Graphic
Design
done
right

Graphic Design
Design with Production in mind

To me, designing a document isn’t only about making it beautiful. I’m always concerned with how a document is created and produced as well as how the document is constructed. By designing correctly, changes can be made easily, or someone else can pick up the document and with a little instruction, be well on their way to create a companion piece, using common elements and styles that have been set up. Let me help you with your templates or I can train you to use the templates that are already created for you. If you simply don’t have the bandwidth to complete your project at all – allow me to do it for you.

Graphic Design Portfolio

Kinter Catalog

I’ve been working on the Kinter Catalog, for Kinter International, Waukegan, Il for the past 5 years. When I first received the files, each of the 1000+ products had a separate text frame, a table, a photo and line art. All elements were grouped together. There were 2-5 groups of products on each page. Each year, new products are added and others are removed or rearranged, creating the need for a continuous flow for the products. That first year, I rebuilt the 200+ page catalog to make each section a threaded frame. All the products were in one text frame, flowing one after another, I turned the tables into a Table Style and Anchored all of the tables, photos and line art so each would stay with the product description. It took some time on the front end, but every year, each new catalog has been easier because of the up front preparation.

L.H. Selman Paperweight Auction Guide

I’m working on my 35th catalog for this fine art paperweight auction company, located in Chicago, Il. Three times each year, I’m provided with 325+ new photos and an excel spreadsheet of the product description. Using Scripts, Paragraph Styles, Object Styles, Bridge, Find and Change and other InDesign layout tricks, I can have a completed 66 page proof back to them within the day. When I took on the project 10+ years ago, I had asked how long it took the previous designer to have a proof back and the answer was about 5-6 weeks. InDesign allows me the flexibility to be accurate and fast with all of my documents. 

Deerfield Park District

A Park District Brochure has so many working parts. There are word files of offered classes, Excel tables of prices, photos of the residents enjoying classes and events and logos from sponsors. I crafted a template by making Paragraph Styles which allow me to quickly apply formatting to hundreds of paragraphs of classes quickly. I use Object Styles, Scripts, Tables, Table of Contents and Find and Change to produce a great looking and functional document in record time.

50 States Poster

Imagine traveling to all 50 states, with your 4 boys, all in a span of 10 years. This family wanted a poster to commemorate this feat, and I was happy to deliver. We assembled at least one photo of the family from each state, and placed it into the shape of each state in a map of the United States. Click on the image to take a closer look!

Book Formatting & epub

Formatting a book completely in InDesign was an incredible experience. I placed the completed (well, not quite…. we did quite a bit of proofreading and editing) into a 10 InDesign chapters, complete with a Table of Contents, Index, Notes and Bibliography. After the PDF was uploaded to KDP, Amazon’s print on demand service, I went to work on creating the ePub. The author’s dream of publishing his own book is now a reality. 

Check out the book “Restorative Faith, Christianity for the 21st Century Rationalist” on Amazon. Three years later, we repeated the process with his second book, “Restorative Beauty, Spirituality for the 21st Century Rationalist”

Book Formatting & epub

My Dad, Larry Olson, a retired High School History/English teacher, started a memoir in the 1970s as a school project. Over the years, he’s added to it. In 2020, when we were staying home and connecting on Zoom, I said – now is the time to finish the book and get it published. After adding over 175 photos to enhance the story in this 410 page memoir of an Iowa Farm Boy, our family has a history that we will cherish forever. In the Shadow of the Cottonwood Tree illustrates in detail, growing up in a small, midwest town, learning that education was the way to excel and how one man and his family navigated growing up. Purchase today on Amazon. 

Pearlgreen Corporation

The client had a 12 year old printed catalog to be updated. We didn’t have the original files. Instead of formatting 1000+ products by hand, on every page, I used an InDesign plug-in from EMsoftware.com called InData. The client provided a spreadsheet with all the product information; Product name, photo name, attributes, etc. and with InData, I wrote code to format 1000s of products, which flowed onto the pages in a click of a button. The client was able to clean the data which fed her website as well as print a 500+ page catalog! When there were updates, we simply ran a new spreadsheet and the data updated, styles were applied and photos were anchored. After we printed the paper catalog, I created online flipbooks (using another InDesign Plug-In called in5) for each section. These flipbooks are hosted on the company website. Take a look to see the product name, photo, information and a table compiled from a spreadsheet with 25+ possible columns. 

Bartlett Tap Restaurant

A local Bartlett, IL restaurant reopened and I approached the owner to revamp his menu. I took his current, work in progress menu and refreshed it. I took it from a crowded, hard to read two pages to a spacious 6 page menu, complete with a history and photos about the restaurant. We also worked with a local photographer for feature photos of the menu items. 

Desktop Newsletter
Mobile/Responsive Newsletter

Digital Responsive Newsletter

Newsletters are typically designed in InDesign, and exported as a PDF. Many recipients try to read this newsletter on a phone, and the text is very hard to read, with a lot of pinch and zoom.  I took the typical newsletter and, using InDesign and exporting with in5, I created this interactive, responsive newsletter. Using the same link, it will show a desktop (landscape) layout when accessed on a computer, and a mobile (portrait) layout when accessed on a phone. I host this on my own website, so the link is custom, and not hosted on Adobe’s servers, like a Publish Online document would be. 

Timelines & Infographics

Infographics are all the rage. They make complex information and data easy to read and understand. These two timelines I created helped make a very in depth lecture and discussion easy to follow and understand. I started creating this in Illustrator, but quickly switched to InDesign because of styles. Paragraph, Character and Object Styles made creating and updating the infographics a breeze. The vertical timeline used the new Paragraph Borders and Shading features instead of a table.

Logos and other things.

Illustrator

logos • infographics • custom graphics • charts & graphs • timelines • maps • Illustrator Training

indesign

single page documents • multipage brochures • catalogs • book formatting • epub books • digital documents • menus • HTML5 export • InDesign to the web using in5 • interactive PDF • flipbooks • InDesign Training

Photoshop

retouching • cropping • resizing • color correction • clone • object removal • collage • photo montage