About Me

a: 3750 N Wilton Ave. #2 / Chicago, IL 60613 | e: jack@jacksaxestaral.com | p: 608-216-4099

About Me

I help companies define their image. By collaborating with clients, I create new and breath fresh life into existing logos. Additionally I provide general design services for both print and digital mediums. I’m passionate about making the mundane inspirational, and finding ways to make your company stand out from the crowd.

My experience is broad and I consider myself to be a bit of a jack of all trades in regards to design. Over the past 10 years I’ve been involved at almost every level of the design process; from sketching mockups to print production to web development. I’ve worked with a diverse range of mediums and clientele including businesses based in the service industry, education, the arts, government, and agencies. During that time I’ve also had the opportunity to excel in a variety of non-design roles including art director, developer, seo analyst, and consultant; all of which have given me insights into how important design can be in directly impacting sales, growth, and the overall success of a company.

I strongly believe in working with my clients, not for them, and once hired, I consider myself to have a vested interest in the success of my client. Regular meetings and clear communication are key to the success of any project. Through collaboration we will define your brand, own it, and implement design that speaks to your audience.

Professional Experience

  • Design
    • Creation of logos, style guides, icons, packaging, business systems, posters, flyers, mailers, merchandise, websites, and more for small and large companies.
    • Built and presented mobile app and website mock-ups in an informative way that clients could interpret and understand.
  • Brand & Art Direction
    • Researched, strategized, and collaborated with clients to create over ten original brands; including logos and identity guides for both print and digital.
    • Redefined and updated brand identities for well-established non-profits and small businesses.
    • Successfully directed the creation of visual assets used to create hundreds of t-shirts, tens of thousands of menus, and hundreds of thousands of pizza boxes.
    • Directed and collaborated with a team of letterers and artists to create a complete line of labels for a brewery’s bottles, growlers, and cans.
  • Development
    • Self-taught web developer, allowing me to oversee and facilitate client projects from concept to launch.
    • Created 20+ websites with custom themes, functionality and in some cases complete ecommerce stores.
    • Emphasis on mobile friendly design utilizing frameworks like Foundation and Bootstrap.
  • Management
    • Grew my company With Gusto from servicing a single client to handling over 30 active clients by focusing on and empathising with client needs, and delivering brand-focused creative direction.
    • Efficient use of project management and delivery methodoligies for satisfying the demands of multiple clients at once.
    • Lead multiple teams (in-house and remote), relying on an agile project management philosophy including a trimmed down SCRUM.
    • Have lead and collaborated with designers, developers, illustrators, letterers, and writers.
    • Mentored and cultivated the abilities and confidence of interns by teaching them how to leverage their own creative experience and aesthetics.
  • Client Facing
    • Managed almost all interactions for 10-30 active clients at any given time. Involved in everything from the creation and presentation of sales decks to leading consult, strategy and project recap meetings.
    • Conducted over 20 on-site training programs for 1-10 people each, empowering clients to take control of and get the most from their websites.

Skills

  • People
    • Agile Project and Small Team Management
    • Communicate and Collaborate with both Creatives and Developers
    • Client Presentations and Training
    • Print & Production Oversight and QA
  • Programs
    • Adobe CC - Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, XD, Acrobat, and Dreamweaver
    • Sketch
    • Keynote, G-Suite, and Microsoft Office
  • Web Development
    • HTML, CSS, SCSS, PHP, MySQL, Javascript/JQuery, Git
    • Zurb Foundation and Bootstrap Frameworks
    • All Things Wordpress

Work History

  • 2002-2006
    • Graduated University of Wisconsin Madison; BS in InterArts & Technology
  • 2006-2009
    • Owner, Alchemydia Design LLC
  • 2010-2017
    • Owner, With Gusto LLC
  • 2011-2016
    • Board Member and VP, Design Madison
  • Present
    • Web & Graphic Designer, Freelance

Work Experience :: Calliope Ice Cream

Calliope Ice Cream

Client Overview

Like their namesake, Calliope wanted to be a bit different, a bit retro, and to exemplify that feeling of Summer fun. Their wild, carnival-esque atmosphere was reflected in their unexpected ice cream flavors. No plain chocolate or boring old vanilla to be found here. Instead they invented flavors like Peanutbutter Sriracha, Lemon Lavender, Brandy Old Fashioned, and the ever popular (bourbon and bacon infused) Hearty Breakfast.

Creating packaging for Calliope was a lesson in compromise. Their budget was slim and they needed something that would stand out in grocery store freezer racks next to the likes of Ben & Jerry's and a slew of other boutique ice creams. That meant packaging that was cheap to purchase and print on and could be used for every flavor with minimal edits. Using a yellow striped pattern and the seal portion of their logo we were able to create a simple design that stood out well next to the competition.

My Role

  • Client Liason
  • Art Direction
  • Project Management
  • Branding
  • Graphic Design
  • Prepress
  • Web Design & Development

Art Direction

Calliope's brand is all about non-traditional, retro summer fun. Light primary colors and a custom logo illustration of their namesake was just the first step in creating a brand that really popped. By directing the creation of the stylized calliope illustration and combining it with a primary color scheme a truly unique logo began to emerge. Replacing the hand lettering with a stylized seal that could be placed on top of the illustration or used by itself allowed for some adaptability in the brand. The final trick was using an offset outline to gives a hand-crafted spin to their brand.

Illustrator's initial concepts
Final illustration
Refined and completed logo
Detail of "offset" effect

Graphic Design

Calliope is essentially ice cream for adults. Harnessing the retro feel and focusing and branded color scheme instead of what the ice cream looked like gave the ability to create better printed material. The diagnol stripes became almost as important to the brand as the calliope itself. Relying on colors and a vintage aesthetic allowed for promotional signage that let the Calliope logo take a backseat, while retaining a design that was clearly on brand.


Web Design & Development

Calliope Ice Cream's website needed to be simple, clean, informative, and of course - resposive. All pertinant information can be found on the homepage with more details available if a user wants. Additionally the site showcases all of Calliope's unique flavors and ingredients as well as retail locations. Built on Wordpress, Calliope's web admins can easily add new flavors, remove old ones and update an interactive google map with all of their retail locations.

Let's Work Together

a: 3750 N Wilton Ave. #2 / Chicago, IL 60613 | e: jacksaxestaral@gmail.com | p: 608-216-4099

Let's Talk

We'll get things rolling with a 20 minute phone call. We can discuss your needs and the next steps for making your ideas into reality. Select a time that works best for you, and I'll give a you a call.

  Schedule a Meeting.

Send Me a Message