Melissa Maurer Castagne

Managerial level Creative Director who studied Graphic Design and Advertising at Parsons School of Design experienced in
WordPress website design and programming as well as digital and print advertising, marketing and publishing in
the New York / New Jersey creative community with an expert knowledge of the latest software and trends searching for
a challenging full-time, part-time, freelance or contract position to help grow your business by turning prospects into loyal customers.

Being part of the New York / New Jersey creative community for 20+ years, I’ve gained experience in website design and development as well as digital and print advertising, marketing and publishing. I have formal creative arts training with a degree from Parsons School of Design in Graphic Design and Advertising and have an expert knowledge of the latest software and trends for both multimedia and print. I have managerial experience supervising support staff, and welcome the opportunity to mentor young artists.

As a successful business owner of Maurer Graphics and it’s divisions — Maurer Website Design, Kodiak Blue and Castagne Graphics — I’ve worked on exciting and diverse projects with talented folks in a range of industries. This has kept my perspective fresh and versatile. I’ve an eye for detail and aim for perfection. Combining these traits with my diplomatic personality, I’m able to excel in any setting.

Summary of Qualifications

Proven drive, energy and passion for each project meeting challenges with imaginative and constructive resourcefulness.
Investigate, discover and learn new techniques and/or focus to come out with pragmatic solutions to problems.
Ability to perform independently, thrive in a fast-pace environment and juggle multiple priorities and heavy workload with a constructive, positive attitude.
Accountability for meeting deadlines while displaying initiative by being self- motivating and taking independent actions with calculated risks.
Dedication and inquisitiveness combined with team-orientated ability to extract results by working collaboratively with others, and communicating effectively and positively.
A sharp attention to details, high organization and a keen eye for consistency of the existing brand.
With a degree in Graphic Design and Advertising from Parsons School of Design for graphic design, layout, typography, color theory and interactive design combined with 20+ years experience in the industry.
Web usability principles, capabilities of different platforms/browsers and design constraints on the web.
Technical fluency in the most popular print and web software applications.
Melissa Maurer Castagne
Melissa Maurer CastagneOwner / Creative Director

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
— Steve Jobs

Business Experience

OWNER / ART DIRECTOR | GRAPHIC DESIGNER | WEBSITE DESIGNER
2004 – Present

  • Founded and manage two design agencies as full time consultant for both multimedia and print communications.
  • Maurer Graphics offering digital and print advertising, marketing and desktop publishing services as well as brand identity development, exhibitions and packaging design to a diverse set of clients.
  • Maurer Website Design focusing on WordPress website design, development and maintenance, including E-commerce, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Email campaigns and Website ads / graphics for mid-sized and start-up companies.

CLIENT HIGHLIGHTS

National Paint Industries North Brunswick, NJ
Employed as Graphic Artist for print materials and website graphics, 2004 – Present

  • Maintained a strategic lead on the client’s industry, key competitors and ongoing solution development as the company acquired seven new product lines over a ten years period.

Saint Anthony Hospital Chicago, IL
Operated remotely as Marketing Department’s Creative Services, 2011 – Present

  • Established creative direction of their entire rebranding for all print and electronic forms of visual information when transitioning to a new logo and redesign initiative.

Crown Awards Hawthorne, NY
Contracted as on-site Art Department Consultant, 2010 – 2011

  • Designed biweekly e-mail campaigns coded in HTML and tested among various email platforms / mobile devices to follow marketing industry standards of responsive design, personalization, ESPs and send time optimization as well as the design of landing pages using google best practices.

Market Vue Partners Raleigh, NC
Retained annually as Graphic Designer, 2004 – 2011

  • Worked with clients — Massage Envy, AC Moore, First Citizens Bank, Horace Mann and John Deere — to understand business needs and objectives, develop appropriate strategies, and identify / implement solutions to help achieve their goals for lead generation.
CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER
2001 – 2004

  • Designed Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs and direct mail campaigns based on strategic database marketing to sell high-end retail and financial clients’ — Walter Steiger, MontBlanc, Harvé Benard, Todds, Michael C. Fina, Bruno Magli, Eileen Fisher, G+G Rave Girl and Jaeger Sportswear — products / services to their targeted demographic audience.
  • Produced compelling, creative and user-focused solutions that align with clients’ business objectives and established branding by creating powerful messages and strong visuals.
  • Collaborated with account executives for their creative services offerings to acquire new business by preparing proposals, presenting comps at on-site sales pitches and attending conference calls to prospective customers.
SENIOR ART DIRECTOR
2000

  • Conceptualized advertising strategies, maintained on-going campaigns and presented ad pitches for client Aventis Pharmaceuticals’ Arava, a prescription drug in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in adults.
  • Helped develop and review creative briefs that provide strategic insight and creative inspiration.
  • Managed the creative process from concept to production making sure that the creative team adheres to brand guidelines and style.
  • Acted as a creative lead, and oversee and mentor a team of junior art directors, production artists, illustrators and photo editors.
  • Approved selection of photographers, models, props and locations then supervised photography shoots on location.
ART DIRECTOR
1994 – 2000

