About

I am a graphic and web designer, and front-end developer based in Columbus, Ohio. I’ve worked in a variety of capacities throughout my professional career — in-house creative, freelancer, and creative leader in agencies.

I currently serve as the Art Director and general creative lead at GREENCREST, a full service integrated marketing agency in the Columbus area, where I’m been since June, 2013. I head up the design and direction of our client work, whether print, branding, or web and interactive media design. I am also the in-house web developer, working primarily with WordPress.

Education

Growing up, I had aspirations of being a comic book artist. But after ready Ogilvy on Advertising, I wanted to get into the advertising field. I graduated with a BA in Advertising Design from the Columbus College of Art & Design in 1993. I had a double minor in Illustration and Photography.

Past Work Experience

My first professional career began in December of 1992 (just before I graduated). I took over as creative head of a small, weekly, employment-related newspaper called Columbus Employment News. I was responsible for the creative direction and design of a weekly newspaper, and managed the production team and process to publish a final product. I improved the quality of our advertising and created several successful demo ads for potential clients, which helped contribute to increased advertising revenue and a tripling of publication size. I also improved the production method, where we were regularly shortening our production times and beating our scheduled press time by hours.

I left Columbus Employment News in April, 1994 to join a small advertising agency in Worthington headed by advertising legend Jack Haunty, The Haunty Agency. As a designer, I created several successful promotional projects and advertising campaigns for clients, including Donatos Pizza and The Hills Market. However, due to agency cutbacks from the loss of some clients, my time there was brief and left in August, 1994.

I began working as a full-time freelancer for a few local agencies that I made great connections with as a student and my involvement with the Columbus chapter of AAF. I worked on a variety of print and branding projects.

In April, 1995, I was approached by The Columbus Employment News to head up the creative launch of publications in two new markets, Cincinnati and Dayton. Not long after, I also took over the creative and production lead of the Columbus-area publication, managing the creation and production of three weekly publications. During this time, I successfully transitioned the production process from paste-up to 100% electronic production. I also spearheaded the move to deliver the publications to the printers using electronic modem delivery. This again reduced production times and improved the quality of printing. I also transitioned the papers from a two-color process to a four-color one. The additional production costs were more than made up by the sales teams being able to sell color advertising. The publications again continued to grow and saw a growth in page size by 400 percent. The publications were so successful that they were sold in August, 1998. Foreseeing negative changes in production by the new owners, I left in November, 1998 and returned to full-time freelancing.

During my second stint as a full-time freelancer, I again worked with the same agencies as before, but also worked directly with a few small companies and start-ups as their exclusive design studio. A few of those companies were Tiger Systems Inc., Waterman Filters, WilliamsonWorks LLC, and Beggin Paws Bakery. It was also during this time that I began exploring web design, teaching myself HTML and eventually CSS.

In March, 1999, I joined Xenos Christian Fellowship in a newly-created marketing department as Art Director. I provided design and art direction for the various ministries and events in the church, including promotional material such as brochures, annual reports, logos, invitations, catalogs, and packaging; and reorganized and redesigned the primary promotional and informational collateral for the church. I also restructured and redesigned the web site to be more user-friendly, simplify navigation, incorporate interactive multimedia, eliminated methods wasting bandwidth, and incorporated CSS/XHTML and templates to greatly reduce time required to add new content or update dated material. I also helped develop a project management system for design projects, and oversaw a handful of designers that assisted in either a part-time or volunteer capacity. Due to financial cutbacks at the church, I left my role in April, 2006.

I began my third stint as a full-time freelancer, working with several more area agencies such as RMD Advertising, Ten United, PPA Graphics, Stonefly Communications, and Blue Diesel; as well as non-local studios such as Involution Studios in Massachusetts. I continued to work with smaller companies such as Dynamic Resource Group, Creative Services Ltd., Comfort Photography, and Advantage Funding Solutions, to name a few.

In May, 2007, I joined TCS Software as Art Director. Here I designed and built websites for associations, government agencies and non-profits using wireframes, site maps, using our custom CMS tool. I also developed identity and branding strategies and logos for a number of our clients. I provided design and art direction to our company promotional materials, both web and print, and led the redesign of the CMS interface to improve the user experience.

I remained at TCS until January, 2013, where I embarked on my fourth stint as a full-time freelancer. I continued that until June, 2013, when I joined GREENCREST.

© 2017 Chris Kavinsky