Leanna has worked with a broad range of clients, from corporations to artists, and from Canada to the UK. She believes that design is not only a creative process, but also an intellectual one, her design sensibilities are heavily informed by her passion for design research. Leanna specializes in user-centered, print and interactive communications, as well as speaking in the third person

DESIGN SKILLS

  • Web/Interactive Design
  • Print Design
  • Logos, Identity & Branding
  • Product Packaging Design
  • Mapping, Displays & Signage
  • Digital Imaging
  • Banners & Animation

TOOLS

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Quark XPress
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Mac & PC platform literate
  • Web Usability Compliance (W3C)
  • Basic HTML, CSS, Actionscript
  • Basic JQuery & Javascript

CAPABILITIES

  • Bilingual (English/French)
  • Analytical thinking
  • Proven presenatation skills
  • Workflow prioritization
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Proficient in team environments
  • Typing: 80wpm

FAVORITE THINGS

  • Stumptown Coffee
  • Scrabble
  • Warm woolen mittens
  • David Sedaris
  • This American Life Podcast
  • Adobe Garamond
  • Black cats

As the daughter of a jazz musician and an artist, my formative years are a blur of Charlie Parker lullabies and bedtime stories from the Fluxus Manifesto. Encouraged to draw on the walls, and dance in public, my only perfunctory act of rebellion against this unstructured upbringing has been a quest for structure within my own creative practice. Graphic design, and its inherent balance of freedom and restraint, has satisfied this need, while staying true to my artistic roots. I love creating beauty and function within the confines of client requests, and technical feasibility, and the challenges that come with an ever-evolving industry.

I specialize in both print-based, and interactive design. The Adobe Creative Suite is my weapon of choice, but I have a good command of HTML, CSS, Actionscript and growing knowledge in Javascript and JQuery. I have over four years of industry experience and have worked for diverse clients in North America and abroad, with experience that extends across several areas including retail, music, fashion, arts, leisure, healthcare, media and entertainment. (View my portfolio.) I have been a part of some great companies and projects over the years, as both a freelancer and in more permanent capacities in various agencies and organizations. (Request my resume.)

CREDS

  • Master of Arts
    Bard Graduate Center, NYC, USA
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
    Concordia University, Montreal, QC

DESIGN

  • Specializations: web, print, branding, packaging, rich-media advertising
  • Tools: Adobe Creative Suite, Quark Xpress, Microsoft Office, Mac and PC
  • Di Mainstone
    website
  • Macbeth
    posters
  • Lareau Insurance
    website
  • Hemlock Circus
    logo
  • Poetry not Publicity
    caption
  • Montreal Arts & Business Portal
    website / portal
  • Serendiptichord
    poster
  • Abstraction
    bookwork
  • Viregalia
    stop animation
  • SAQ
    screensaver
  • Lindsey's B&B
    website
  • OCBCC
    brochure
  • Global Research Television
    logo
  • Jack Handy
    poster series
  • The Green Wave
    website / portal
  • Fauna Foundation
    identity
  • Failed Design Symposium
    identity
  • Rogers Francofête
    newsletter
  • AMBAQ
    website / portal
  • Bio-K+
    animated banner
  • Letterpress Business Card
    identity
  • Domain Name Strategy
    blog
  • Rachel and David
    wine label
  • Don Palmer
    website
  • Flextherm
    website
  • Photography
    photography

Working as a graphic designer, I developed an interest in the historical and theoretical study of design as a means to contextualize my own creative process. I believe that design is as much a creative pursuit as it is an intellectual one, which has led me to pursue design writing and research in tandem with my design practice.

As part of my Masters thesis at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City, I explored the topic of Grapus, a prolific French graphic design collective that operated in the 1970s and 1980s. Through the work of Grapus, the thesis studies socio-historical aspects of graphic design in relation to culturally constructed notions of identity and authorship; focusing on issues of nationalism, propaganda, cultural policy and political persuasion. Though rooted in a historical framework, these themes are also particularly current, and embody my research interests in historical literacy as a means to study contemporary design and new media practices.I am currently working on several articles related to my thesis research, and recently participated as a guest lecturer in the Design Colloquium Seminar Series at York University in Toronto.

READ THESIS SUMMARY

Atelier Grapus was a French graphic design collective that collaborated from 1971 until 1991. The founding members met in 1968 in Paris, a climactic year when the city became a focal point for the revolutionary Sixties. As an offspring of the Polish poster school, the Atelier Populaire and the experimental Institut de l'environnement, Grapus was influenced by the radicalism and spontaneity of its generation. In the context of this prevailing ethos, the group was motivated by an exploration of the graphic image as a catalyst of emotions and a rediscovery of the poster medium as a vehicle for political and social change. In this context, clients were selected according to specific ideological and political convictions. Grapus therefore directed its attention towards Leftist organizations, labor unions, trade associations, educational causes, municipalities and the French Communist Party.

Though they were not exclusively affichistes, posters became the collective's trademark. Grapus did not conform to traditionally accepted aesthetic norms, but developed a highly distinctive style best described as a bricolage of disparate techniques and mediums (photography, painting, typography). Designs were conceptually multidimensional through a vast symbolic vocabulary and mastery of the emerging disciplines of linguistics and semiology. Re-occurring elements of design were the use of handwritten typography, sensual forms, bright colors and high-spirited visual 'pranks' which always imbued a sense of irony or humor.

In the late 1980s, the collective reached a personal and ideological crossroads, a crisis prompted by a commission to design the graphic identity of the Louvre Museum. As a result of this, Grapus's collaboration drew to a close in January of 1991.

The primary aim of this thesis is to explore Grapus' work in relation to issues of nationalism, propaganda and political persuasion against a backdrop of the fertile cultural climate of France in the 1980s. Once social graphics had been successfully appropriated by the wider cultural establishment, this seemed to challenge the collective's very raison d'être. The status of Grapus's designs shifted from a powerful agitational tool to that of an object that was inherently caught up in the institutional framework of the State. Through case studies of Grapus' designs, this thesis charts the transformation and fragmentation of the group in conjunction with the rise of hegemonic culture. Grapus asserted an authorial artistic presence aimed to transcend the professional rhetoric of design as a netural, anonymous activity, challenging institutional cooperation. In this context, Grapus also provides an opportunity to consider theories of identity and authorship in relation to post-modern design practice.

French contributions have been largely marginalized within the canon of graphic design history in the post-modern period. Although Grapus has been briefly mentioned in several survey texts, there has been no substantial study of the group and their work. The findings of this thesis are primarily based upon interviews that were individually conducted by the author in Paris during September of 2010 with seminal Grapus members: Pierre Bernard, Gerard Paris-Clavel, François Miehe, Alexander Jordan and Jean-Paul Bachollet. Le Fonds Grapus (The Grapus Foundation) was also an important resource for primary source materials. Located in the archives of Aubervilliers, in the suburbs of Paris, this is the most comprehensive collection of Grapus's output and related documents, consisting of 748 posters, unpublished drawings and artists proofs.

SAY HELLO

Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions or comments, to request my resumé, or just to say "hello."