Hi there! If you are reading this, it’s probably because you are curious about me. So, let me introduce myself: I’m Colleen Eakins a freelance graphic designer and self proclaimed branding ninja. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you are probably most interested in my professional and educational background, so I will start there.
My educational background is in both graphic design and marketing. I received my undergraduate bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in Hunstville where I majored in graphic design. I entered the Tennessee Valley Advertising Federation’s student ADDY awards competition, and won a Gold ADDY for a self promotional piece while there. My MBA is with a concentration in Marketing and I obtained it from AIU-Dunwoody after making a move from Huntsville, AL to Atlanta, GA.
My professional career started within the real estate industry doing graphic design for a home builder and real estate company. I truly enjoyed my time there and I still say that it was the best place I have ever worked. I honed my organizational skills, wrote press releases, participated in marketing strategy sessions and did some designing while there. It was a supportive and friendly work environment that allowed me to stretch my wings and fly…corny, I know.
My time in corporate America ended working as a contract graphic designer for 3M in Atlanta. When I interviewed for the position, I was told, “this will not last past three months.” It lasted four years and I am pretty proud of that fact. I was able to prove my value and last through cutbacks, budget freezes and almost two years after my entire department was moved from the Atlanta location to headquarters in St. Paul, MN.
Since that time, I have been freelancing on a full-time basis (did it part-time since college), by choice. I love the freedom it brings, although I could probably do without the extra stress it can bring. I do everything from digital design like websites, web ads and social media design to more traditional design like logos, business cards and brochures. I approach my design from a marketing perspective and say, “anyone can make a pretty picture, but is it effective?” I feel if it will not convert to sales, clients, etc., then it is worthless. My understanding of marketing plays a key role in my design.
Why do clients like me? Because I am easy to work with, prompt, upbeat and I know what I’m doing. Toot, toot goes my horn, but you can read it in their words here. I promise I’m not as narcissistic as I probably sound right now, I’m just really passionate and enjoy what I do. So to counterbalance the narcissism, here are some flaws: I’m clumsy and accident prone, I have a tendency to overwhelm with too much information (this page is rather long) and I’m sometimes too nice (and get run over).