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 :: Ian's Pizza

Client Overview

Ian's Pizza by the Slice started as a late night hot spot for college kids to grab a slice before returning home after a long night. Since their inception they have grown to become a respectable, community oriented business with 7 franchises located across the US. Their clientelle has grown from late nite revelers to include a strong lunch and dinner crowd, including business professionals, families, and students.

Ian’s originally started out wanting a look and feel similar to Frank Miller’s Sin City, all black and white with a splash of red. The plan was to not use any photos and rely on edgy, bold illustrations to build the brand (along with awesome pizza of course). Over the years they've harnessed the power of their logo and color to push their brand recognition. They've also expanded their brand to a more family-friendly image motif while still maintaining the graphic novel style that helped to set them apart from their competitors.

My Role

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


Art Direction

Art Direction at Ian's was always a matter of strategizing with the illustration team to push the artwork in an edgier, more eye catching direction. Making optimal use of the box's natural color allowed for a lighter look overall, yet maintained the company palette and focused on the logo. Here you can see the progression of a box design from the illustrator's first draft to the final printed version.

Illustrator's first draft
Round 2
Final Illustration
Printed Box


Graphic Design

Creating branded menus, business systems, signage and table tents for Ian's provided the opportunity to emphasize the Ian's brand by working with its logo shape, colors, and typography. Combined with black and white imagery the printed materials resulted in modern, bold and functional design.


Graphic Design

Creating branded menus, business systems, signage and table tents for Ian's provided the opportunity to emphasize the Ian's brand by working with its logo shape, colors, and typography. Combined with black and white imagery the printed materials resulted in modern, bold and functional design.


Web Design & Development

In the mid 2000’s Ian's replaced their original Flash based site with a new one tailored to the company’s need and desire to use employee created content. The site emphasized artwork and also provided the ability to showcase custom content based on a franchize location. By utilizing the Wordpress CMS Ian's was able to have multiple admin levels and encourage their employees to write and contribute articles.

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.

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