A little about me: I’ve been a professional Graphic Designer since 2004. I’m based in Indianapolis and specialize in apparel graphic design, sports and corporate identities. Currently I work at the adidas Group as a Senior Graphics Manager and my work has been featured in GD USA, Sporting Goods retailers, and on NFL, NHL, NBA, and NCAA athletes and coaches. Throughout my career I’ve worked in print, exhibits, web, identity, and apparel design.
My beginnings in Graphic Design began from an early age. I’ve always been drawing and my main subject manner was sports figures and uniforms. While in HS a project for my football team gave me my first taste of sports design and from then on I knew what his future held.
Growing up in a small town of 1000 grounded me and gave me a good sense of community. High School forged both my creative and athletic desires. I credit my High School art teacher, Jerry Rich, for pushing my artwork at this time. I was always drawing what I saw, never really pushing myself creatively. I will always remember him calling a picture of a tiger I painted a “So What.” From then on I pushed myself to create instead of just recreate. On the field I lettered in baseball 4 years and football 3 years. One of my proudest accomplishments is being on a football team that won 45 straight regular season games and made it to the Semi-Finals for the first time in school history. My favorite sport was baseball and I will always remember how me and my group of friends were part of changing the culture of baseball at our school. We finished with one of the best seasons in school history my senior year.
I attended Carthage College in Kenosha, WI after high school. Carthage was attractive to me because of its location on Lake Michigan and it gave me an opportunity to continue being an athlete and an artist. My football career at Carthage lasted only 2 years as did Baseball. I realized I was a much better artist than I was an athlete and decided that I needed to focus on developing my skills as a designer more than my skills as an offensive lineman. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Graphic Design in 3 and a half years and was ready to move onto my career.
First stop was at Foppe Designs in Highland, IL near St. Louis. Working with Foppe Designs I quickly learned that college was a different animal than the “real world.” Primarily working on logos and exhibits while at Foppe, I learned long lasting lessons that help me even to this day. A day does not go by that I don’t thank the Foppe’s for taking me under their wings right out of school and giving me a chance. I wouldn’t be the designer I am today without their guidance and kindness.
A lifelong dream of mine was to live and work in a big city. I wanted to see if I could survive as a designer against the top talent I could find. I left Foppe with no prospects but plenty of ambition. First I worked as a contract designer back at Carthage College for 6 months while looking for my next challenge. I found it in Norvax in downtown Chicago. While at Norvax I worked as a Graphic Designer, but the primary functions was web design. Norvax is a leading Insurance software company and I loved his time there. It was fast paced and despite half the staff being developers, a highly creative environment. I loved every second of it and being in Downtown Chicago on top of it was just amazing!
A phone call from my best friend changed his career forever. He knew of a job opening at Reebok in Indianapolis designing for the NFL. This was an opportunity I had been dreaming of. It was hard to leave Chicago but the in the end I would move to Indianapolis. My first job with them was as an NFL graphic designer and I couldn’t believe the opportunities I had! In that first year I had worked on designs for the Super Bowl Locker Room tee, new logos for the New Orleans Hornets, and the NFL Sideline. Although my designs weren’t picked for the Locker Room tee or the Hornets logo I couldn’t believe what I was working on. One of the proudest days as a designer was when the Ottawa Senators came out in their new third jersey in the 2009 season. It featured a new crest that I had designed. It wasn’t my favorite design, but it was the first time something I had done reached a professional team. Later that year NFL coaches and players took to the field wearing graphics that I designed and its been exciting ever sense!
Since that first year I have been promoted to NCAA Graphics Manager where I oversees the development of the graphics for adidas’ sideline schools and other tee designs, and then to Senior Graphics Manager where I oversee graphic development for the NHL, NCAA, and MLS. Although everyday is a challenge, I am so happy where I’m at. It’s extremely high pressure but I thrive on that. I love working the occasional late night and the pressure that comes with getting a project done on-time and at a high quality. This job has taken me to so many great places and events like the MLS Cup, Notre Dame Stadium, Michigan Stadium, a UFC Event, Germany, and so much more! I’ve traveled so many places and worked on so many great projects I never would have gotten to do without this job!
Personally, I love spending time with my wonderful wife Kristen and our two cats Turbo and Walter. I also enjoy playing golf, indoor soccer and softball, rooting on the Chicago Bears, St. Louis Cardinals and Illinois Fighting Illini, and of course designing.
I would like to thank the following people, without their support and guidance I would not be the man or designer I am today: Jerry Rich, Scott Hamilton, Alaine Spinney, Ed Kalke, Jose Montoto, Steve Janiak, Jeremiah Desmarais, Daniel and Stephanie Cummings, Erik and Stephanie Compton, Tom and JoAnn Foppe, Jake and Kara Simon, My entire Family, and the most talented designers I’ve ever worked with: SLD in both Canton and Indianapolis.
A special thanks to my mother Karen Cummings and late father Jim Cummings. I learned so much from both of you and I feel so blessed to be your son every day. Without your sacrifices I couldn’t be where I am today. You instilled in me a hard work ethic and gave me so much guidance through the years I can never repay you. If I become half the parent you both are, your grandchildren will be in great shape!