FREELANCE GRAPHICS

experience

I'm a trained studio artist, so I learned about design elements and principles via traditional art media. I am self-taught as a graphic designer.

My studio-art credentials include an MFA in painting and drawing and several years' experience teaching drawing and two-dimensional design as an adjunct professor. My early experience as a copy editor and proofreader made me aware of text as a visual element. Later on, when I needed to, I found it surprisingly easy to transfer this accumulated visual literacy to the digital environment.

In 2013 I moved to the rural Midwest, where I learned Adobe InDesign in a self-created role as the  developer and managing editor of a rural “alt-monthly.” That project marked the beginning of my self-education in digital design tools. Since the digital design environment is always changing, my learning necessarily continues.

services and rates

portfolio: assorted freelance work

portfolio: Cortez Cultural Center

All images used with permission of the Cortez Cultural Center

portfolio: branding the Macopolitan

From 2013–2018 I lived in the rural Midwest, and for most of that period I worked as the creative developer and managing editor of the Macopolitan, a hyperlocal "alt-monthly" publication for the town of Macomb, Illinois, and its environs.

 

Published under the fiscal sponsorship of a local nonprofit organization, the Macopolitan was a rural placemaking experiment in print, with a deliberately low-fi DIY aesthetic. It was aimed at addressing Macomb's socioeconomic fragmentation and promoting its under-recognized cultural assets. Content consisted of local event listings and feature stories authored by local residents.

Below: publication design elements, marketing collateral, and graphic identity

portfolio: the Macopolitan in PDF

The Macopolitan was my "graphic-design training ground" and a creative adaptation to life circumstances necessitating professional reinvention.

 

It was the first time I really used my editorial/communications experience AND my design training in a single role, and my first in-depth experience designing in a digital environment. I am a much better page designer now, but I am still proud of this project and its community impact.

Click any cover image to view the entire issue in PDF format.

Copyright © 2018 Hillary McMahan. All rights reserved.