  • Customized travel-destination supplements geared to travel agents for Travel Weekly in a visually appealing way from conception through final production of print-ready files using QuarkXPress.
  • Ensured award-winning consistency and quality across all advertorial projects for client’s — España, Lima Tours, Marriott, Maryland Office of Tourism, Mexicana Airlines, Mexico City Tourism, Relais & Châteaux, United Airlines and Wyoming Tourism — specification and final approval.
  • Lead the creative team of junior designers, photo editor and freelance artists in development of concepts and execution of all projects; hired photographers; and contracted illustrators.
  • Presented comp concepts with the sales and editorial teams to both existing and potential clients
Advertising / Editorial Print Production and Graphic Design positions
1988 – 1994

At American Payroll Association, Aquent Partners, BMT Communications, KBC Publishing & Expositions, Marvel Comics, Research Institute of America, Schnell Publishing, Sun America and Ziff Davis Publishing

  • Coordinated with outside print vendors to ensure client’s project expectations are met by: establishing / monitoring production schedules; assessing print and mail houses’ services; evaluating competitive printer bids; preparing invoices; reducing print costs through knowledge of production, printing and mailing; reviewing proofs; quality-checking client files; and supervising on-site press runs.
  • Assisted the creative team in design and production.
  • Possessed strong project management skills by managing multiple jobs simultaneously while enforcing deadlines within budget.

Education

AAS: Graphic Design and Advertising, 1987 – 1989
BA: Majored in Anthropology, Minored in Psychology, 1983 – 1987

Technical Expertise

Proficient primarily on Mac OS X (10.10.3) system with working knowledge of PC operating systems.
QuarkXPress, QuarkCopyDesk, Adobe Creative Suite (CS: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver and Acrobat) and Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint).
Adobe Creative Suite as well as fluency in markup languages (HTML / XHTML / XML), style sheet language (Cascading Style Sheets [CSS]), client-side scripting (JavaScript), server-side scripting (PHP), database technology (MySQL) and multimedia technology (Flash Professional).
Banner ads / icons; E-commerce; Search Engine Optimization (SEO); Landing Page Design; Call to Action (CTA); Constant Contact email campaigns; Search Engine Marketing (SEM); Flash / web animation; Social Media Marketing; Testing / Quality assurance (QA); Usability testing and User experience design (UXD / UED).

Professional Awards

  • Adrian Award for the “New Jersey Planner,” 1998
  • Adrian Award for the “1998 U.S. Travel Agency Survey,” 1998
  • “The Médaille d’Or” Website Award for gomez.org, 1998
  • The Award for Excellence presented by the “Lower Hudson Conference of Historic Agencies and Museums” for gomez.org, 1998
  • Listed as one of the “50 Great Museum Websites” by museumstuff.com for gomez.org, 1998
  • Folio Award for the “1998 U.S. Travel Agency Survey,” 1998
  • Cahners Medal of Excellence for the “1998 U.S. Travel Agency Survey,” 1999
  • Nominated for inclusion in the “Global Museum Web Awards 2001” for gomez.org, 2001
  • TransUnion’s “MVP” Award, 2001
  • Winner of the Golden Web Awards for maurergraphics.com, 2004
  • The New York City Metro Award by newyorkcitymetro.com for gomez.org, 2004
  • The New York City Metro Award by newyorkcitymetro.com for maurergraphics.com, 2004
  • Designated as a Top 10 Designer of 2009 for catalog design with the “2009 PrintRunner Designer Award,” 2009

Areas of Expertise

Using WordPress, we customize the appearance and the functionality of our clients’ websites to do anything they can imagine!

We have designed and developed websites for a variety of clients:

  • Auction
  • Child Focused (including Retail)
  • Education / University / Government
  • Entertainment / Music / Film
  • Financial / Banking / Insurance
  • Hotel / Motel / Lodging
  • Matchmaking / Dating / Jobs
  • News Media / Informational Content
  • Non-Profit / Religious Organizations
  • Personal / Portfolio / Gallery
  • Professional Services (Doctors / Lawyers / CPAs / Others)
  • Real Estate Brokers
  • Restaurants
  • Retail-Business Focused (B2B)
  • Retail-Consumer Focused (B2C)
  • Sports / Recreation / Leisure
  • Trade Associations / Union

Maurer Website Design offers customized solutions to website design and development requirements by featuring:

  • High quality deliverables with personalized service
  • Competitive prices that fit your budget
  • Fast turnaround times based on your schedule

Feel confident that we will be your full-service consultant on the scope of the project — from initial conception through final launch — and hopefully, beyond!

Technical Skills

WordPress 100
HTML/XHTML/XML 90
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 80
Client-side Scripting (JavaScript) 70
Server-side Scripting (PHP) 70
Database Technology (MySQL) 70
Dreamweaver 100
Photoshop 100
Illustrator 100
Acrobat 100
Joomla! 70
Drupal 50
Mambo 50

Keep In Touch! Choose Your Platform!

Find us on Social Networks

  • about.me: Makes it easy for people to learn about you and find your content.
  • behance.net: Showcase and discover the latest work from top online portfolios by creative professionals across industries.
  • deviantart.com: An online community showcasing various forms of user-made artwork.
  • dribbble.com: A community of designers sharing screenshots of their work, process, and projects.
  • facebook.com: An online social networking service..
  • googleplus.com: Share the right things with the right people.
  • linkedin.com: A social networking website for people in professional occupations.
  • myspace.com: A social networking service with a strong music emphasis.
  • pinterest.com: A content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to their pinboard.
  • twitter.com: An online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read “tweets.”
  • yahoo.com: Making it easy to enjoy what matters most in your world.
  • YouTube.com: A video-sharing website.

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