A Designer's Education- A Short Story I was in my early twenties. After having spent 4 1/2 years as an undergrad taking art and biology courses with the thought of becoming a medical illustrator, I now found myself in an industrial design masters program at NC State. I had no clue what a designer was supposed to do. Nor had I had any instruction aimed specifically at learning how to think, how to problem solve. When I asked our program head, Vince Foote, how to be a good designer, he replied: "You have to think like an artist, and open yourself to the world. When you do, your highs will be higher, your lows will be lower, but life will be richer." And I learned later that a richer life means you have a deeper well to draw from when designing, when problem solving. I also learned that design thinking is a process, one readily applicable to a wide range of problems, even those outside the realm of design. Vince once told us that the design process is a tool for coping with change. That has, definitively, been my experience in a life, and world, writhing with change. Design thinking and the design process are the foundation of my career, and a life long love of learning. My decision to become a designer, made within hours of visiting the school and sitting in on my first critique, was among the best and most crucial of my life. As a result, I have been privileged to have worked on fascinating projects ranging from NASA stowage studies as an industrial designer at Design Edge in Houston, to helping develop narrative art for science and technology stories at National Geographic as an art director, to teaching design and illustration at NC State, Corcoran School of Art and Design, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism. I have, more importantly, been privileged to have worked with and learned from many incredibly smart, capable and generous individuals in many fields, including design, art, journalism, engineering, business and education. Please review my work, and should you need a single illustration, a producer for a long term project, or instruction in design and illustration, please contact me. I would be delighted to put the collective experience of my many benefactors to work, for you.

Work Samples

  • Flying a Rectangular Course

  • JOIDES Resolution Scientific Drilling ship

  • Lycoming R680 Radial Engine

Work History

  • Adjunct instructor teaching graphic design, publication design


    3D Studio and infographics classes in the Visual Communications department of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Currently teaching an online Visual Communications course on multimedia in the school's graduate level Certificate in Technology and Communication.

  • Workshop Instructor

  • Summer Workshop

    • North Carolina Scholastic Media Association

    Taught three day workshops in Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign for students working on High School Newspapers and Year Books.

  • News21 Graphics Coach


    The Carnegie-Knight Foundation sponsors the News21 initiative, funding experiments in the future of news at eight journalism schools in the US. Student "Fellows", garner real reporting experience under the guidance of professional coaches during a ten week project. Fellows at UNC developed stories examining our dependence on coal as a primary electrical energy source. Entitled "Coal: A Love Story" the project is presented in multimedia form. http://www.poweringanation.org/coal/

  • Instructor and curriculum development consultant


    Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign classes for Washington, D.C. campus of proprietary design school specializing in digital media.

  • Adjunct professor


    at the Washington, D. C. campus. Taught Photoshop class for digital media students. Developed syllabus for course focused on Photoshop for image production and editing on the web and in print.

  • digital illustrator, designer

    • Currently self-employed

    CHARLES FLOYD DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION, media specialist and educational consultant. Primary focus is visual communications for science and technology.

  • Art Director


    NGM art department. Developed art concepts depicting narrative elements of stories with special emphasis on science and technology. Duties included supervision of research partner, hiring and managing contract artists, managing story budgets, art production, managing a digital imaging lab for the art department and providing technology assistance to art department staff.

  • Owner

    Operated small design and communications firm providing illustration, graphic design and interactive media services to high technology companies, advertising agencies, state government organizations and publishing companies.

  • Visiting Assistant Professor

    • Aug 1989 - May 1993 (3 years 9 months)

    Taught product design studios, drawing classes and computer-aided design courses as a Visiting Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University. Studio environment provided students with directed projects in problem solving, aesthetics, materials applications and presentation. Drawing classes consisted of instruction in perspective, basic drawing, marker sketching, presentation techniques and concept generation methods. Computer classes provided instruction in Macintosh basics as well as digital techniques for industrial designers in CAD, modeling, rendering and animation. Illustrator / Designer 2

  • Account Designer

    • Houston, TX
    • Oct 1987 - Feb 1989 (1 year 4 months)

    with Houston based high-technology industrial design firm providing product development, engineering and computer aided design services to regional and international firms. Projects included lap-top computers, medical equipment and concept development for stowage systems on NASA's International Space Station (ISS). Lead designer on concept study for Crew Emergency Return Vehicle (CERV) for emergency evacuation of the ISS. N.C. STATE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF DESIGN Masters degree in Product Design in May 1984 with a 4.0 GPA. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT GREENSBORO Baccalaureate of the Fine Arts with double major in Painting and Biology in December 1979. RELEVANT SKILLS * Design methodologies for problem solving and concept generation. * Design research methodologies. * Project management.


  • North Carolina State University

    • Masters Industrial Design
    • 1981 - 1984
  • UNC-Greensboro

    • Bachelors in Painting Art + biology
    • 1976 - 1979