Just Sue Graphic Design
Fort Wayne, IN
2003 - 2020 (17 years)
I currently am employed at Just Sue Graphic Design.
Just Sue Graphic Design is a very small, woman-owned Graphic Design company. When I started here, there was one employee and the owner. Adding me, made 2 employees! I don't have enough space and you don't have enough time for me to explain my growth at Just Sue. I was given free creative license, almost from day one. I work directly with the client and directly with various vendors. I quote jobs and am responsible for staying in budget. We do everything here from small Mom and Pop ads in the local newspaper to branding and corporate identification projects for large, national companies. I love the variety of working on an Alternator Parts catalog in the morning and Fashion Magazine evites in the afternoon. I get to learn what it is that my client does and how I can best be of service. I love learning about my client's businesses.
Besides all the traditional print work, I also have a lot of clients that come to me for digital imaging/retouching. Our website business has also grown over the years. We now also provide our clients with WordPress website design.
I basically get to be Creative Director, Art Director and Graphic Designer all at the same time.
2001 - 2003 (2 years)
Lassiter is also an Ad Agency (which does happen to be still in business...) just on a smaller scale compared to Marketing Impact. Large Agency life just wasn't for me at the time. I had an infant and a grade-schooler at home and 1AM just wasn't working out for me. I had built up my portfolio (all thanks to the wonderful people at Marketing Impact) and had no problem getting hired at Lassiter. I was doing the same exact thing I was doing at my previous job. Page layout, catalogs... and my photo retouching skills had grown quite. I still had to answer to an Art Director, but our ideas were heard more. We were encouraged to do what was asked of us, and if we had what we thought was a better idea, we were permitted to present it. I still had no contact with the client (for the most part) and no contact with printers or budgets. I just did my part and passed it on.
Fort Wayne, IN
1999 - 2001 (2 years)
This was a BIG step for me. Marketing Impact (also, no longer in business) was an actual ad agency. Not in-house like my previous job. I still can't believe they hired me when I think about my portfolio from the auction company. Anyway, somehow they saw some potential in me and I joined a force of maybe 4 other young graphic designers, an Art Director, a Creative Director and a Copy Writer on staff! I didn't really get to design my own ideas. I would take what the Art Director would give me (which originally came from the Creative Director) and build it in QuarkXPress. I knew Quark quite well from my past jobs. But knew nothing about Photoshop. We had team meetings and brain storming sessions and job assessments. In this time period, we still didn't have personal email or internet access at each computer. One guy would check email a few times a day. If you had a grammar question, you called the Library Help Desk. Finished projects were mocked on boards with tissue and color breaks. I got a ton of experience working as a team, taking direction from someone. Taking a project from start to finish. How important it is CYA and get all approvals. One of my colleges was patient enough to teach me the basics of Photoshop. We were doing a lot of work for Zimmer (replacement knees and hips) and there was gobs of photo retouching and outlining to be done. We also had an in-house commercial photographer. He showed me how to photo direct and to use the scanner and how to do some basic color correction.
1998 - 1999 (1 year)
Kruse International was a large collector car auction service in Auburn. They were known worldwide. I think they've been bought out a few times since then. Not only did they have the one gigantic collector car auction in Auburn, but they also traveled the world preforming auctions that sold antique and classic cars. They also sold famous cars, like the Batmobile or a fancy Duesnberg or an ambulance that took James Dean to the hospital. Anyway, my job was to assemble ads and small brochures for their weekly (and sometimes be-weekly) auctions. The ads would be placed in local newspaper publications or Car Collector magazines. At this time, I was designing on the computer, but when the ads were done, the art was taken to a place to get film made. I learned a lot here too! How to meet deadlines, how organize my files on the computer and how to cram 10 car photos that were taken in someone's dark garage into a 2x3 ad.
Kendallville News Sun
1997 - 1998 (1 year)
My very first job out of college! I was so excited. I worked in the Advertising department as a production artist. Mostly creating display ads for the local newspaper. Each of my jobs has taught me something important. This job helped me become familiar with the computer programs and learn the key board short cuts. My production speed increased 10-fold. We didn't have a whole lot of computer time at college (as I went to college right on the cusp of the digital take over).