JDK designer blog


Graphic Designer • Production Leadership • Team Member
Manager of Artists • Creative and Art Direction • Strategic Planning • Budgeting
Print Production Specialist • HTML Design • Book Design • Instruction and Training


C.C. Filson Company: Senior Production Artist (October 2013 to present):

  • Founding Creative team member; instrumental in establishing internal print production processes and and typographic standards amid volatile and frequently changing organizational structure.
    • Established database publishing solutions; in order to create a production environment that would support the fluid requirements of designers and art directors I established database publishing solutions for direct marketing catalogs and wholesale Buyers’ Guides. Both processes married with the creative processes at different levels so that the production effort required a compressed window in the schedule, giving front-end design and copy writing efforts as much development time as possible.
    • Production of monthly direct mail and biennial wholesale catalogs; executed on design of each publication with other Creative team members; graphic designer, copywriter and art director.
    • Established and maintained image library; I created a system of logging and providing corporate and product images using tools already in in-place within the organization, avoiding the need for added expenses wherever possible. The library provides for 3,000+ product images and addition of 50+ corporate/identity images each month. The process included spreadsheets to record such varied information as; product number and description, product status of the product, launch season, hyperlinks to view web-ready version of the product image, indication of the product’s availability within the Creative team’s product inventory, publication of origination for editorial images, products appearing within an editorial image, copyright ownership, photographer, usage rights, and usage rights expiration.
    • Image retouching; managed external vendors with retouching and color correcting of images. When necessary executed on same tasks internally. Such tasks frequently were to; correct image exposure, remove add image details, alter product color and adjust overall color tones.

Freelance Print Production Maestro/Graphic Designer:

  • Design and production of gallery art (August 2007 to present); using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, produce fine art graphics for public exhibition, design and maintain WordPress gallery for fine artist (www.kramerdpg.com/blog/)
  • Usherwood Publishing (July 2004 to present); design and develop brand identity in web (www.usherwoodadventures.com) and print presentations for independent game publisher, coordinate illustrations for publications, design and produce cartographic illustrations, author and edit organization-wide content and instructional materials
  • Happenstance Type-O-Rama (August 2007 to 2013); create and maintain InDesign templates for book production across organization (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), create new book designs as assigned, document production processes to ensure accurate design implementation, conversion of printed books to electronic delivery formats (PDF, epub, mobi) and conversion of same to Microsoft Word for archiving.
  • Black Blade Publishing (September 2010 to 2013); establish and maintain design and production template for instructional manual (Old School Reference and Index Compilation), maintain accurate archives of same for regular updating of information, design book covers as requested, logo program development, design of trade show banners and POP collateral materials
  • Mythmere Publishing (January 2010 to 2013); develop design and maintain production templates for quarterly publication (Knockspell Magazine), produce magazine and advertiser files as requested, develop consumer PDF forms used in data collection
  • Development of logo programs (August 2007 to 2013); Brave Halfling Publishing, Archbishop Murphy High School, Heirloom Kitchen, Karen Meyers Design, Usherwood Publishing, TVEditor.com

Everett Community College (November 2008 to December 2010): Instructor, Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Acrobat. Developed curriculum and teaching materials for continuing education courses.

University of Washington (January 2008 to April 2011): Instructor, Technical Publications certification program, Adobe FrameMaker. Developed teaching assignments and slide decks based on prescribed learning objectives.

Microsoft Corporation: Product Designer (September 2003 to August 2007):

  • Participated as a key member of an XML-strategy leadership group: In this role, I worked within a team to investigate and recommend solutions to an XML publishing work-flow. The successful project resulted in a process that reduced layout time from approximately 45 minutes per page to just 2-3 minutes per page. My role in this team was to develop layout templates across multiple layouts, which utilized a common framework and provided the predictability required to support the underlying XML structure. My role continued as I worked to maintain the Framemaker EDD (element definition document), and provide design and production leadership.

Microsoft Corporation: Graphic Art and Design Manager (August 1994 to September 2003):

  • Creative and Production Leadership: Reliably provided creative solutions for all Microsoft Press/Microsoft Learning retail and instructor-lead courseware print publications and materials. In this role I also maintained a flawless track record of providing layouts and production templates to meet organization timelines, market demands, and printer requirements. Managed the creative a review process for book design, coordinating efforts with directors, management, individual contributors, and vendor resources.
  • Lead production team through several changes in production work-flow to improve efficiency and COGS responsibility: Assisted management team to guide existing production group from a production work-flow which was based on traditional paste-up methods, into a desktop publishing work-flow, with electronic (PostScript) delivery of final print files. The group needed to not only learn new skills in computer layout, but to also understand the basics of delivering files as PostScript files (and latter as PDF).
  • Established practice of time accountability within production department: As measurement of my team’s efficiency, I established a practice of recording time spent on a per project basis at a time when the practice was not followed by any other groups within the division. The study allowed my team to make improvements in our own processes, which also inspired other teams to follow similar programs of process improvement that continues today.

