about me

Hello! I am a graphic designer whose experience includes print, interactive, illustration, animation, art direction, and more.
From concept to completion, I have worked on a wide variety of projects while developing positive relationships with all levels of clients and colleagues. I enjoy collaborating with different teams to execute consistent, engaging, brand-appropriate materials.
My web designs have helped set sales records and my print designs have helped achieve great turnout for conferences and high response from catalogs. I have experience with concepting, designing, and art direction on large projects, working with other designers and production artists to execute.
My experience combined with my love for all things creative and inspiring make me an ideal design partner. Please also know that:
•  I have 20 years of experience in print and interactive communications and design.
•  I possess the self-motivation, flexibility, and passion it takes to be a valued colleague.
•  I have been successful in all of my roles and have earned a reputation as a highly organized and efficient “go-to” person.
EXPERIENCE
Freelance // Print and Interactive Graphic Designer
January 1997–Present; Lakeville, Minnesota
• Website design and weekly updates for a newspaper
• Created t-shirt designs, logo designs, and signage for a martial arts school
• Designed logos and stationery sets for non-profit groups
• Created DVD shows and designed covers and labels for private clients
• Designed a website for an elementary school

Bluestem Brands // Graphic Designer
September 2012–Present; Eden Prairie, Minnesota
• Responsible for creative concepts, designs, and art direction to support marketing events for the Gettington and Fingerhut brands; included website assets, e-mails, social media, mobile sites and apps, animated HTML5 banner ads, and overall site experience
• Designed multiple holiday themes and catalog covers; assisted with and directed photo shoots to execute concepts
Art director for a brand repositioning, new brand standards guide, and logo update; collaborated with a marketing research team and other creative partners to complete
Created and maintained brand and event style guides as well as design templates for multiple brands​​​​​​​
Helped with the selection and development of other team members

UnitedHealth Group; Optum; The Carrot Agency // Senior Graphic Designer
January 2006–June 2012; Eden Prairie, Minnesota
• Designed print advertisements, books, brochures, calendars, catalogs, CDs and wallets, direct mail pieces, Flash projects, flyers, forms, logos, newsletters, posters, sell sheets, tool kits/packaging, tradeshow booths and collateral, t-shirts, and web and e-mail graphics
• Maintained a consistent, professional, and creative brand throughout all design platforms for many different brands
• Worked with executives and marketing leads from concept development through execution of campaigns and individual pieces, often with quick turnaround times
• Coordinated with vendors from pre-press through final production of pieces, including doing press checks

Milliman // Graphic Designer, Event Planner, Assistant
June 2004–December 2005; Minneapolis, Minnesota
• Handled the production and advertising of the Disability Newsletter in addition to managing the printing, subscriptions, and mailings for this publication
• Coordinated local and national events (meetings, trade shows, and seminars) for employees and clients, which included development, printing, and mailing of brochures and postcards
• Edited presentations, proposals, and reports for appearance, spelling, and grammar

Gap Inc. Direct; GapKids // Brand Supervisor, Associate Manager
September 1997–April 1998 and December 1999–June 2004; Sacramento, California and Edina, Minnesota
• Created internal newsletters, flyers, forms, training pieces, sales tools, and displays
• Led teams of 10-30 people; direct reports consistently rated On Target and Above Target in their performance reviews
• Collaborated with corporate managers to improve Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic websites, marketing, and merchandise
• Updated the Intranet with product specifications and training tools
• Helped manage the merchandising, appearance, and in-store marketing of two GapKids and BabyGap stores

Visual Reality—Graphic Design, Photography, and Printing Studio // Graphic Design Assistant
April 1998–December 1999; Sacramento, California
• Strongly assisted in all stages of the production process, including proposal, concept, photo shoots, design, layout, writing, editing, typesetting, press checks, distribution, and invoicing of the final product
• Researched, helped select, and worked closely with pre-press, paper, printing, and distribution vendors

EDUCATION, MEMBERSHIPS, AND ACTIVITIES
Metropolitan State University
Bachelor of Arts degree, graduated with Honors, 2005: Technical Communication
Emphasis: Graphic Design

Minnesota State University Moorhead
Associate of Arts degree, 1997: Liberal Arts
Major areas of study: Graphic Communications and Mass Communications

American Institute of Graphic Arts
Professional member since 2004

Family Martial Arts Academy, Boltz’s Taekwondo
Instructor, student, and competition team member
Two-time Leadership Team Member of the Year

COMPUTER SKILLS
Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Animate/Flash, Acrobat Pro, more; HTML and CSS; HTML5 familiarity; GIF animation; Microsoft Office applications

High level of computer proficiency on both Mac and Windows operating systems

RECOMMENDATIONS
“Heather is exactly the kind of person you want to have on your creative team. She's an excellent designer who works at a breakneck pace while still producing clean, beautiful work. But what truly sets Heather apart is what she brings to a team environment. Heather is the first person to step forward and volunteer for projects, to help others with their workload, or to collaborate with writers and other designers—the quintessential team player.”
- Creative Director

“I have worked with Heather for many years at Optum. As a marketing strategist, I work with Heather to execute my marketing campaigns and I've always been impressed with her innovative and creative design skills. As a member of the creative services team, Heather plays a vital role in our market-facing image and branding. She is efficient, thorough, and very easy to work with. I feel very lucky to have her on my team.”
- Associate Director, Marketing

“From direct mail to integrated ad campaigns, Heather demonstrated versatility, creative vision, and attention to detail. From concept to completion, Heather is an engaged member of any team lucky enough to have her on board.”
- Senior Writer

“Heather is a project manager's dream. Brilliant creative concepts, a level head, an eye for detail, and deep knowledge of print production. She asks good questions, sticks with a project through thick and thin, pitches in wherever she's needed, and delivers work that is both beautiful and precisely executed.”
- Manager, Creative Project Management
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