I'm Carissa, a "visual composer" focused on great design & seamless user experience on ALL devices from desktop to mobile.
I've worn many hats throughout my career. Familiar with major print production, I have created 300+ page binders/catalogs, hardbound books, trade-show displays, and billboards, all the way to the "small stuff" such as ADs, letterhead/cards and healthcare forms. Because of my technical expertise, I've also had the opportunity to work on a myriad of small, interesting projects such as: Television AD/Slides, Powerpoint, Email Templates/E-Newsletters and many more. I find a lot of joy through creating material that delivers an easy, clear message through well-formed design.
Web Design & Programming
My philosophy on web experience has always been based on browser compatibility and efficiency, with a beautiful look coming second to functionality. Before designs were responsive, I focused on liquid and elastic coding to create an all-inclusive user experience. I came from a software developer school of thought (which is uncommon in those who start in design) therefore I use my megabytes efficiently and try not to overload an experience for useless bells and whistles. I started front-end coding in notepad when I was a teenager, now my program of choice is Notepad++ primarily using HTML, CSS and PHP. Although i'm familiar with design programs such as Dreamweaver/Frontpage, I have never used them in practice so my code is as clean and organized as possible. Since I've worked with SQL/Databases and have experience in VB.NET/ASP.NET I can do light developing because I understand logic/syntax and communicate very well with seasoned web developers no matter what language they specialize in. I've also created many corporate email templates that I tested across multiple platforms, including mobile devices such as android, iPhone and blackberries.
Summa Western Reserve Hospital Site Network
(Project completed prior to the invention of Responsive Design) For this project, I had to design something that would have the "impressive" quality of flash, but be widely viewable to their diverse audience. After analyzing the site traffic, I opted to code an elastic design that accommodated the 25% of traffic that had a resolution of 800x600. It also needed to display correctly for text enlarged viewers and sections of the site needed to be managed by other (non-technical) employees in other departments. For security reasons I built the template from scratch using HTML, CSS and PHP, creating an elastic skin for each page that made site-wide layout changes or menu additions very easy. After the elastic template was created and tested in all browsers back to IE7/6, I translated it throughout the site sections and installed it on multiple domains within the SWRH network.
I created separate "news" sections ran internally by each department using a Wordpress CMS and trained those employees on how to manage their site as well as provided any technical support needed throughout the process. I was also responsible for training more technical staff to make HTML/CSS changes per page and developed PSD templates for rotating site sections for easy drag and drop management.
I also created HTML e-newsletter templates (tested to make sure they displayed correctly on mobile as well as in different email clients) as a copy & pastable design for non-technical employees, 80% of the photography featured throughout the network is my work.
Elastic Design (IE7+, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera)
PHP Site Skin
Wordpress News Sections
RSS Newsfeed for Dynamic Homepage Content
Flash Movement with NoFlash Image
E-Newsletters & Online Archive
Analytic Tracking & RSS Tracking
Responsive E-Commerce Store
This site was built on a Wordpress CMS for ease of content management for the owner. Page templates were created within the CMS to make adding new product extremely easy for the non-technical layman. Infinite scrolling and a comprehensive search let the user easily browse images. PSD templates created for easy drag & drop uniform image formatting. All payments managed securely through paypal.
Click thumbnails to view screenshots or live sites where available.
More site, e-newsletter and coding examples can be provided upon request!
Photography & Retouching
Photography started out as a creative outlet that was more simple than traditional art. It quickly grew into more than that as both my skill and technical proficiency progressed. My major project is Ruined Nation, focusing on abandoned places in northeast ohio. In July of 2010 I was fortunate enough to speak about this project at the Akron Art Museum. (click to view museum notification) I'm very passionate about Cleveland history and engaged in the local art and music scene. I am a photographer for The Cleveland Sound, shooting music, events, politics and restaurants. Because of my traditional art background i'm capable of extensive/illustrative retouching, which i've had a lot of fun with! I do minor retouching on all portraits, but believe it should be subtle and unnoticed so people still look like themselves. My favorite genres of photography are architecture, pets and food.
To see more images and examples of my retouching please visit my separate photography portfolio, or check out my categorized, recent body of work on flickr.
Over the last three years I've started taking my photography to the next step. I've been responsible for a multitude of corporate videos in a formal interview style or with green screen, lately I have been exploring the creative side of cinematography. Below are some samples of videos I have made, an artistic sample where I had complete creative control, and a corporate informational video which was executed per brand standards via given script. All videos have been directed, filmed and produced by myself. More video examples are available via request.
Traditional art is something I started when I was young, uploading rudimentary sketches to Side7 and later moving to DeviantART right as the site began. My roots are in anatomy and cartooning, that foundation has been very useful throughout my career. I enjoy all types of art and translate my skills into whatever project I decide to pick up.
Click on the images below to see a small selection of various projects.
Kidrobot Munny Gallery
Sketching & Painting
"How can technology make a person better? Only in this way: by providing each person with chances. A chance to excel at the unique mixture of talents he or she was born with, a chance to encounter new ideas and new minds, a chance to be different from his or her parents, a chance to create something his or her own." - Author Kevin Kelly from What Technology Wants
Thank you for viewing my work!
If you have any questions, or would like to see more examples, feel free to contact me via any method below!