Category Archives: Design for print

You’re right next door.

I work from my office in Western Mass, serving the Northampton area, but I work with clients from almost anywhere with an internet connection and a phone. That work includes web design, print communication, book design, visual identity development, business cards, interpretive lettering for book titling, signs and display, illustration – anything involving visual communication. Because of the internet and my technical background, I am able to communicate with printers, engravers, sign companies, web developers in your area to get the design onto a production path and in a way that is convenient to you.  Here are some examples of long distance work I’ve done in the past.



Columbia, Missouri
This was perhaps one of the more difficult jobs on the production end from over a thousand miles away. After having created a visual identity for a crafts gallery, I was asked if I could design their sign utilizing an existing, odd shaped projecting sign frame left over from the 1950s. I worked closely with a local sign company and was able to design to fit the odd space exactly. Angles, curves, frame thicknesses, etc. all conspired to undermine the project, but with photos, careful measurements provided by the sign company and my familiarity with materials, we managed to get it right.


Palo Alto, California
This was the creation of a visual identity utilizing my interpretive lettering skills working with Adobe Illustrator. The project was art directed by a San Francisco design firm that hired me for the logotype development. The client was Imagine Foods, a natural foods producer famous for their Rice Dream products.



Pretoria, South Africa
Wilmette, IL
This was a workbook and  cover design for the late Deborah Christesen in collaboration with  Julie Burnes Walker who together created the Oneness Model. This was a spiral bound workbook loaded with illustrations. At certain times we even managed conference calls between South Africa, Illinois and Massachusetts. Not so easy back in 2008.



West LaFayette, Indiana
Visual Identity,, website, blog and various print pieces such as business cards, stationery, etc. Iris Karas began this consulting practice not long after moving to indiana. Once the website was up and regular posts were being made to her blog, her business grew steadily.




El Sobrante, California
This was a DVD cover design including front (right) back (left) and spine (middle). This was part of a series of DVDs produced by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen founder of the School for Body/Mind Centering. Bonnie travels the world giving workshops and overseeing the training programs she has developed for certification. The DVDs are another method of educational outreach.




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So, what’s your story?

I focus on designing websites primarily for individuals and small businesses and I’ve developed an approach that is fairly simple, but effective given that my clients sites are all on or near page one when the service and region are typed in a search, such as in my case where someone might search for graphic designer, Northampton Mass.

Website home page for Visage Salon

But for me the key issue is having a place to present yourself to your community and beyond in the most complete manner possible. In other words, all of your marketing efforts, both online and traditional point to your website as the place where visitors can discover your unique story, one that expands, grows and changes as your business does. It is by far the most cost effective and convenient way to get that story across.












Visage Salon website, featured hair products page


Visage Salon blog post featuring product line

I recently visited a restaurant after having researched it online. The decor and the dining experience were way out of synch with what was posted online. The restaurant in the website was great and I was really looking forward to visiting. The restaurant in the flesh was a real disappointment by comparison. Perhaps if my expectations were more in line with the reality, I wouldn’t have felt so let down. Visually and technically, the site was great, but whoever created it failed to get at the essence of the business and show the reality in its best light.

Usually however, the opposite is true. An online presence is created, which is better than no presence at all, but the website falls way short of the reality. Some businesses lose perspective of what they have to offer and undersell themselves.

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Visage Salon sign face for sandwich board display on street level

As a web designer, I look for the story and work closely with my clients to make sure their online presence is accurate and fully represents what their business has to offer. Because of my background in branding (visual identity), designing for print and signage, I can then create a seamless marketing approach with the website at its core.


Visage Salon label for product bags

All of these things require technical knowledge and expertise that I can provide, but for me it’s all about the story and how to communicate that through words and images.


Visage Salon customer appointment card




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A business card for Daniel Brown…


Dan Brown is a professional artist married to a client of mine, Lisa Oxboel, life coach and professional organizer. Recently, they both moved from Massachusetts to Taos, NM after years of visiting there. In addition to Dan’s works on canvas, he has been an educator and has his own practice as a life coach, often working with other educators and artists.

After their move, Lisa contacted me to update all of her materials including her web site and business card to reflect their new location in the Southwest. Dan needed business cards for his practice as well, so he contacted me and I developed some ideas for his business identity that we applied to his card design.

Dan is also a photographer so I asked him to send me some photos taken in and around Taos along with samples of his painting. In the end, I utilized a section of one of his paintings to build his identity along with a photo of Dan. This worked well on the front of his business card.


In addition, I created a simplified graphic image from some consistent elements in his painting, namely a sliver moon and hills on the horizon. I used these logo elements on the back side of his card and expect that they will show up regularly in other promotional materials as well.

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Can’t Help Singing

I’ve been working with a client since early 2012 on a variety of projects for her daytime business. We worked together in the past but lost touch for several years, so it’s been great to be in on helping her further her business identity.

However the story doesn’t stop there, because on nights and weekends Barbara is a jazz vocalist regularly performing at clubs, restaurants and special events. She’s been wanting for a while to record her first CD, so she had me work on the design of the CD Jacket and disk art, and in September Detour Ahead made its way into the world.

We worked through the concept using some of her favorite photographs and during that time I only managed to hear her sing through some roughly recorded sessions on YouTube and audio clips. It was enough to inform the design process, but nothing could have prepared me for the final CD.

When I played it, I was stunned. Barbara has the voice, the skill, the experience, the intelligence and the heart to really deliver a song. And that she does throughout the whole CD, working closely with a number really fine musicians. These are nuanced performances that beg to be heard again and again.

Information about the CD, audio excerpts, and how to order it can be found on her website, and blog, both of which I helped her develop.

We started with the website concept and ran through quite a few ideas until one day I asked if she had anything recorded so I could get a better idea of  how that would influence the design process. She emailed me some audio files and it worked out well because what caught my attention was the fluidity of her voice. Thus was born the squiggle under her name in the header, a graphic reference to that fluidity. I then echoed that to create a kind of accompaniment, showed it to Barbara and we were on our way.

At first I couldn’t see the necessity of adding a blog to the site, but as the CD started to become a reality I became aware of all of the marketing potential the blog could deliver. The CD opened things up, making it possible to see more opportunities to communicate that just weren’t there in the beginning.

I use an easy to navigate WordPress blog template, doctored up to match the website for all of my blogs, keeping things simple so that my clients can work with it as easily as possible. Here is the blog site that interacts with the website. You can also visit the blog online.

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