19 July

What do you need design to do?

What do you need design to do?

Most people know when they have encountered something designed well. They may not realize the process that made it real. Well-trained designers can make all these things your reality. Create desire You’re a human and need something or want something. How do you choose between two companies offering the same thing? Design can communicate instant […]

8 October

“Haunting the CEO” book design

“Haunting the CEO” book design

John Hughes, author of Haunting the CEO, needed help preparing his inspirational leadership story for publishing. He wanted the first printing to be a hardcover, cloth-bound and hot-stamped book. Classy. This is from his website: In 2010, John wrote and published Haunting the CEO, a leadership book written in story format. The book has been a top […]

8 July

ACLU-WA annual report

ACLU-WA annual report

I worked with the ACLU of Washington as their go-to designer before they had in-house resources. It was a long and fruitful collaboration. One of my favorite print projects was the 2004–05 annual report that featured the work (in beautiful photographs) of a local ceramic artist, Randolph Silver, who found the Patriot Act particularly motivational. […]

8 June

Pacific Northwest Ballet School brochures

Pacific Northwest Ballet School brochures

This is my favorite of the two ballet school brochures I designed (way back when) and produced for the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. I worked with the PNB in-house marketing staff. Francia Russell was the director. Photos by John Holmberg, Terri Port and David Cooper.    

8 June

Pacific Northwest Ballet souvenir booklet

Pacific Northwest Ballet souvenir booklet

I was fortunate to work with the PNB in-house marketing staff from 1983–85. This souvenir booklet has an embossed cover with pearl spot varnish throughout and sepia photos. PNB called the Good Shepherd Center their home at the time—both the Ballet and the Ballet School. This was during the first decade of the Francia Russell […]

9 May

Use 1 publishing tool well and watch your content multiply!

Use 1 publishing tool well and watch your content multiply!

Recently I met with a couple of my colleagues, Teri Shelton from River Dog Marketing, and Mark Root-Wiley from MRW Web Design, and discovered that we shared the same professional challenge. Many of our clients put a ton of effort into writing and publishing e-newsletters. None of this information is being archived on their websites Visitors […]

25 February

Mysterious design secret no. 4: the most important ingredient in any recipe

Mysterious design secret  no. 4: the most important ingredient in any recipe

Not sugar: font hierarchy! It sounds a tad jargony and not at all appetizing. What does it mean—and why is it so important? How can you use it to actually add flavor to your ideas? Hierarchy means structure I am certain most of my readers know what an organizational hierarchy is—from traditional top-down, to flat, […]

22 January

Mysterious design secrets no. 3: do first things first

Mysterious design secrets no. 3: do first things first

Planning pays off There will always be people who fly by the seat of their pants. Some succeed through dumb luck or charm. I help my clients operate differently, through a groundbreaking method called planning. We do just enough to set a course, before paralysis by analysis can set in, so chaos and play can […]

10 December

Mysterious design secret no. 2: use icons meaningfully

Mysterious design secret no. 2: use icons meaningfully

The number of icons we encounter is staggering On our computer screens, our phones, in real life, we are inundated by icons. As with any trend that takes off—like neon colors in sportswear—I predict that we will look back on this icon habit as one we should have stepped away from. Why? Because there are so […]