Parsons Corporation (September 1991 to April 1994): Lead Technical Illustrator. Produce technical documents, charts, diagrams, newsletters, and slide presentations for government contracted construction program.

Proven Record: I am skilled as both an individual contributor as well as a manager of artists and designers. These skills have helped me take my teams into transition periods requiring a shift into new, unfamiliar applications and processes for executing long document publications, organizational restructuring, and changes in creative visioning.

Well-rounded Design and Production Skills: I am equally comfortable working on Windows and Macintosh systems, as well as use of traditional design and production methods where required. My experiences have provided me the opportunity to work extensively with major graphics and business applications. Also, experienced in coding HTML and designing websites.

Experienced Instructor: I have taught technical publications courses at the University of Washington, working with students in Adobe Framemaker. Also, I teach courses in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat for the Continuing Education program at Everett Community College. Additionally, I engage in 1:1 training in other Adobe applications, such as; InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

Skills: Strong verbal and written communication skills. Personable and able to communicate with designers, artists, and key stakeholders. Proficient in working with a wide variety of design and business applications in both Macintosh and Windows environments (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Pro, Dreamweaver, PageMaker, Framemaker, Freehand MX, MacOffice, Office 2007 (MOS certified in Excel 2003)). Experienced in conversion of print products to eBook formats (PDF, epub, mobi). Strong design, layout, and production skills in books, book covers, identity programs, collateral, posters, packaging, HTML, SEO, etc.

Bachelor of Science: graphic design: Woodbury University (with a minor in business administration), Cum Laude

Portfolios: graphic design; www.jdkds.com/blog/, fine arts; www.kramerdpg.com/blog/

Linked Profile: www.linkedin.com/pub/jim-kramer/28/588/245

Honors & Awards

  • Recognition of Excellence, book design
    STC; Seattle
    The Microsoft Office Document Designer
  • Quality Assurance Award
    CSDP construction program, Parsons Corporation
  • Second Place; SCVAA Spring Classic, Masters’ Category
    Santa Clarita Valley Artists Association
    Mixed media painting
  • Best of Show
    Santa Clarita Valley Artists’ Association
    Acrylic on masonite abstract


  • Coordinator, Co-Chairman
    Archbishop Murphy High School, Spring Fine Art Exhibition
  • Judge
    Archbishop Murphy High School, Spring Fine Art Exhibition
  • Community Arts Instructor
    Santa Clarita Valley Artists Association
  • Communications officer
    Santa Clarita Valley Artists Association
  • Vice-President
    Santa Clarita Valley Artists Association
  • President
    Santa Clarita Valley Artists Association

Bachelor of Science, graphic design: Woodbury University (minor in business administration), Cum Laude

Curriculum Vitae

  • C.C. Filson Company:  Production Artist. 2013-present
  • Freelance graphic designer: 2007-2013
  • Everett Community College: Instructor. Continuing Education programs, Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Acrobat. 2009-2011
  • University of Washington: Instructor. Technical Publications certification program, Adobe FrameMaker. 2008-2011
  • Microsoft Corporation: Product Designer/Graphic Art and Design Manager. 1994-2007
  • Parsons Corporation: Lead Technical Illustrator. 1991-94
  • Platinum Press: Graphic Designer. 1988-1990
  • Deats Advertising: Production Artist. 1986-88

Other Interests

  • Producer of digital fine art: Using various software applications (primarily: Photoshop, Illustrator, and Bryce3D), create abstract and non-representational, digitally printed giclée images for gallery exhibition. Have participated in public juried exhibitions, as well as having displayed in formal gallery spaces in New York and Seattle. Portfolio of works at KramerDPG.com.
  • Author/designer/publisher of gaming materials:  Creation and hobbyist publishing of gaming materials for role-playing games. This activity keeps my skills in creative writing, graphic design, illustration, editing, project management, production, web design, ebook production, and marketing finally honed. Also, these skills have been put to practical use servicing clients similarly positioned in this market (design and production of instruction manuals, magazine design and production, book and magazine cover design, illustration). Portfolio of works at UsherwoodAdventures.com.

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Musings from a work-a-day graphic designer