Jim Page's Creative Portfolio 

Creative Direction, Graphic Design and Print Production

What exactly do I bring to the table?

I'm not only a graphics designer; my background also includes creative direction, where I assist other graphic designers utilize their talents and abilities to get the best product for the client. Although I'm a graphic designer and print production person, I also design production and creative workflow systems. I enjoy collaborating with other talented designers and the clients. I know what good design is and how to achieve it. Also important is using the amazing technology available today to make things work smoothly and effectively. 

Here are some pieces where I was much involved in the design process, as designer or a collaborator, and am proud of the results.

Here's a design I recently did for a newsletter. This was strictly a design exercise, not an assignment:

Here's a logo for a jazz trio:

Here's a cover mockup for a health and wellness magazine:

Website landing page for a company I co-own:

PBP Website

Business card for same company:

Jeff Card 2 copy

Print Production

I've struggled with how to show visually this important aspect of what I do. Hence the deliberately fuzzed-out image above. I wouldn't feel comfortable showing anything more than this, because this is proprietary and confidential info. So the numbers and such on this image have been deliberately blurred out.

I have spreadsheets, generated weekly, going back to 1991 for all the firms I've worked for. All of them declared this info was invaluable in their decision-making.

Recording and tracking every aspect of a project in a design group not only keeps the account managers and designers informed about where their jobs are in the production process, but keeping tabs on each and every purchase and expense provides return-on-investment info that corporate decision-makers require.

This info has to be instantly accessible and totally up-to-date. So that is what I do. Using custom Excel spreadsheets, I can provide rock-solid tracking of every aspect of every task at hand, going back as far as my involvement at the firm allows.

This keeps the accountants happy, reassures the account managers that their budgets are respected and spent wisely and ensures that the design group is certified as useful to the firm. Invoices are tracked, coded and filed for ready access when required by the account team, accounting or auditors.

When budgets allow, web-based tracking solutions are invaluable for team members, and when the budget doesn't allow for that, I simply create spreadsheets that do much the same thing. Whatever it takes, it is well worth the effort.

How I Save You Time and Money In Print Buying
(This early-American printer, shown here in my favorite portrait of him, knew the value of time and money)
There is no big secret to effective print production or buying, but it does require knowledge of the printing processes and experience in dealing with printers.

First of all, there are usually 17 or so elements to a print job that the printer has to know before they can price it accurately and provide a turnaround time. There is no point in asking for a price/turnaround until you know the specific parameters of a job. Before I send the printer my Request for Quotation, I determine exactly what that those elements are and provide that info in a clear and concise way. That saves a lot of back-and-forth between the vendor and me.

Then I send that RFQ to four qualified printers and ask that they respond within 24 hours. By qualified printers, I mean printers who are geared by their machinery and prior experience to succeed easily on a given job. That's where the experience comes in: knowing what each printer can do well. Few printers will ever tell you that they can't do a job. But there's no point in sending a four-page 2/2 brochure with a quantity of 3,500 to a web printer for a quote, or sending a 32-page 4/4 saddle-stitched magazine quote request to a small letterpress shop. They will either sub out the job to another, more qualified, printer (costing you G&A plus fee twice) or drop the ball by trying to do a job they aren't set up to do well.

Also, by sending the RFQ to four printers and letting them know that you are sending it to four printers, you've given notice that (a) the printers are competing on a level playing field against three competitors and they'd better price the job realistically, and (b) you aren't a babe in the woods waiting for a printer to save them from the wolves. I also caution printers not to lowball their price just to get the initial job.

There are a lot of other tactics that I've learned in a long career dealing with print vendors, but those are some key aspects to the task.

So I've Done 60,000 Print Jobs; What Does That Mean?
(Image: I Wish Your Wish by Rivane Neuenschwander)
It means that I have been involved, usually in a supervisory mode, in a lot of different kinds of design and print production. These have included, but are not limited to:
• Newspapers,
• Magazines,
• Books of all kinds (hard-bound, paperbound, and more),
• Comic books,
• Brochures,
• Flyers,
• One-page handouts,
• Specialty non-paper items,
• Posters,
• Signage and fabrication,
• Exhibits,
• Calligraphy and unusual award materials,
• Out-of-home (billboards, bus signage, convention wall signage),
• Direct-mail material of all kinds, and
• Stationery, business cards, rolodex cards, and Post-its

Print runs have varied from one copy (illuminated calligraphy scroll for a Nasdaq board member, for example), to a run of over 15,000,000 (custom multi-element direct-mail package to all U.S. high-school seniors for the Army National Guard).

It also means that the training wheels came off quite a long time ago.

Organizing Counts!
Being efficient means being organized. I am not by nature an organized person, but I learned a long time ago that being organized saves time and money. So that's what I learned to do. I am probably the most organized person you'll ever come across.

I was lucky enough to meet Steve Jobs a couple of times at a former job, and he asked me what application I found most useful on the Mac. I instantly responded, "The AddressBook. It's like the old Hypercard program, only ten times better. It makes my life so easy because every bit of data I ever need is captured in there and it's searchable."

He actually smiled and said, "Well, I bet you and I are the only people in the world who use it like I intended."

Pretty nice moment.

Call To Action!
(Image: Reveille by Stacey Neumiller)
Now that you've seen what I can do, let's talk! Please contact me so that we can meet and discuss how I can help your company/organization achieve its goals with results-oriented design studio/creative print management! Just look me up on LinkedIn.com (link below) to send me a message.

Whether your products are books, magazines, direct-mail pieces, brochures, flyers, handouts, the ingredients are all the same. It's knowing how to make those elements work that will give you the impact you need and deserve.

Thanks for visiting!

--Jim Page


If you aren't a LinkedIn user, then my home email address is in this mini-resume; just click on it to enlarge:

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