A little about me

 Software I know, skills I have, and other things I’m good at

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • Quark Xpress
  • Fireworks
  • Dreamweaver
  • Front-end coding with HTML & CSS
  • Traditional pencil and ink illustration– which can then be converted to digital form
  • Native fluency in Spanish, with enough French to make myself understood.

 Places I’ve worked

Thermwell Products | Art Director— Aug 2010–Present
rafael armstrong creative design | Freelance Graphic Designer— 2008–Present
Footstar | Senior Graphic Designer—  2006–2008
Macy’s Merchandising Group | Freelance Production Artist— Aug-Oct 2005, Jan–Mar 2006
Horizon Group USA | Freelance Designer— Oct 2005–Jan 2006
Millennium Graphics & Design | Production Manager/Graphic Designer— 2002–2005
ITN Networks | Media Buyer—1997-2002

  Random bits of other info

I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil. My elementary school teachers– and my mom– were not particularly pleased.

While in college, I changed majors from Pre-med to Religion (Talk about doing a 180). I ended up double-majoring in Philosophy, since a lot of the classes could be taken as either religion or philosophy. I also double-minored in Communications and Studio Art.

I hold a Certificate of Eligibility in Elementary Education from the State of New Jersey.

I love pop culture and trivia– growing up, Jeopardy! was appointment viewing for my family.

Still reading? I guess a little backstory is in order, then

Picture of Rafael ArmstrongOkay, so shortly after graduating from college, I got a job as a payroll clerk, because at the time I needed a job and the person who referred me sold it to me as “they need someone ‘who knew computers'”. A year later I was in New York, working my way up as a media buyer. This was at the time of the big “dot-boom” of the late 90s-early 00s. After 2001 and the ensuing “dot bust”, I found myself at a crossroads, and it was at this point that I pivoted and started working as a production manager for a small shop in North Jersey.

Since then, I’ve worked in-house and freelance for a number of outfits, big and small, in New York as well as Jersey. I’ve worked on projects for brands like Sealy Mattress, Kmart, Wenger (Swiss Army Knives), Thom McAn, Macy’s, Liberty Travel. Some of the work has included posters and signage, packaging, web graphics and splash pages, media kits, logos and brand identity.

Consider me a  GEERD™ (that’s geek + nerd) through and through. I enjoy reading everything from the sides of cereal boxes to Plato. My “pop” music tastes range from things like ABBA and “Weird” Al Yankovic to AC/DC and Wu-Tang Clan, with stops for folks like Garth Brooks and Miles Davis. However, the boys from Liverpool will always hold a special place.

I’m particularly fond of the Swiss and Dutch schools of design. I also really dig IKEA furnishings and their sense of design.

I could probably survive on Asian (primarily Japanese) and Mexican food. Not to mention coffee.

Oh– and #bacon all the things.