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Melissa has 14 years of experience creating print and interactive work for international brands, local businesses, nonprofits and educational institutions. Her work reflects her passion for issues of social and environmental justice, feminism, sports, local businesses and history. Past personal projects include publishing two volumes of books about Portland by Portlanders and producing a 50 page creative activity deck for kids with a local nonprofit. Currently, she is working on the long and arduous process of curating and writing about Portland's graphic design history through research and interviews. She teaches design layout and design history at Portland State University, and is a regular international design volunteer with USAID.
Senior Adjunct Instructor, Portland State University
Teaching Page Design Layout and The History of Modern Design at Portland State University
International Design Volunteer, Partners of the Americas
As a design volunteer with USAID/ Partners of the Americas, I have travelled to countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean to complete two-week volunteer design projects. Clients are typically small agriculturally-based start-up companies. Read about my trips to Haiti, Colombia and Guatemala.
Volunteer Creative Director/Designer, p:ear
I have served as a pro bono Creative Director and Designer for p:ear (creatively mentoring homeless youth) since 2012. As such, I have helped them craft brand guidelines; determine visual themes, graphics and experience of their big fundraising event; design collateral materials for p:ear barista school and gallery; designed their website; designed the storefront for their barista school coffee window; and created social media graphics.
Writer, Researcher, Portland Design History Project
Starting with the 2014 Design Week event, Portland Designers of the Mad Men Era, I have been collecting, archiving, interviewing and writing about the history of design in Portland with a focus on the 1960s.
Founder & Executive Director, Our Portland Story
Our Portland Story is a community story project I founded in 2008. I collected stories about Portland by Portlanders from all walks of life, and paired those stories with local designers to create artful snapshots of the city through our published books, events and online content. Find Volumes 1 & 2 at Powell’s Books or learn more at: ourportlandstory.com.
AIGA Portland Design for Good Chair
I lead a collaborative Design for Good project with The Right Brain Initiative, a non-profit working to weave the arts back into public schools. The result of our three year partnership is Brain Food, an exploratory activity deck for kids. Brain Food is a tool to help teachers and parents ignite creative thinking.
With support from the community through a successful Kickstarter campaign, we were honored to donate over a thousand of these decks to teachers in Portland metro area public schools in January 2014.
Team Lead, Cut & Paste Digital Design Tournament
I initiated and led the Cut & Paste inaugural event in Portland, bringing a live global design competition to our city.