I spent my 45+ year career as a Graphic Designer and Product Designer. I am still doing my own projects in retirement and a few outside projects for close friends.
I have worked for Ad Agencies, Manufacturing Companies, been a partner in several Design Consultancies, and owned my Design Consultancy. Sometimes doing several things at the same time – freelance while working for someone else – more about that later.
I am a graduate of Brigham Young University, Provo Utah, with a BFA / Industrial Design (aka Product Design). I minored in Graphic Design.
Like most kids, I wanted to be a lot of different things and or have a different occupation. Dentist, but I almost failed Chemistry my Freshman year in college. Oceanographer, I was inspired by Jacques Cousteau’s TV programs, but only got as far as getting my PADI certification. The one thing I was always doing was doodling, my middle school and High School class notes had all kinds of drawings in the margins: cars, planes, cartoons, and even logos.
Jump to 1974 and a mission to Lima Peru for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I was asked to make several posters for a program to encourage reading The Book of Mormon. I found some images in a church magazine and some quotes and I proceeded to make 3, 24” by 36” posters. Each poster had an illustration at the top and a quote in Spanish underneath (I think I have some slides somewhere). I got quite a few compliments on my illustrations and my lettering capabilities. I attribute the letter to HS drafting classes, which were my favorite classes and the only ones I got A+’s in.
When I returned to Brigham Young University (BYU) in September of 1975 I went to the Engineering Department looking to get a degree in Drafting. WHOA – too much math required! I asked if there was a program that didn’t require so many engineering and math courses. The young lady assisting me said I should try the Art Department; they had several degrees in Design. I headed over to the Art Department.
Graphic Design. Interior Design and Industrial Design were the 3 options to choose from in the Design Department. The young lady assisting me there couldn’t tell me the difference between the 3 programs, but they all one thing in common, 2 semesters of Art Foundation, 6 credit hours.
I was fortunate that my first instructor was a practicing Graphic Design (sorry, can’t remember his name). One assignment was to see if we could get a cartoon into the school paper. My cartoon of a sleeping student on the quad getting run over by a lawnmower made it into the paper. I think I have that clipping and if I do, I’ll post it.
My second semester was taught by a practicing Industrial Designer, Kurt Hanks. What an imagination and ability to put his ideas on paper. Kurt always carried a felt tip pen, a roll of yellow fodder paper, and some gray markers. Sketches stretched for yards. He’d even let students add to the roll if they had the courage. One of our assignments was to build a kite that had at least one dimension that equaled our height. I made it into the college newspaper again, I was jumping off a one-story building with the kite strapped to my back. I made it into the paper for a third time with another assignment, a picture of me sitting on a chair made from corrugated cardboard. I’m not boasting - I just remembered all of this as I was writing info for my website.
At the end of our second semester, Kurt encouraged us to go home for the summer and to find a job in the design field. I returned to El Paso, Texas, and looked under Industrial Design in the yellow pages. Sure enough, there was a listing. I called and spoke to one of the owners and he admitted that they didn’t do product design, they were focused on architectural work. But he did give the name and number of the owner of the advertising agency upstairs from them. I called and made an appointment to meet with the owner, Scott Goodwin. When I showed up, I didn’t even have a portfolio. I told him I was just looking for a summer job to find out if I liked the design field. He sent me home to get whatever I had and I returned an hour later with some work from my Foundation class and a logo I was doing for my girlfriend. I got hired on the spot as a paste-up artist. What the heck was a paste-up artist? I had no idea!
I started the next day at Paragon Designs and by the end of the week, Scott offered me a full-time job, explaining he could teach me more than I would ever learn in college. That summer job lasted 2 ½ years. I learned so many skills, especially making presentations to clients. I even got to design some furniture, display systems, and other one-of-a-kind desk accessories. But there was something inside that kept nagging at me to go back to school. When I left Paragon, which was now Goodwin+Johnson, to go back to BYU to get my degree in Industrial Design I left as Art Director. I had several offers from other agencies when it became known I was leaving G+J. Again, not bragging, just proving that Scott had taught me more than I would have learned in college.
