Showcase & Discover Creative Work

John Diebel

Graphic Designer

Minneapolis, MN, USA
Summary of Qualifications:

EXPERIENCED DESIGNER and ILLUSTRATOR with a strong background in planning, designing, executing and managing graphic assets for interactive multimedia, marketing, packaging and print advertising. Experienced in concepting and creating traditional and digital illustration, graphic user interfaces, packaging and promotional materials for consumer retail, software and web sites. Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Skilled at coordinating and motivating a team of designers and multimedia professionals. Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.), Quark, Fireworks, Strata 3D, Microsoft Office skills.

Employment Objective:

SEEKING FULL-TIME or PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT for print or interactive projects. Outstanding design skills with strengths in art direction, print design and layout, illustration, package design, and interface design. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Responsible and conscientious. Willing to adopt new skills.
Work Experience
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Mar 2005
Self-Employed
Graphic Designer, Freelance and Contract
Print Design, Interface Design, Logo Design, Illustration for clients such as Target Corporation,
Broderbund, William Mitchell College of Law, Public Health Law Center, Zemnott, Science Museum of Minnesota, UW Stout, etc.

In my capacity as a freelance and contract designer I have worked on a variety of projects, from print layout, identity, illustration and interactive design. I have maintained regular clients and have frequently worked on-site in collaboration with their creative and marketing teams. In all cases I maintain a high level of communication with my clients to ensure expedient delivery of quality product on or ahead of deadline. I strive to offer the best creative input available and to offer multiple solutions to creative challenges.
Eden Prairie, MN, USA
Sep 2001Feb 2005
Senior Designer
Art direction, package design, advertising design, product tours & tutorials, collateral
marketing materials, user interface design, web graphics, point-of-purchase display graphics, product content.

My main area of responsibility was to the marketing department, where I worked as part of a small team of 4 designers and one art director. I would present designs and projects on a regular basis to marketing and executive staff, as well as participate in facilitation of focus groups and forward planning of advertising and package design. My additional work was in collaboration with the programming staff in development of interfaces, icons and various product content.

I was separated from the company three months after a buyout of Jasc by Corel. My job was made redundant by in-place creative staff at Corel headquarters in Ottawa, Canada.
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Jan 2000Mar 2001
Graphic Designer
Art direction, illustration, 3D content, character design, and interface design for a variety of commercial and educational software projects.

Portage Interactive was a start-up company founded in late 1999 by former executive development team members from Mattel Interactive and The Learning Company. The main mission was to develop online adventure games in the style of The Oregon Trail, as well as to take on commercial projects- mainly of an educational or kid-oriented nature.

I worked as one of a two-person design staff alongside a small programming team and under the leadership of an executive producer. My duties varied from project to project, developing interfaces, characters for animated sequences, assisting with game design and prototyping designs and creating marketing materials to assist in acquisition of investment capital or new clients.

I was let go after just one year's service due to an acute budget shortfall. Portage continued on for the better part of a decade, but with intermittent layoffs.
Brooklyn Center, MN, USA
Jun 1998Jul 1999
Senior Graphic Artist
Provided art direction, content design, and illustration for Road Adventures USA and Oregon Trail 3 educational software programs.

Mattel acquired The Learning Company in 1998 and instituted some managerial changes but allowed development of product lines to continue as they had been planned. During this time I was advanced to an art director role for two major releases. For both of these projects I was involved in the planning, design, administration and execution of all aspects of creative content. I managed teams of between 6-10 artists and enjoyed a very lively collaborative relationship with them, as I was also the lead artist for the project. My own work was centered around creating 3D modeled environments for green-screened, video-taped actors to interact with. I also developed interfaces, provided animated content and storyboarded game flow and cinematic animated sequences.

Due to a major crisis at Mattel after the purchase of The Learning Company, the Minneapolis development office was closed in the Spring of 1999. I stayed behind with a skeleton development crew to complete work on Road Adventures USA before departing in July of that same year.

Brooklyn Center, MN, USA
May 1996Jun 1998
Senior Artist
Provided art Direction, content design and Illustration for Mayaquest, Amazon Trail 2, Oregon Trail 2, Reader Rabbit Kindergarten educational software programs.

WIth MECC's absorption into the Learning Company in 1996, new product lines were introduced for development in the Minneapolis office- along with a new relationship with TLC's development office in Fremont, California. During this period I was heavily involved in all aspects of visual creative content for a variety of CD ROM adventure games. I also traveled frequently to (and video-conferenced with) the Fremont office during work on one of TLC's popular Reader Rabbit products. During this time I began to take on leadership and art directorial roles in product development while simultaneously producing 2D, 3D and animated content.

In June of 1998 TLC was acquired by Mattel's interactive division. I remained on board as a graphic design team member.
Kansas City, MO, USA
Apr 1994Apr 1997
Illustrator
Clients included US West, Coors, Sony, Glaxo-Wellcome, Harvard Review, Utne Reader. This was in a freelance capacity as a sideline to my main job at MECC.

Helen Ravenhill is an commercial art rep with offices located in Kansas City. I worked remotely from Minneapolis with all communication done by telephone and email. A majority of my work was done in traditional media and then shipped to clients. A few projects were done digitally.

In 1997 I made the decision not to renew my contract with Ravenhill due to increasing responsibilities with my "day job" at MECC.
Brooklyn Center, MN, USA
Apr 1992May 1996
Senior Artist
Developed artwork for educational software programs including Amazon Trail, Oregon Trail, Mayaquest, MECC Sales Sampler, Canada Geograph, etc.

MECC was a leading developer of educational software for the home and school markets. The company was an early and prolific developer of software for Apple computers and was also instrumental in popularizing Apple products due to the sheer volume of software titles produced.

At MECC I was hired with the job title of "Artist", which was a catch-all term for anything from illustration, animation, interface design and graphic design. During the early and mid-1990s products were still being developed for the Apple IIE as well as for the latest PowerMacs, reflecting the relatively broad range of computer technology available to schools and consumers at that time. Much of my work was done with Photoshop as well as some obscure paint programs on the Amiga platform. After seeing a copy of the video game "Myst" in late 1993 I made a successful case for MECC to acquire the same 3D software that was used for its development and then undertook to master it. 3D rendered environments became a staple of MECC's historical, adventure, and social science products from that point and remained so until the company's ultimate demise.

In May of 1996 MECC was merged with The Learning Company. I remained with the new entity in my capacity as Artist and Designer.

Education
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Sep 1983Jul 1988
General studies, College of Liberal Arts. Emphasis on German language, studio arts, history.
Chicago, IL, USA
Apr 1985
Goethe Institut
Zertifikat Deutsch II
Certification of fluency level in German language.
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Jan 1990Jul 1990
School of Communication Arts
Completed course work in computer graphics software.
Languages
 
English (Native), German (Fluent)
Skills
 
Adobe Acrobat Professional, Adobe Fireworks CS5, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign CS5, Adobe Photoshop, Art Direction, Art Direction, Cartooning, Collaborating, Collage, Collateral Design, Communication Skills, Digital Illustration, Drawing, Illustration, Marketing Design, Microsoft Office Suite, Packaging Design, Photo Editing, Photo Manipulation, QuarkXpress, Strata Design, Traditional Media, User Interface Design, Written Communications
Awards
2007
Purchase Award : 2DII Biennial Show (2 pieces in museum's Permanent Collection)