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Liz Wilson

Graphic Designer/Illustrator/Artist/Web Designer at Liz Wilson Design

Saint Leonard, MD

lizstrongwilsondesign.wordpres...

I provide clients with creative design solutions, including brand identity, marketing materials, photography, illustration & web design.

Introduction
About Me

University of Maryland Alumni 2005
BA Fine Arts, Concentration in Graphic Design
Cum Laude

Specialties:

Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Photo & Video Editing, Corporate Identity, Product Design, Fine Arts, Digital Painting, Printing, Writing, Multi-Media Design, User Experience Design, Print Design, Event Graphics & Set-up Design, Web Design, Typography & Logo Design

Top Secret Clearance - Issued 2008

Business Description

I am a Contract Graphic Designer/Illustrator/Photographer working primarily as a Designer/Illustrator for Premier Kites & Designs in Hyattsville, MD and also as a part-time Substitute Teacher in Calvert County, MD. As a designer, I create print graphics, marketing material, multi-media UX design, photography, original illustrations, corporate identity packages, logo designs, digital graphics, professional presentations, front-end web designs, animations, event graphics, promotional items, booklets, advertisements, large scale graphics, drawings, and paintings.

You can email me, msg me via MosaicHub, Linkedin, FaceBook or Twitter, or call me directly.

I am available as a contractor or as a part time employee.
I am flexible, professional, punctual & friendly.

My Skills
adobe creative suite advertising animation art art direction books branding brochures content creation corporate identity creativity event graphics fine arts graphic design graphics illustration illustrator interactive cd layout logo design logos marketing materials packaging photo editing photography photoshop posters power point presentations print product design publishing ux design web design writing
Profile Questions
  • What do you like most about your profession?

    I love to help people and this is a people business. I get to learn new things from each client and their project. Seeing my designs come to fruition and fulfill their needs is amazing. My passion for design comes from the constantly changing atmosphere. Using different mediums, styles, themes, illustrations and visual manipulations are required to develop new visual concepts. My job is never the same. Each design is a new and different challenge which keeps the job fun and interesting.

  • What questions do clients most commonly ask you? How do you respond?

    Usual I hear "how did you make that?" And the answer is never the same. I usually answer with a brief description of the process and a review of the software.

  • Describe a recent client engagement or project.

    Recently I created an original logo for a fundraising event for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation called Bourbon, Bites & Bluegrass. I decided that the event needed a relaxed and fun feeling logo that would be inviting, encouraging people to attend. I used my iPad, the Paper App by fiftythree and a stylus to hand draw a barrel of bourbon and a banjo leaning up against it. I followed all the guidelines for fonts and colors provided by the foundation to keep the logo within their brand identity. The committee approved the design without any revisions, which is a first, and then asked me to also create the event invitation. Using Adobe Illustrator CS4 , I was able to layout the logo, text and images on a 5 x 7 folded card with corresponding 4 x 6 RSVP card. My designs were approved, sent off to print on time and were much appreciated.

  • What are 3 attributes you need to be successful in your industry?

    I think three attributes would be creativity, flexibility and thick skin. You obviously need to be creative to develop novel designs that fit your clients needs. But you also need to be flexible in terms of your skill. You always need to try new things, new designs, new softwares. Being able to be flexible is imperitave. And you must have thick skin because you are going to be critiqued constantly. So to understand that criticism only makes you and the design better is critical.

  • What are the most important things to consider when hiring a service provider in your field?

    I think anyone looking for a designer needs to review their portfolio. Any professional graphic designer or artist keeps an updated portfolio. Ask to see it. They may even have a website. This way you can see their work and decide if they are the right fit for you and your project.

  • How are you different than others in your profession?

    I am different because in the world of computer aided design, I always try to incorporate the fine arts when creating a design. Not all designers are artists and not all artists are designers, but I am both and use my fine art skills when creating designs.

  • How do you typically handle disagreements with clients?

    The client is always right. If they want a design their way, I will give it to them. But if I think a design should be one way and they want it another way, I give them their way along with what I think it should be for them to compare. That way they get what they want and they also get what my experience tells me they should want. Either way, the client gets what they need

  • Describe your proudest professional accomplishment.

    I am especially proud of the graphics I created for the Customer Service Fair located in the Pentagon. Seeing my hand drawn 1950's illustrations and original designs on banners and posters around the Pentagon was amazing.