I returned to BYU and continued in Product Design. It was a fantastic time in my life and I saw what I want to do for the rest of my life. In the process. I met other like-minded individuals that have been successful in their own rights. Here's just a few: Duane Loose, Chip Wood, Del Thornock, Leonard Hofheins, Keith Poulson, Kirk Rasmussen, Steve Brown, Stuart Morgan, Scott Richards, Tim Armstrong, Gordon Cutler, and Leslie King. I apologize if I left anyone out. Oh, Becky and her husband - someone please help me out. Thanks.
Next, my work history.
Paragon Designs. Inc. - El Paso, Texas
Production Artist, Designer
July 1977 to April 1980
Goodwin+Johnson, Inc. - El Paso, Texas
April 1980 to December 1980
Communications, Division of Continuing Education - BYU, Provo, Utah
January 1981 to Oct 1982 (while finishing up college)
Miller/Ishii, Inc. - Provo, Utah
Assistant Art Director
October 1982 to December 1982 (while finishing up college)
BFA Industrial Design, BYU, Provo Utah
Richard TenEyck Associates - Haysville, Kansas
Designer, Design Director
April 1983 to December 1988
Worked with Glen Ediger
i.e.designs - Wichita, Kansas
Designer. Partner (with Glen Ediger)
January 1989 to August 1989
Vornado Air Circulations Systems, Inc. - Wichita, Kansas
Designer, Facility Manager, Model Shop Manager
August 1989 to March 1999
The Coleman Company Inc. / Camping Gas - Wichita, Kansas
Director of Industrial Design
March 1999 to November 2002
The design team of Kelly Wright, Mitch Wilgus, Patti Dunn, Gary Israel
Also worked with outside firms and designers:
Phil Holsinger – Insight Product Development
Jim Sener - IDEAZ
Jim Morrow – Morrow Designs
Brett Lovelady – Astro Studios
Keith Poulson – elevation
Del Thornock, Leonard Hofheins – Design Partners
i2design - Andover, Kansas
August 1990 to August 2003
Y2MARKETING - Irving, TX
Director of Industrial Design
August 2003 to April 2004
SALT DESIGN, LLC - Frisco, TX
Partner/Director of Industrial Design
April 2004 to June 2005
Partnered with Kelly Wright, Ray Settles
Ameriquest Mortgage Company - Plano, TX
June 2005 to November 2005
The Lending Center - Plano, TX
December 2005 to February 2006
The Home Depot – Plano, Texas
March 2006 to March 2007
Vornado Air LLC – Andover KS
Director of Design
March 2007 to May 2019
Gary Israel Design
dba - idesign, id8design, Israel Design
June 2005 to present
Not all the work on my website is my personal work. Some are in co-operation with other designers or design firms so it is hard to say, “Yes, I did that all by myself.” Lots of teamwork included in my work. However, the projects shown, I either worked on by myself, as a team member or I was responsible for as a Design Director. I will give credit where credit is due.
Certificate of Merit – Young Designer Competition, 1977 Provo, Utah
1st Place – TOPS Award, Newspaper Advertising, 1979 El Paso Texas
1st Place – TOPS Awards, Outdoor Advertising, 1980 El Paso, Texas
2nd Place - Category 1-E of NUCEA, 1982 Provo, Utah
GOOD DESIGN AWARD, 1996 - Permanent Display - The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design
GRAPHIC DESIGN:usa, 2002 - American Graphic Design Award - RoadTripTMPackaging
POPULAR MECHANICS/Editor’s Choice Award, 2002 - Outstanding Achievement in New Product Design and Innovation
IDEA Bronze Award, 2002 - Consumer Products - BackHomeTM Products
IDEA Silver Award, 2003 - Consumer Products - Coleman Mosquito DeletoTM
Brigham Young University Industrial Design Advisory Board - Member
Andover Site Planning Committee – Andover, KS- Member
Andover Area Chamber of Commerce – Andover, KS - President and Director
El Dorado Correctional Facilities Prison Ministries – El Dorado, KS - Clergy
AndoverCity Council – Andover, KS - Councilman
Greater Andover Days – Andover, KS – 1990 Chairman, 2008 to 2018 Graphic Designer
Andover Planning Commission – Andover, KS – Secretary
Andover Subdivision Committee – Andover, KS – Vice-Chair
Andover Parks and Recreation Board – Andover, KS - Member
Holder of over 100 domestic Utility and Design Patents
and over 100 International Utility and Design Patents
Back in the day, 1977 to 1980, all work was done on “the board”. Meaning, everything was done by hand, no desktop computers. This was truly a profession for artist, it took training and practice.
