Hi. I’m Jeff. I’m a graphic artist, illustrator, web designer, and type enthusiast.
I went to school for traditional and computer aided art and design and graduated from the Art Institute of Los Angeles with a degree in computer animation. I’ve worked for the last six years at PhD Studios, a small professional graphic design firm in Southern California specializing in Identity Design and Branding. I have been a lead designer on hundreds of projects including single page magazine ads, logo designs, product packaging, custom illustrations, web site design and implementation, and email marketing campaigns.
I always knew that I would create art for a living. In elementary school I used to get in trouble for doodling in class. In high school I created a comic book series that I inked with a crow quill pen and india ink, and then made photocopies to sell to my friends. I painted in oils and acrylics throughout college, and dabbled in almost every other artistic media including soft pastels, airbrush, and watercolor. I’ve taken that skill and experience in traditional art and have applied it to the realm computer where the possibilities are endless.
I didn’t go to school for web design. I never took a class in html or css. Everything I know has come from my own experience, from trial and error, and from reading a lot of online articles and tutorials. Some might question my willingness to admit this up front, but frankly, I don’t consider it to be a weakness. Rather, it showcases one of the most important talents in the world of web design: The ability to learn and adapt to new and changing technology outside of a classroom environment. Today I’m building sites with the most up-to-date web standards and best practices, while at the same time implementing all of the traditional two dimensional visual design and layout principles that I did go to school for.
Logo and Type Design
The best logotype design reduces and refines the complexity of a company, organization, product or service to the most simple, memorable, unique, and aesthetically pleasing combination of imagery and text possible. Sometimes this can be accomplished with the use of an existing font. Sometimes a more custom solution is required. I love typography. And I love creating new and interesting ways of expressing ideas through type. In some ways type design is one of the most utilitarian of the artistic disciplines. In other ways it can be one of the most expressive and evocative. I have recently begun creating my own fonts and making them available for sale. You can check them out here.
Adobe Illustrator is my number one digital illustration tool on the computer. I use it to convert rough sketches into polished finished works of art. I use it to lay out complex box designs and simple single page layouts. I use it to draw the outlines of original logos and typefaces. I am an Illustrator Ninja.
Once the basic web design is completed in Photoshop, It’s time to create your html and css. To do that, nothing is better than a plain old text editor. Coda is my text editor of choice because it has some pretty handy autocomplete features, color highlighting, and it doesn’t get in the way.
HTML & CSS
I’m not ashamed to say that when I started designing websites, I used tables to lay out my designs. Then a co-worker friend showed me the css-zen-garden website, and my life was changed forever. These days my content and my presentation are firmly at arms length. Of course, the more I learned and embraced standards based semantic html and css, the more I came to loathe and despise Internet Explorer 6. But, hey, that’s the life of a web designer.
Anything that can’t be done in Illustrator, I finish off with photoshop. It’s great for adding the depth and texture that can’t be easily done in illustrator. It’s also great for web design mockups. Of course, the best thing to use photoshop for is editing photographs.
When I need to create a site that requires content management capabilities, I turn to the best free open source CMS out there. That’s wordpress. Some dismiss WordPress as just a blogging platform, but with a good custom theme and the right plugins, WordPress can be used to create just about any kind of site you would need.
PHP & jQuery