    Another design I am particularly proud of is the creation of the logo elements used in the logo for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration. I was hand picked to create the graphics that were used in the final logo. It was put on flags, hats, challenge coins and shirts, and of course the corresponding website.

Work/Experience
  • Substitute at Calvert County Public Schools

    January 2014 — Present

  • Graphic Designer/Illustrator Contractor at Premier Kites & Designs

    Location: Maryland

    December 2004 — Present

    I first worked for Premier as an intern out of college in 2004, then became a full-time employee when I graduated in 2005. I worked on site until 2007. I then worked as a freelance designer making flag designs until 2010. I am back as of August 2015 at Premier as a part-time contract designer/illustrator creating catalogs and advertising materials, editing and compiling product photos, designing new products (flags, spinners, kites) and creating packaging/instructions.

  • Senior Graphic Designer/Web Designer at Home Town Rebuilders

    March 2015 — August 2015

    Create logos, design business cards & vehicle graphics as well as many other marketing materials and act as webmaster for www.hometownrebuilders.com.

  • Graphic Designer at The LymeVine

    Location: Maryland

    May 2014 — July 2014

    Created new logo and brand identity for the LymeVine, a startup organization promoting the awareness of Lyme Disease

  • Graphic Designer and Creative Consultant at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

    Location: Cincinnati, OH

    November 2013 — June 2014

    Provided graphic design services to create an original logo that complies with corporate branding for an upcoming fundraising event, Bourbon, Bites & Bluegrass. After completing the logo design, I created the invitation and RSVP card for the event.

  • Art Director at DAV (Disabled American Veterans)

    December 2012 — August 2013

    Along with a small team, I directed the creation of a brand new website for the American Veterans Disabled for Life memorial in downtown DC near the National Botanical Gardens. I have created an entirely new theme based upon the memorial foundation's logo. Along with the layout and theming, I am also contributing to the look and function of the interactive areas of the site. After the memorial is completed, I will also direct the completion of a revised site that will include an audio tour and virtual timeline. http://avdlm.org/

  • Sr. Graphic Designer/Photographer/Web Designer at Washington Headquarters Services

    November 2009 — June 2010

    Held the position of Senior Graphic Designer part of the corporate communications team and created designs and graphics for the APSD Directorate of WHS, the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War FACA Committee, the Pentagon and any WHS communications - including updating 2 intranet sites and 1 internet site, print publications, brochures, event designs, large scale documents including posters, banners, and column wraps, create original illustrations and logos, shoot photographs at Pentagon events I developed the new enterprise-wide brand for WHS with a the new web site design, new business cards, new employee orientation 22 page book with matching poster and Power Point design for all employees to use for presentations. I also assisted the web master by updating the WHS sites with current information on a daily basis. I also attended various CMS meetings to help decide which system WHS should invest in to update the system managing their information and their public website. I planned and produced graphics for large-scale events for WHS at the Pentagon, such as the annual Customer Service Fair. I was tasked to work with the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration FACA Committee to create the logo for them. The committee have chosen a few of my designs (which have changed a few times over the past few years) and it is being used on their business cards, a challenge coin and other promotional items used to generate revenue for the committee and the cause. I was responsible for taking professional photos during planned events at the Pentagon. I maintained a healthy working relationship with the professional printing vendors to produce large -scale printed graphics - posters, banners, brochures, and documents. I met with my team weekly to discuss all ongoing projects and assist my coworkers in any way necessary to provide our clients with the highest quality of work, while meeting all deadlines.

  • Graphic Designer/Photographer at System Planning Corporation

    January 2008 — November 2009

    I created 5 novel designs for brochures for 5 of SPC's divisions. Based on the division, the content and images were contoured to reflect that group, but each 8-page brochure used the same branding conveying the unity of SPC but the diversity of their capabilities. I developed newspaper advertisements, as well as digital signs for in-house events. I designed power point presentations for SPC and our clients, and several proposal covers for the Radar Team and Conference Services Team. I assisted creating the new website by working directly with the web team and web master to design the website they have today: www.spc.com. I produced all of the banner and thumbnail images throughout the site. I developed numerous event packages for various DARPA meetings, which included 2 large posters for the event, badges with the same theme for the attendees, stickers and interactive CDs with an interactive menu design and CD label. I was also tasked by NASA to write technology patent "mini-listings". After reading each patent, I would then extract the most important information and then summarize it that anyone could understand. I completed 6 marketing pieces and 36 mini-listings now so visitors can quickly browse through these complex technologies with ease and then purchase from NASA. I created the layout and marketing design for the 2008-2009 DoD Basic Research Plan which was in excess of 40 pages. It was professionally printed and bound and disseminated with an interactive CD that I also produced which included the CD Label, CD Case and the CD's main menu. I conceived the hand drawn Lady Liberty theme and produced graphics for the 21st Annual Salute to Excellence awards event for SPC, held at the Willard Hotel in DC. I produced all of the name badges, the signage, the 8 foot banner, invitations, "Reserved" signs, and the menus. I attended all State Department meetings held on the premises to shoot professional photographs.