Here is a great video of graphic design back in the day:
Back in the day, 1977 to 1980, all work was done on “the board”. Meaning, everything was done by hand, no desktop computers. This was truly a profession for artist, it took training and practice. All work was done with straight edges, triangle, t-squares, compass and French curves. All line work was done with a ruling pen when I started and then rapidiograph pens replaced the ruling pen when I had mastered the skill. Scott wanted me to learn all of the art, which would make me more precise.
There was very little clip art, so almost all illustrations were done by hand. Scott was a terrific illustrator as shown in several of the pieces that I have posted. Art could be manipulated in size by using a nuArc camera. The majority of the camera was on one side of a wall: the bellows, the lens, the copy board, the lights and the rails, and the other half was in the darkroom; the control wheels for focusing, the film holder, the focusing plate and the vacuum pump. I spent many hours in the darkroom reducing or enlarging images, developing the film and washing prints that would be used in paste-ups.
Type was either letter press, which came on sheets in specific type fonts and size or was printed in galleys by out-of-house typesetters. Any change in a headline or body copy required anywhere from minutes to a day to change. My first project was to take a galley of type and cut each line and paste onto a paste-up board because the copy had been specked incorrectly. Type specking required calling out font, font size, leading, column width and also kerning where needed. No old maids or orphans were allowed. You will have to google those terms. In fact, I have a book dedicated just to typesetting.
I worked on a door from a lumber yard set on saw horses so that I would have enough room for my paste-up boards, tools, cutting area and supplies. I created a trough to hold pens, pencils and cutting tools. There was an area for using rubber cement because it was too hot in El Paso to use wax. I spilled a whole bottle of rubber cement on the carpet one day, what a mess to clean up.
One day an assistant came in to get something out of the trough on my board and accidently turned an exacto knife so that the blade was pointed out. I reached up to grab something and jammed the knife blade all the way into the underside of my forearm, over 1”. When I pulled it out, it didn’t bleed so I squeezed the area and fat from my arm oozed out. Should have had stitches but I was up against a deadline so a bandage did the trick. Another time, someone bumped my board and my exacto knife rolled from the top of the board, which was at an angle for working, it hit the trough, popped up into the air and then landed, point first, stabbing me in the calf of my right leg which I just happened to have bent back so I could lean forward. I had to pull that one out also and bandage the wound. Needless to say, those weren’t the only accidents with an exacto or cutting tool.
Concept pieces were all done by hand using markers, colored pencils, acrylic paint and airbrush. I got pretty good at airbrushing, being self-taught. No YouTube videos back then. Those concepts were presented to clients and then production pieces produced.
Most of our work was done in one or 2 colors because 4 color work was very expensive. I did get the chance to do an 8-color piece which was quite complicated with overlays, rubilith and registration marks. The printer said it was one of the most accurate and precise pieces he had ever received. We prided ourselves on the quality of work we did at Paragon / G+J.
Every Monday morning, we would have a production meeting and projects were assigned and scheduled. That schedule also included time to get type, do art and produce the finish work. A typical 5-day work week would have me doing 5 to 8 projects per day. We happened to have a car dealership, some retail shops and a realtor as clients that had weekly ads that had to go out each Friday afternoon. Those were crazy deadlines. I usually worked 7 to noon, took a 2-hour lunch which allowed me a nap, then worked 2 to 7, I put in 50-hour weeks. Typically, Friday after 5 we would have a company get together to celebrate the weeks work. It was a pretty close-knit family.
