Chris Lee

About

A graphic and web designer based out of Springfield, Illinois
with a passion for logic, technology, creativity, and art.

From the first time I picked up a pencil, my single goal has been to produce interesting, engaging, and visually appealing work. Whether that be art, design, video, or even simple doodles, this dream has been the foundation for what has always driven me forward.

Having taught myself Adobe Photoshop and HTML when I was about 10 years old, I had always assumed I would eventually earn a degree in Art (never realizing I was actually doing something closer to design). However, during my freshman year at Rock Valley College, I took a friend up on an offer to work for the student newspaper (The Valley Forge). This would lead me into the world of Visual Journalism and is where I began really cutting my teeth as a designer.

Based on my work at The Valley Forge, I would eventually be offered (and accept) a scholarship to Eastern Illinois University where I also worked for the student newspaper. I reached editor-levels at both newspapers and, throughout, I earned many state and national awards in everything from information graphics to art direction and layout.

Working toward a dream

Once I discovered Graphic Design, I did anything I could to make it my job. During my last three years of college, I made that goal a reality. I began freelancing, taking on as much work as I could handle (and, admittedly, sometimes more). I continued this a year after graduating from EIU, and during my time as a freelance designer, I helped create brands, web designs, and more traditional print pieces for both local and international clients.

In May 2011, I decided to try a stab at the traditional 9–5 route. I began working as an in-house designer for Perma-Bound Books, a book bindery outside of Springfield, IL, where I produce catalogs, advertisements, web interfaces, brand guidelines, and videos.

Outside of Design, I have always loved technology and science, always keeping up to date with the latest gadgets, devices, and experiments that are shaping our lives. I am also a film and music nerd, fascinated by the arts that I have rarely attempted to create. These interest, however, have a loop-back mechanism, constantly inspiring my work by showing me what innovations humans are capable of.

As I grow older, I continue to challenge myself — taking on bigger and more challenging projects, teaching myself new programs, and continuing to expand and grow as a designer and human being. It still feels unbelievable to know I do what I love and get paid for it.

- Chris Lee

Interested in working with me?

I still freelance when a good opportunity comes around, and you can contact me with inquiries at chris@chrisly.info.

See more of my work

You needn’t look any further this site for a few samples of my work.

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Resumé / Experience

  • Perma-Bound Books / Jacksonville, Illinois
    May 2011 – present

    Because of their size, Perma-Bound offered me the unique position of using my design sense to make an instant impression. They were a brand that needed some major updating in the face of an expanding electronic book market. My larger projects have included UI design and project management for a major new web service, catalog design, and defining company branding. On a more granular level, I have created posters, flyers, advertisements, and web promotions.

  • Freelance Design / Rockford, Charleston, and Springfield, Illinois
    September 2006 – May 2011

    Starting as a student worker at Rock Valley College’s Student Life department, I carved an indispensable niche for myself. I then worked as an outside contractor, thus beginning my career as a freelance designer. After graduating in December 2009, I began freelancing full-time. During my years freelancing, I worked for various companies — internationally — creating everything from web sites to logos and advertisements.

  • The Arizona Republic / Phoenix, Arizona
    June 2010 – August 2010

    Under the Pulliam Fellowship program, I was one of fifteen who had a chance to spend the summer with the 12th largest paper in the nation. While with The Republic, I mostly worked on centerpieces for the local community tabloids and general information graphics (maps, charts, and graphs). I completed my fellowship by art directing and designing the annual Winter Visitors’ Guide special section.

  • Daily Eastern News / Eastern Illinois University / Charleston, Illinois
    August 2007 – December 2009

    Being recruited by Eastern to work on the newspaper, I was initially tasked with redesigning the paper and leading design four nights a week. I eventually created political cartoons weekly and, in my last semester, worked as Managing Editor, helping with the night desk and maintaining art direction.

  • Rockford Register Star / Rockford, Illinois
    June 2008 – August 2008

    Working as an intern in the Graphics department for the 60,000-plus circulation newspaper, I created online videos, flash applications, information graphics, maps, photo illustrations, and page layouts. With a relatively small staff, The Star gave me a lot of individual attention impossible at larger media outlets.

  • The Valley Forge / Rock Valley College / Rockford, Illinois
    January 2005 – July 2007

    Beginning as a designer on the tri-weekly student newspaper, I worked my way up to Managing Editor and then Editor in Chief. During my two and a half years on staff, we won a number of state and national awards in design, graphics, reporting, opinion, and photography.