Hi, I'm Traci.
I've been running my studio under the moniker Visual Issues since late 2014. For eight 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 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 I enrolled in the Regional Occupational Program as a senior, where I learned traditional (outdated) graphic design techniques like physical layout and paste-up, cutting ruby-liths, and using a PhotoStat camera.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 straddled 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 three and a half years. At the time her studio was small, with a team no larger than three assistants at any given time.
Fall of graduation year I also started 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 downtown LA office from 10-7, then drive to Hollywood and work two to four more hours with Andrea. As her studio grew, I grew along with it—from once a week, to twice, eventually going full-time (and needing to hire reinforcements).
During some of the early years with a l m project, I worked as a graphic designer for Hatchbeauty, designing pitch decks, packaging and logos for their beauty brand clients. After founding Visual Issues, we reconnected and worked with them on many web development projects.
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 developing my creative skills and image making ideas, and experimenting with ceramics, embroidery and knitting. My New Year's resolution in 2016 was to make a piece of analog art every day. I started the #dailydoodle Instagram project and continued it for 3 years! Check out the resulting body 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 clients' goals.
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