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  • Marisa Jackson

    Freelance Graphic Designer

    Nashville, TN

Marisa has loved books since she was small, and always had an inkling that this was were where she would let her creativity shine. She graduated college and went straight into a design job at a traditional publishing house in 2001, and has worked full-time independently since 2008. Today, she works fluidly with both traditional publishing houses, self-publishing authors, and other creative agencies. Beyond her skill with sophisticated visual design, her greatest assets are a hard-to-beat work ethic and a love for large, complex projects. She communicates clearly from contract to finish and always meets or beats schedules—and expectations. She truly cares about her clients, and goes the extra mile to ensure they are thrilled and excited to present their printed book to the world. As an added benefit, Marisa has a proofreader's eye; she reads all manuscripts as she formats the copy, catching and correcting errors, and making note of awkwardly written or confusing sentences that the author and/or editor may have overlooked. This is not a substitute for professional editing, of course, but an extra level of attention that she gives freely, and a skill that many designers lack. "We had a wonderful experience with Marisa. She is an artist and what she creates is not just a book, it is a work of art in its own right – the look, the feel, the sense of the book as a visual object, all combine to create a result that is attractive and memorable just for the style in which it is produced." —David R. Maidment, Hussein M. Alharthy Centennial Chair in Civil Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin "As a first time author/publisher, I needed a designer who had good experience and was dependable. Marisa was a perfect fit. She set a schedule and met it. She kept me informed and presented options and she did all the work within the agreed budget. Proof of her excellent work and approach is that with my second edition there was no hesitation in engaging Marisa without looking for alternatives." —Hal Shelton author of Amazon best seller "The Secrets of Writing a Successful Business Plan", Summit Valley Press "I had a very specific book design I was looking for and to be delivered within a pretty tight timeframe—Marisa nailed both. She was very professional, gave great feedback, and delivered better than I expected. I was impressed with the work she did. And I continue to be impressed with the follow-up work she's done. I highly recommend her." —John G. McCarthy, Financial Advisor, Speaker, Author • PERFECT POSITION COLLEGE SOLUTION™

Work Samples

  • ADDICTION/RECOVERY: It's Not About You, Except When It IS

  • FICTION/HISTORICAL: The American Patriot series

Work History

AREAS OF EXPERTISE: • Highly skilled in designing for a wide variety of audiences across a broad spectrum of genres and formats—including books, magazines, catalogs, packaging, and collateral materials • Strong verbal and written communication skills; able to effectively communicate with internal and external clients who have varying degrees of design and production knowledge • Experienced in a wide range of work flows, proofing methods, and printing processes, including on-site press checks • Adept at art direction, stock photo and art research, color correcting and editing images • Fluent in current Mac operating systems and design software; technically adept at troubleshooting hardware and software problems • Excellent time and budget management skills; able to multi-task and make quick decisions while consistently meeting tight deadlines and budgets TECHNICAL SKILLS: • Expert knowledge of Adobe CS6 and Quark 8. • Highly skilled in all aspects of 1/C and 4/C file production and printing WORK HISTORY: August 2008-present Freelance Designer • Conceptualized and designed complete books as well as catalogs, ads and other promotional material. Past and current client list: Guideposts, Central Recovery Press, UMC General Board of Discipleship, Health Administration Press, Hope for Women Magazine, American Addiction Center, Ideals Publications, Sheaf House, TLC Graphics, and various independent publishers and individuals July 2004–August 2008 Senior Book Designer September 2001–July 2004 Book Designer Ideals Publications, a Guideposts company, Nashville, Tennessee • Instrumental in the launch of the GuidepostsBooks publishing imprint in 2006. Conceptualized and implemented a sophisticated and cohesive look for the initial list of eight titles that set the tone for the ongoing publishing program. Designed a total of 28 titles for the list since 2006. • Responsible for art direction and design of Ideals, a 64-page, full-color periodical published four to six times yearly. Collaborated with editor to achieve a classic design within tight budget constraints. • Designed a wide range of products—from gift books, travel guides, and specialty items to children’s board books, picture books, and educational material • Selected freelance illustrators and provided art direction for cover and interior art; negotiated illustrator contracts • Designed full-color catalogs and ancillary promotional materials, including advertisements, brochures, posters, and signage • Achieved on-time and on-budget delivery of products that met highest standards of quality • Managed production process of each project from design through printed product. Responsible for as many as 15 titles at any given time. • Communicated with prepress house and printers to achieve high-quality scans and proofs. Built files to printer specs and kept projects flowing smoothly from template to final output. • Worked with international vendors in Italy, Mexico, China, Singapore, and various U.S. locations • Provided technical support to other Mac-based staff. Acted as liaison to offsite IT manager August 2000–December 2000 Graphic Designer June 2000–August 2000 Graphic Design Intern Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville, Tennessee • Translated existing logo design into full range of promotional products for first annual Fest de Ville Nashville. Produced posters, newspaper and magazine ads, brochures, street banners, stage backdrops, festival map, etc. • Assisted in marketing other TPAC events through ads, programs, mailers, and invitations August 1996–May 2000 Ad Designer/Production artist MTSU newspaper, Sidelines, Murfreesboro, Tennessee • Managed all aspects of ad production. Flight-checked incoming files, designed and output ads, handled paste-up and prep for printer. • Designed annual 32-page media kit


  • Middle Tennessee State University

    • BFA Graphic Design Graphic Design
    • 1996 - 2000

    Graduated summa cum laude, full-scholarship, with numerous awards, including a 2000 Addy Award (Illustration, student division)



2000 Student Addy Award