Hi, I'm Traci.
I've been running my studio under the moniker Visual Issues since Fall 2014. For 8 years prior to that, I worked on small creative teams in prestigious design studios.
If you're curious about my backstory: I've always been a graphic designer, even before I knew what a graphic designer was. I was the child who loved the box as much (or more) than the toy inside. I am endlessly curious and love learning new skills and figuring out how to apply them.
I began honing in on my craft while in high school, first with a class on Photoshop and Illustrator, then a class on building websites (while the web was still in its infancy). I enrolled in the Regional Occupational Program as a Senior in High School, where I learned traditional (outdated) graphic design techniques like physical layout and paste-up, cutting ruby-liths, and using a PhotoStat camera. That's when I knew that Graphic Design was the career for me.
I went on to get my Bachelor's Degree in Communication Arts: Graphic Design from Otis College of Art and Design. As a student, I worked as a Lab Technician in the Otis Letterpress Lab helping students with fine printing and book arts projects. I was also a TA in several studio classes, primarily helping teaching Flash and ActionScript (again, the web was still a baby - this was before iPhones). I have always been straddling that duality – practicing antique crafts alongside cutting edge technologies.
After graduating in 2006, I went to work in the studio of design-legend and pioneer April Greiman, Made in Space. I worked closely with her for 3 and a half years. At the time her studio was small, with a team no larger than 3 assistants at any given time.
Fall of graduation year I also started a freelancing in the evenings for Andrea Lenardin Madden's architecture and design studio, a l m project. When we started working together, I would spend the day at April's office from 10-7 in downtown LA, then drive to Hollywood and work 2-4 more hours with Andrea a few nights a week. As her studio grew, I grew along with it – from 1 day a week, to 2, to eventually going full time (then needing to hire re-enforcements).
During some of the early years with a l m project, I filled the rest of my week as a graphic designer for Hatchbeauty. At that time I was working on pitch decks, packaging and logo designs for their beauty brand clients. We have reconnected since I founded Visual Issues and I continue to help with many of their web development needs.
I founded Visual Issues to create space for me to explore all of my interests. I find that the concrete problem solving required by web development helps nourish the abstract problem solving required by visual design projects – giving my subconscious time to meditate. I also try to spend time away from the computer to develop my creative skills and image making ideas. During this time, I like to do ceramics, embroidery and knitting. My new year's resolution in 2016 was to make a piece of analog art every day and I've kept it up since! Check out the huge gallery of work in my shop.
Currently I handle the majority of Visual Issues client work, but some projects require that I bring on additional subcontractors. Conversely, I am sometimes brought on as a sub-contractor to help other firms achieve their client's goals. Let's work!
Here is a selection of titles that have featured my work:
- Frame – Powershop 4: New Retail Design
- Frame – Powershop 2: New Retail Design
- Print – Regional Design Annual
- Print – Creativity & Commerce
- The Dieline – Package Design Awards
- HOW International Design Awards
- Retail Design International Volume 74, #1
- History of Graphic Design, Philip Meggs
- Rockport – 1000 Package Designs
- Interior Design – Best of Year
- I.D. – Design Review
- Step Inside Design