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 :: The Rustic Smokehouse + Bar

The Rustic Smokehouse Branding

Client Overview

The owner of The Rustic Smokehouse had an idea for a large marquee sign to be featured on top of the restaurant. The Rustic's brand needed to be approachable and welcoming while still being bold, strong, and well - rustic. By creating two original logos and an identity that was both familiar and unique The Rustic's brand is flexible and functional. Instead of working with common browns and reds of rust colors a warm uplifting yellow was used to reinforce that imagery of a lit up sign. Paired with a dark, metallic blue/gray the logo and badge work well in many contexts.

My Role

  • Client Liason
  • Art Direction
  • Branding
  • Graphic Design
  • Web Development
The Rustic Logo

Branding & Print Design

Two logos were created. The badge works well for square formats such as social media profile pics and as a large watermark. The wider "marquee" version duplicates physical signage on location and is great for larger formats. Both feature custom lettering tweaks to give an original look to the font.

The Rustic Brand Usage The Rustic Brand Usage The Rustic Menu

Web Development

The Rustic also wanted a single page, branded website they would be able to update and maintain themselves. Wordpress was a practical, cost-effective solution for them. Utilizing large imagery of the restaurant and food made it easy to match the brand style established by their printed materials.

The Rustic Website

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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