Together by design: Free-lancers enjoy new offices

Kitty Nicholason and Jeff Steele, both freelance graphic designers, work in close proximity in their new offices in Grand Junction. The two hope to reconnect with old clients and attract new clients. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Kitty Nicholason and Jeff Steele, both freelance graphic designers, work in close proximity in their new offices in Grand Junction. The two hope to reconnect with old clients and attract new clients. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Kitty Nicholason and Jeff Steele seldom work together on the same project, at least in the traditional sense. But the freelance graphic designers often collaborate in sharing their ideas — along with their unabashed opinions about what works and what doesn’t.

That’s why Nicholason and Steele said they’re excited about new offices that offer not only what they consider a good place to work, but also proximity.

With only a hallway and two red doors between them, their offices are well within shouting distance, Nicholson said. “We can holler from room to room.”

The move also constitutes part of an effort for Nicholason and Steele to increase business. “It just feels like where we’re supposed to be,” Steele said.

Nicholason and Steele moved about a month ago into offices at 1227 N. 23rd St. in Grand Junction. The two share suite 101 with Alanza Cook, who operates A Touch of Pure Healing Massage, and Deb Duffek,  who operates Bioenergy Treatment.

Nicholason operates Kitty Nicholason Graphic Design. Steele operates Scream Graphics. He also serves as publisher of Grand Valley Live magazine. Steele and Greg Hartman run the monthly publication focusing on live music and culture.

Nicholason works mostly on books, publications and advertising. Steele works on business cards, fliers and posters. He also serves as a broker in arranging printing for his clients.

Nicholason and Steele said they’ve known each other for a long time. They both worked for awhile at the same Grand Junction printing company. When that firm closed, they continued working separately on a freelance basis. Nicholason also served as art director of Grand Valley magazine until that publication ceased operations.

Nicholason said she’s anxious now to reconnect with old clients as well as attract new clients. “I’m eager to work on a whole bunch of projects again.”

Nicholason and Steele said graphic design has changed dramatically over the years in terms of the technology involved — the use of computers to create and manipulate illustrations, photographs and text, for example. The same designs also are used for different media, Steele said, including not only print, but also websites.

At the same time, though, the principles of good design remain unchanged, Nicholason and Steele said.

Form must follow function, Nicholason said, in conveying the right message to the right audience in the right way. Good design makes it effortless for readers to comprehend the message. Steele said good design serves the purpose and content of the message.

Nicholason and Steele take different approaches. While Nicholason prefers a clean and more subtle approach, Steele said he likes lots of color.

Despite their differences, Nicholason and Steele said they often ask each other for advice. “We consult back and forth,” Steele said. Nicholason said she appreciates another set of eyes to look over her work.

And that’s why they’re glad to work in new offices that are well within shouting distance.

Contact Kitty Nicholason Graphic Design at 778-8427. Call Scream Graphics at 201-3031.

Phil Castle is editor of the Grand Valley Business Times, a twice-monthly business journal published in Grand Junction. Castle brings to his duties nearly 30 years of experience in editorial management positions with Western Colorado newspapers. In addition, his free-lance work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Washington Post. He holds a bachelor's degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University.
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Posted by on Apr 18 2017. Filed under Business News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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