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Who am I?

An adaptive designer. Netflix junkie. Cannondale cyclocross amateur. Star Wars fanatic. Board gamer. Red velvet cupcakes. Sushi lover. Six Feet Under series. Artist. Dark chocolate consumer. Horror movie enthusiast.

A lil bit about me

Welcome!


First of all, thanks for visiting my portfolio, version 4.0 and hope you have taken some interest in some of it. I take my work very seriously and provide only the utmost quality as a part of my contribution to any project. My design style seems to kind of flow with the project or client for that matter.

Education


My history as an artist has evolved over the years and continues to evolve each and everyday, as does the industry. I started out with a BFA in Painting from the University of Illinois in Champaign Urbana, which really began the interest in art/design. You can see some hints of this on the portfolio page under "Fine Art". I have always been an artist at heart from birth. Not being completely satisfied with what a fine art degree was and could offer, I wanted to expand not only my horizons, but also my capabilities, so I pursued an additional degree in Graphic Design.

Attending the Illinois Institute of Art in Schaumburg (ILIS) was one of the best decisions in my life. Graphic Design then became a way for me to be able to merge my art and design capabilities within a digital media. I graduated with a BFA in Visual Communications in Spring 2006 with honors.

Work History


Upon graduation at ILIS, I signed on for a position at a Chicago based electronics manufacturing corporation a Graphic/Package Design Assistant. The role encompassed many exciting projects from packaging to signage. The role primarily focused on packaging design, and the ability to carry the brand standards across multiple skus as new roll outs were added to production. Hello Kitty, American Idol, Tweety and Jensen, each entailed a specific set of design guidelines that were necessary to follow. Aside from the design process, doing package mock-ups was an integral part of my role, as well as sell sheets and logos.

I then began pursuing new opportunities through a local freelancing agency. In this new role as a freelancer, I found myself having the chance to meet and network with many new people and firms/studios. The positions ranged from small studio/agency in the West Loop, to internal Design Departments in the suburbs. The projects along the way ranged from packaging design, annual reports/newsletters, billboards/signage, to print flyers/advertisements, and so forth.

I worked with a great group of people at S2 Marketing in the Loop doing print production, as well as design on financial projects like annual reports, brochures, ads, billboards, newsletters and web graphics. Soon there after, Marks Plier in Itasca was able to offer a completely new experience, where work began on the Factory Card and Party Outlet's Annual Halloween wall. The wall included a lot of Photoshop paths and some extensive work in InDesign. Next, US Music Corporation was able to take me back to what I love the most…packaging. Here I was able to not only do a lot of packaging mock-ups on brands like Hanna Montanna, Simpsons, Little Einsteins, Camp Rock, and High School Musical, but also contributed my talents to working with die-lines and brand standards along the way.

Later, I then accepted a full-time position in Champaign as the Creative Designer/Manager at Rod Sickler Salon and Spa (Runway One). I was brought on with a marketing goal to finesse an already successful salon and spa and provide and even bigger presence. We revamped the identity with a brand new logo, entire new brand identity, along with some new email marketing approaches and gift card marketing.

Along the way, I have had the pleasure to work on some great freelance projects and work along side some wonderful clients, doing everything from T-Shirt design, small micro sites, landing pages, email design, character design/development, phone app design, direct mail and signage. The very eclectic clientele and projects I have worked on over the years, have allowed me to present a range of different design styles.

I worked full-time in the Loop as a Senior Visual/Digital Designer for IMX in the Online Business Unit, working primarily on email marketing design, while learning more about Photoshop's lil tricks everyday. Projects entail moderate to complex campaigns which may include new template creation, numerous campaigns in a series, highly conceptual projects, as well as dabbling in some web page concept work.

Currently....


While still taking the occasional side project, I currently work full-time in the West Loop as a Senior Visual/Digital Designer for Perficient Digital. The workload resides in an ecommerce space with complex ecosystems that require user experience understanding for a B2B and B2C user. The work focuses on 85% mobile first approach while still keeping in mind a desktop approach as it still applies to some users. The work is heavily focused work in Sketch, Invision, and Figma (Newly Added).

Enough babble from me, so if you haven't, please feel free to take a look at my work on the portfolio page, and draw your own conclusion! Also please feel free to connect on with me on Linkedin below. I'm always networking with new people.

[PLEASE NOTE:] I currently am working full time and will not be able to tackle any large rush projects that will involve more than evening and weekend work. Yes, I am continuing to take freelance projects, and I welcome them. Also, please note that a contract will need to be signed for project to begin.

Hobbies


When I'm not behind a computer designing, or researching concepts for my next project, I can be found on a bicycle somewhere in the Chicagoland area. Biking is my escape (my zen). Typically I bike 80-100 at minumum per weekend. 2019 will be my 4th year participating in the Ride for Life Chicago, which is 2 days 200 miles (100 miles each day). If I'm not out biking by myself or with a friend, I occasionally join the Windy City Cycling Club on some of their rides. 2018 I joined the group of people who consider themselves triathletes, as still working on my comfort level with that label. For 2019, I decided to attempt my first half marathon, with an eventual of tackling a half ironman (Still a couple years out from that... swimming 1-2 miles is no joke).

Skills


Photoshop
Sketch
Invision Prototyping
Figma (Training)
Adobe XD (Experience Design) (Training)
HTML/CSS
Dreamweaver
Illustrator
InDesign
Microsoft Office Suite

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Continued Education


  • Interaction Design Course (DesignLabs) Aug-Sept 2017

Linkedin Profile
chadsparks78@gmail.com
Lincoln Square, Chicago IL
(773) 558-0672