2011: Design School & Publicity Center
My graphic design career started in 2011 at Central Washington University’s Publicity Center while I was still a student. I designed promotional materials for events happening on campus.
Balloon Stompin' Poster
This fundraising event poster was a last-minute project that needed to be completed in under an hour. I was often the go-to person for rush projects at the publicity center because I could deliver under pressure. I quickly threw together this layout and did a quick sketch and hand lettering. The client and my design supervisor were both really happy with the poster.
I think it’s easy to overthink our work as designers and second-guess every decision. In circumstances like this rush project, it’s important to focus on what’s essential and trust your judgment.
Love Glove Club Posters
This poster series was for the Love Glove Club—a club that gives out free condoms and safe sex information to students on campus. The client came up with the idea of having images of different types of condoms on the posters and provided me with a list of funny phrases to pull from.
I designed the layout and created the illustrations for these posters. I kept the focus on the illustrations and the headline text to grab attention. The smaller text gives the details.
Melissa Villaseñor Comedy Show Poster
This poster was part of a collection of promotional materials I designed for Family Weekend on campus. During this weekend, parents come to visit students and attend different activities on campus, such as this show.
I kept Melissa’s face and name large to grab people’s attention and included all the details on a ticket shape at the bottom of the poster. Melissa Villaseñor is now a comedian on SNL so I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to design this poster—and get it signed!
YouTube Comedy Series Posters
These posters were designed for a YouTube Comedy Series event that was presented by Campus Activities. Each week the client curated a playlist of YouTube videos with a different theme. They wanted all the posters to look similar so people would recognize the event but still be different enough so people would recognize that each event date is a different theme.
I decided to illustrate a TV in a room and change the decor and items in the room to match the theme each week. The different illustrations help inform what the event’s about and differentiate each poster while the consistency in layout makes it cohesive.
2013: Advertising Agency
Once I graduated from CWU in 2013, I worked at an advertising agency for over three years. I worked on a wide range of projects including logo design, posters and postcards, digital and print ads, outdoor signage, directories, and brochures.
Some of the clients I worked with were a car dealership, a casino, different chambers of commerce, and other local businesses near Chehalis and Olympia, Washington. I was happy to get a wide range of experience working on different projects and with different clients in this position. However, I wasn't doing work that was in alignment with my interests and values so I decided to leave the agency and pursue freelancing.
2017: Freelancing - Graphic Design & Illustration
In 2017 I started to work for myself as a freelance designer and illustrator. I worked with a nonprofit, a college, and a children’s book club consistently for a few years. I also worked with various local and online clients with smaller projects as well.
We Are Little Feminists Board Books
This is a series of three photo books for children 0-5 with the intent of helping children stand against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism. They feature images of real kids and families representing LGBTQ+ families, kids with disabilities, and a variety of cultures and races.
The design is really simple in this book. I think all the credit goes to the amazing humans who submitted photos, the author who wrote it, and the whole team who brought it together.
For the Families book, the author (and I as the designer) were lucky enough to be awarded a Stonewall Book Award. This award is sponsored by the American Library Association's Rainbow Round Table and is awarded for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.
Before working on these books, I worked with Little Feminist on a number of design projects for their book club subscription, marketing events, and fundraising.
Grays Harbor College Brochure
When I started working with Grays Harbor College they had made a lot of improvements to their campus and the programs they offered. They wanted to do a total overhaul of their brand style guidelines so it better represented the new and improved college. The overall goal was to look more modern to attract more students and they also wanted to be recognized in the community simply by the look of their new brand (without seeing the logo).
GHC kept the same logo and had already picked colors and fonts they wanted to move forward with. I helped them establish their overall look and I updated everything from signage to templates employees can utilize for their DIY documents to postcards and this brochure, which is a keystone piece.
This accordion brochure is the main marketing piece for potential students. Because there is so much information I spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to organize it so it wouldn't be overwhelming. Photos, custom icons, and custom infographics break things up. Typographical hierarchies and columns make the content easier to scan.
Cactus Love Children's Book
It's a really cool feeling to have your niece practice reading using a book that you illustrated. That was the case with this book—Cactus Love. This book was written by three siblings and their mom and published via Kindle Direct Publishing.
It's about a cactus who wants to spread his love with the world but can't give hugs because of his prickly thorns. It teaches children that they can impact the world and share their love in other ways with kind words and positive thinking.
I drew five different characters and the different backgrounds for the scenes they're in. I did hand lettering on the kind words that get sent out on hearts. I also designed the cover and did the layout design.
The Artist's Journey Creativity Reflection Journal
The author of this book already published a similar text version of this book when she came to me. She now wanted a more interactive workbook so readers could do the work that she walks them through as a psychiatrist and abstract artist.
As a kid, I would often have workbooks like this to learn various things or just to have fun documenting what my favorite things were. A lot of them had fun designs on each page so that's the feeling that I wanted to bring to this journal.
The author was looking for something hand-drawn like this to complement the content that's about creating art. It's a really fun journal to flip through and doodle on. I did all the lettering, patterns, and other doodles by hand using a drawing tablet in Adobe Illustrator.
2020: Freelancing - Layout Design
After working on a wide variety of design projects, I realized that long-format layout design was my favorite. So In 2020, I narrowed my services down to focus on workbooks, reports, prospectuses, daily planners, ebooks, and infographics.
Better Care Infographics
These infographic pages were sent digitally to promote a new app that helps patients, alternative care providers, and traditional doctors communicate with each other better.
I created the icons, designed the layout, and selected the colors and fonts for these infographics. Having experience as an illustrator allows me to seamlessly bring custom graphics into my layouts.
3 Happy Habits Workbook
This workbook was put together to accompany an audiobook. The author wanted to match the style of one of her previous workbooks but I didn't feel like it was in alignment with her target audience—women working corporate jobs.
I thought the old design was better suited for children so we discussed what aspects of the old design she liked. It turned out the colors and hand-drawn elements were what she liked. I incorporated those elements into a more professional look that's more appealing to her target audience.
The information is broken up with graphics and pull quotes to make the content easier to consume. Activities at the end of each chapter are called out in boxes so they can easily be flipped to for reference.
Daily Sales Journal
This daily sales journal is a tool that property management business coaches give to their coaching clients. It helps property managers plan, track, and achieve their sales goals. The journal starts with information on how to use the planner. The following pages include quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily planning and reflection pages.
When you're designing long documents like this with many pages that repeat, it's important to set up the Adobe InDesign file in a way that makes edits quick and easy. That's something I always do to make the revision process run smoothly.
Creating Kick-Ass Account Plans Ebook
This is an ebook that a SaaS company wrote for account managers to improve their account management skills.
This client already had an existing ebook they wanted to match the style of. I matched the style of their other ebook while customizing each layout for the content of this ebook. I followed the client's brand guidelines and utilized photos and icons from their library.
I also included some clickable links in this ebook to make it easy for users to learn more about this Kapta's products.
2022: Freelancing - Presentation Design
Presentation design was something I actually always hated because I love working in Adobe design programs so much. But after getting over the initial learning curve of how to use PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides, I realized the programs weren't so bad after all. I can still utilize Adobe design programs when I need a more powerful design tool, but I can also utilize the native features of the presentation programs themselves.
It wasn't until having a client who needed a lot of presentation design done that I realized I really liked it. I love data visualization and making information easier to understand, which is what presentations are all about.