill sets. There is always something new to learn and the creative world is never static.

At age 17 a hotel owner near my home town asked if I would take a look at designing a brochure for him. I was 17 and just fresh out of high school and I remember well that layout really demonstrated that.

In college I worked two jobs one of which was at a small print shop. I was there in the days of hand illustrating graphics with pen and ink, keylining typesetters galleys, using rubylith for borders and waxing the backs of everything to adhere them to the layout sheets. I used the stat-camera, worked in the darkroom, made press plates and ran an old AB Dick 8600.

After completing my BFA and BS in Education I worked a variety of jobs to pay the bills, but was always either teaching design, running production machines or doing desktop publishing, until I got my first “real” job. After that it was “off to the races”. How fast can I learn and how fast can I advance. I’ve been on the creative roller coaster for over 30 years. I’ve worked at agencies, owned and agency, started a dot.com, been a VP of creative, and a Director level at B2B companies more than once. It’s been a journey. It’s been good.

As I move into this next decade of effort, I hope it will be filled with less execution of creative output and more guiding teams or classes. I really want to help develop the next generation of creatives.

 

In the very inspirational words of Edna Mode, “luck favors the prepared darling”. Well, after 30 years of prep… I’m very prepared.

Other Applications I use sporatically as needed inlcude:

  • Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Adobe Dimensions
  • Adobe Bridge
  • Web Developemnt Aps & Environments – WordPress, Elementor, WP Bakery, Magento

Performance Level

  • Mentor / Teacher – 110%
  • Creative Direction – 100%
  • Executive Level Leader – 90%
  • Pain in the Bosses Glutius Maximus – 10%

Guru Percentage – Software

  • Adobe Illustrator – 98% 
  • Adobe Photoshop – 95%
  • Adobe InDesign – 90% 
  • Adobe Premier – 70% 
  • Adobe Lightroom – 60% 
  • WordPress – 95% 
  • MS Office – 70% 
Note: I’ve been using and teaching much of the Adobe core application suite for decades, and because of this constant use I fully realize that there are few (not working at Adobe developing the apps) that know the full potential of these amazing apps at a 100% level. They simply add new features so often (which is awesome btw). AS a proessional designer I use them well above the average level, but I’m always learning.

Why I’m different

I care about the “story” of it all. Every challenge is it’s own story with a beginning and and end. It has characters, plot twists, a landscape and props.

I often tell my kids, “stories are the one thing we collect that we can freely give away but still keep close. They are truly the one thing you can take with you when you go.”

Find what inspires someone in each story and you can touch them emotionally. If you can do that they will want to keep the story.

In case you missed the metaphor the “Story” can be a product, a service, an event or anything else you can think of.

 

Recent Work

I recently moved on from a great company and a great team at JELD-WEN Window & Doors. One of my various responsibities was creative team lead for MMI Door (a division of JELD-WEN). Below are a few samples specifically from that content of work. I'll be adding more soon.

Find them in use on various big-box home center websites such as HomeDepot. Click here to see it in use.

Click Above to Learn More.

Those who can’t do teach. Really?
For me, it’s the responsibility of those who
“can do and have done” to teach.
Whether it’s leading and mentoring a team or guiding a classroom, sharing what we know is a previlege and joy.

Mentor & Educator

I started in education.

With a desire to guide young minds and help channel the creativity of those still unencumbered by the weights of their impending life, I pursued and completed an Art Education degree. I taught drawing at a small art school in Mt. Pleasant Michigan while completing my degree, and after college taught briefly at a software training company called Linnista. There I taught Art and Creative Directors design software (Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark XPress).

For several years I was given the honor of coaching the Middle and later High School robotics team locally. I learned more than I could possibly have taught from the other coaches, parents and each one of the wonderful students.

Kind Words

It’s very kind of those I have worked with over the years to take the time to comment on work and work ethic.

Thank you all sincerely.

Doug Hugo

President / CEO (Retired), AIC Acquisition Company, LLC

Alberto Robles

Director Residential Products, ABS / MMI

Blaine Nehring

Owner, Sentec Automations

Bradley Garfinkel

President, GBK Productions, Inc

Robert Dickie

President, RWC-PSS, Inc.

Craig Nabat

President/CEO, Freedom Laser, Inc.

Medina Sandler

Owner, Luxtra

Feel Free to Reach Out
& Say Hello!

Questions, queries, ponders or for pointers.

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