  • Graphic Designer/Illustrator at KNC Marketing

    November 2006 — July 2007

    Responsible for managing multiple clients and their many projects which include designing direct mail pieces, tradeshow displays, websites, marketing collateral, marketing plans and competitions. Redesigned the corporate website and identity - including matching brochure. I produced original art and graphics for direct mail pieces, brochures, promotional items, T-shirts designs, banners, website designs, tradeshow displays and customer incentive programs for various clients including Capital Lighting & Supply, North Point High School, KNC Marketing and Galileo Designs. I worked closely with the screen-printing shop to create complex print designs and learned how to use the printing shop. I created weekly direct mail and email promotions pieces for KNC Marketing and Galileo Designs. I re-designed The Artists Group's entire brand - including a dynamic new website design www.taggraphics.com, with brochure and business cards. I re-designed the Galileo Designs website along with a new dynamic trade show display. I designed 2 direct mail promotions for Capital Lighting & Supply. The final documents was an 8 paged booklet with 11" x 17" pages, folded to 8 1/2" x 11". My team and I were tasked to plan and execute a year and a half long company-wide promotional customer incentive program for Capital Lighting & Supply. We named it the "Great Escapes" and developed a distinct new design. I designed 4 different 15' banners, 3 promotional mailers, 6 promotional postcards with promotional item, various other advertisements and web banners. I developed a complex corporate identity package for EPIC Solutions that included a fresh new logo design, brochure design, website design, billboard design, magazine advertisement design, promotional mailers with promotional items, and business cards. Because The Artist Group was comprised of only 3 designers, we handled all of the administrative responsibilities, answering phones and billing.

  • Graphic Designer/Illustrator at Premier Kites & Designs

    December 2004 — November 2006

    I began as an intern while finishing my Bachelors and after I graduated, I was hired on full-time. I designed numerous flag designs, garden spinner designs, kite designs, packaging designs, catalogs and marketing designs, toy designs and assembly instructions. I also attended production meetings with the art director and managers to outline what new products need to be created for each season. I became involved in all aspects of the manufacturing process - from design inception to marketing materials and catalog design. was very involved in the production of new products. I wrote product development notes with the factory in China, wrote packaging verbiage and attended trade shows. I would draw complex 3-D product, such as Garden Spinners or Kites, or a complex 2-D product, such as a Garden Flags to send to China. Once the prototype was made and approved, we would put it into production and for sale. I would then take a photo of the approved prototype for the catalog, which we would be designing simultaneously. Then packaging design, instructions and other marketing materials were made. I was responsible for the professional photography studio where I would photograph each new approved product prototype and archive the photos. These photos would be used in the creation of the next catalog. While I was designing various windsocks, garden spinners, kites, garden flags products, packaging designs, instructions, writing production notes, and maintaining the photography studio, I was responsible for designing the 100+ page WindGarden Catalog for that season by deadline. I also attended various trade shows representing the company.

Education
  • University of Maryland College Park

    Degree: BA

    Field of Study: Fine Art and Graphic Design

    Activities: Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Golden Key Honor Society

    Start Date: September 2002

    End Date: May 2005

    Graduated Cum Laude

  • York College of Pennsylvania

    Degree: Graphic Design

    Field of Study: Art

    Activities: Dean's List both semesters

    Start Date: September 2001

    End Date: May 2002

    Graphic Design

  • Calvert High School

    Degree: High School Diploma

    Activities: Art Honor Society, Swim Team

    Start Date: September 1998

    End Date: May 2001

    High School Deploma

Honors/Awards
  • Graduated Cum Laude

    Issuer: University of Maryland

    Date: January 1, 1943

    I graduated in the top of my class in 2005.

Certifications
  • Top Secret Clearance

    Authority: United States Government

    Start Date: June 1, 2008

    End Date: June 1, 2013

Publications
Location
Contact Information

Saint Leonard, MD. 20685

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