My job responsibilities:
Artwork – illustrations, air-brushing
Paper and ink specs
Working with printers
Working with photographers on photo projects
Presentations with clients
This was the merger release piece that I designed, did the layout and artwork, collected props, and directed the photoshoot.
This was a Christmas Card that I designed, did the layout and artwork, collected props, and directed the photoshoot. That's me on the sled.
Scott Goodwin and I worked on the album cover together. I did the layout, airbrush work on the front and back, and handwrote all the info on the back. I even designed the CON SAFO RECORDS logo. Scott did the "dog" illustrations of the band members.
This was an album cover and record sleeve that I designed for a local band. The woman in the picture is Cleo Bell, their lead singer. The image was shot down at the Rio Grande River in El Paso TX.
A metal recycling plant wanted a brochure to show what their capabilities were. I did the layout, photoshoot, and all creative work. I stood on a multi-ton press that made the red hot 3" diameter grinding balls and took that picture for the brochure.
A hand-out brochure to give to potential renters. I did layout, artwork, logo, and airbrush. Scott Goodwin did the full-color cover art.
Layout, design, and artwork were all done by me. I had her weavings to look at and did the pencil drawings for the brochure.
Scott Goodwin did all the partners and building illustrations. I did all the creative and paste-up work.
I did the layout and all creative work for this full-page ad that was in the El Paso Times newspaper.
This was a full-page magazine ad for stud services. The picture of the horse could not be airbrushed for the ad. FYI Photoshop didn't exist at that time.
I did the airbrush work of the logo for the newsletter. This was one of my first self-taught attempts at an airbrush piece.
All logos were created by hand using ink pens and drafting tools. This was way before the days of computers and illustration programs.
One of the craziest logos I ever created.
Probably the busiest logos I designed.
Probably the most time-consuming logo to fabricate.
Designed logo and papers.
Designed logo and papers.
Designed logo and papers.
When I left Goodwin+Johnson and headed back to school, I figured I needed my own logo. This was done in late 1980.
After leaving Coleman, my ex-wife and I started a design business together. She did graphics and I did graphics and product design.
We found that there was another design firm using i2design, so we changed our name and logo. I thought this was pretty good considering our initials were an std.
When I got divorced and lost the Village Design logo, I went back to a modification of my first logo.
I had seen this 8 ball and came up with the idea of "reflecting" the id into the ball for "ideation".
I wanted something to work with this website and to have a strong presence. KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid.
When Coleman introduced the Extreme line of coolers, I designed this logo for them. I won an award for this design.
when Coleman re-introduced their line of steel coolers, I designed this logo. They sold 70K+ coolers the first year.
When Coleman ventured out into the backyard, I designed this logo for the line of products. Another oval!
Before I went back to work at the newly managed Vornado, they had a name change and I designed this logo for them based on the older logo.
The new Vornado wanted a mark that could be used on apparel and other items without using the full name. This is the mark I designed.
This was a logo I did for an engineering consulting firm that was hired by Vornado Air Circulation Systems to do 3D CAD work.
A logo I designed for a company that did full fitness programs - workout programs, nutritional products, inspirational videos,.
A Wedding Event Planner asked me to design a more professional logo for the association she belonged to.
A friend was building a business that would provide mobile temporary housing for oil workers. Had to be a simple, direct logo to use on trucks, buildings, apparel.
When I was involved in the Cub Scouts of America I designed this logo for our Pack to use at the Pinewood Derby.
Each year I did a button, tri-fold brochure, and poster. Some years I also did T-shirts for the FUN RUN and Hot Dog Eating Contest. I may post those in the future.
The picture was from a local resident = we have some beautiful sunsets!
I was inspired by an artist from Brazil living in Florida.
The concept was by a student at Butler Community College - I did all the artwork.
This has to be my favorite! It just feels like a 45 and the center spindle piece - 3 A's.
I bet you can hear the song in your head!
Another song that sticks with you.
Was this pushing it? GAD to the bone!
we had a candy counting jar full of stuff.
50 years of GAD - I wanted it to look like a high school ring..
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