The Short Story

My name is Ellen!

I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer and developer based out of the GTA. I am a graduate of the Graphic Design Program at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario.

As a bag full of tricks, I will happily solve any design problem you have, from print design to web design and development. I can even help you establish your brand, revamp it or simply expand it.

The most important part of part of starting a new project is making sure we both have the same goal. I’ll take care of all the nerdy technology things. You just need to keep your dream.

The Long Story

The Early Years

I was born in Lahr, Germany, into a military family. After getting posted across Canada for a few years, we settled in Kingston, and that’s where I found my love for art.

I was in an arts-based ‘focus’ program (LEAP) for 3 years, which completely changed the way I think, act and create.

The High School Years

Not knowing what I wanted to do after I graduated, I took mostly social science classes in high school (and a guitar building focus program). I started working on the military base as a server, where I worked for almost 8 years, and begun learning the technique of being professional and adapting to any situation I’m presented with (e.g. secret Princess Anne visits).

The College Years

Finally finding out that graphic design was a real thing, and that I could study it, I applied for the Graphic Design program at St. Lawrence College. And I loved it.

I got involved with RGD as the Student Representative from St Lawrence, which gave me a lot of insight into how our industry works, and what it means to be an ethical designer.

The Volunteer Experience

I also started designing for Kingston Pride. I learned a lot about accessibility and inclusiveness. Due to complexity and diversity in the LGBT2QI community, I have learned a tremendous amount about the extent that a committee and a designer have to go to to make sure the entire community is included, informed and fully accessible. This experience made me really open my eyes to see how important it is for a designer to respect the morale and sensitivity of their audience.

The First “Real” Job

I also became the Graphic Design Assistant for St. Lawrence College. This gave me a lot of insight into a different kind of accessibility (more screen readers, less pronouns (but still a bit of both)), and what it’s like to work in an office environment as part of a team. Lots of shenanigans, turns out.

The Second “Real” Job

I graduated from college and started working at a print shop, where I learned a tremendous amount of knowledge about the printing process and pre-press (which are apparently skills most designers do not have). This insight has carried me through many projects where printing was a cause for concern with the client. Having a good relationship and good communication with your printer is step 1 of a successful print job.

The Freelance Job

I worked as a contractor and a subcontractor for a year as a print/web designer and web developer for a local web development company and a marketing agency based in Alberta. I’ve worked with some big brands, and have gained an incredible amount of knowledge and a whole different kind of problem solving skills than design teaches you. I’m a little better with math, and a whole lot better with the internet. Win-win.

The Studio Job

I’ve recently started working at a design studio in Markham, learning more about working in a firm (a bit different than working from home. I have to go outside every day) and more about project management and the importance of client relationships and team work.

The Goal

I love working on unique projects and learning new things. I will do everything I can to make both of those things happen.

It’s not worth it if you didn’t learn anything.