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
Just a few of the logos I have done over the years. I will continue to add to this group.
A few images of Products that I designed during my career. I will continue to add to this group.
One of the bigger projects done at The Coleman Company, Inc. by our design team - Kelly Wright, Mitch Wilgus, Patti Dunn and myself.