Man's mind,
stretched to a new idea,
never returns to its
original dimensions.

—Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Idea Mind
What is Graphic Design?

Often, when I tell people that I am a visual communicator, or a graphic designer, they will smile and nod. I can see the wheels turning as they try to process just what this means. If this has ever been you, don't feel bad, for sometimes even we designers have a tough time defining what that means.

Graphic Design for me is the art of visual communication. Graphic comes from the latin 'graph' which means writing. Design on the other hand is a word people tend to use and not really 'feel' the meaning of. Design is very closely related to the word 'decide'. It means deciding how each aspect of a thing should be 'ahead of time'. Deciding ahead of time is the definition of the word 'precision'. So we might boil it down to 'precise writing".

When everything from a type face, to its size, to its weight, to its alignment, and color, and many other aspects are chosen for reasons that help it look like the message should 'sound' or 'feel"... and is then combined with carefully selected and styled imagery, that's graphic design.

In essence graphic design is communicating visually... precisely!

The Heart and Mind of JK Design

I began training in the field of graphic design as a freshman at Middle Tennessee State University in 1987. For those of you who may not know about the old days of graphic design, that was in the days of T-squares, French curves, press-on-type and actual paste-up work that was done with, you guessed it ...paste.

As a senior in the program in 1991, I decided to take some time before completing my degree. In that time, I got a great taste of the real world, honing skills of good customer service to a sharp edge while working for great companies. In 2004, a bit later in the path than I expected, circumstances were right and I returned to MTSU to complete my degree. As I have come to find in this life, there is a perfect timing, and this was it. What I found was interesting. Everything had changed, and not for the worse.

The Journey Continues...

Now, all that work that was once done by hand is handled digitally. It took time, but I learned entirely new methods of rendering work ready for press or, as I found I enjoyed, for the world wide web. A brave new age had dawned in design while I was away and I found that I liked it. I found that my work was stronger for it as well.

Indeed, the design program at MTSU; the faculty, the facility, and the curriculum itself, had improved dramatically. I found myself learning from professionals who were just scant steps removed in their training from some of the most renowned design schools in the world. I completed the program with great relish.

Enter the Dakini...

At the end of the program, I was entirely blessed while seeking internship to be introduced to Rita Frizzell of Dakini Graphics in Nashville. She is a designer with many years experience in the field. I found my time working with Rita at Dakini to be a highly enriching experience. My skills became sharper and even more focused. I received the opportunity to create work which was actually submitted to clients (rare for an intern). Rita has been a mentor and a friend, and to her I will always be grateful.

In working with Rita, I was also exposed to seeing an art director who works without the overhead of an agency. This is a model that I liked very much. There is no separation between the client and the creative person. The work positively reflects this as well. That is the kind of relationship I wish to have with clients.

Launching out...

Therefore, in 2008 I decided to exercise skills that most beginning designers do not possess to create my own design house.

Thus was born, JK Design. As a member of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, I am steadily building the contacts and client list that will carry this business into the future.