Good design communicates. Good design starts with "why?" Good design helps you win hearts & change minds.
As a creative strategist, designer and communications director, I've helped campaigns, businesses, and nonprofits of all sizes define and share their brands, win people over through compelling stories, build support and public trust, and beat their fundraising targets.
My work involves all kinds of tools, from Adobe Illustrator to cameras and lights. But no matter the medium, my goals are pretty much the same:
- Make things that generate empathy.
- Make complex ideas as simple as possible.
- Communicate the right message clearly and memorably.
I'm a fifth-generation South Dakotan, and I grew up on the farm where my family has lived for 125 years. I studied religion and classics at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and later earned an M.A. at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
My obsession with design began in third grade – the year I started my first business creating report covers for my classmates and printing them on my dad's inkjet printer. Before I made the return to self-employment, I worked on a variety of campaigns and in a few truly wonderful jobs, notably:
1. Serving as Communications Director for the Minnesota DFL Party during the 2012 election cycle. I got to develop and manage a statewide messaging strategy and design a bunch of cool stuff – not to mention help elect U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan over a Tea Party incumbent, win back control of both chambers of the Minnesota legislature, and defeat a voter restriction amendment and an anti-marriage equality amendment.
2. That summer in high school when I worked for my town's weekly newspaper. As the layout editor, I printed out and cut up columns of type, ran them through a machine that put a thin coat of wax on the back, and assembled each page like a puzzle. My passion for grids and kerning has never waned.
Today I am proud to work with progressive campaigns and values-based businesses across the country – both at my studio and as a partner at Forward Solution Strategy Group. I also serve on the advisory board for New Leaders Council, Louisiana and the board of directors of The Juror Project, and I work with candidates as part of the Truman National Security Project Candidate Advisory Group. You can usually find me at my studio in New Orleans or at the farm in South Dakota.