My name is John J. Custer and I am an Austin-based, award-winning, conceptually conscious designer, illustrator, and art director working in the disciplines of creative development and direction, education, and career coaching.

What you see here is my new-website-is-under-construction website as I curate a cocktail of new creative work I have developed over the past decade (yes, it has been 10 years since my last portfolio update...)

During that time I served as a design lead for Media Arts Lab/TBWA developing creative for Apple, an art director for The New York Times Op-Ed and Editorial Sections, the founding art and design director for Pushkin Industries, and an adjunct faculty member at The School of Visual Arts—in conjunction with my independent creative practice.

With 14 years of experience, a decade of that time was fostered in the jungle of New York City, I have developed a distinct process of building, leading, networking, and managing creative ventures for clients ranging from mom-and-pop boutiques and early-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 institutions and so-called “fake news” organizations alike.

Working across an array of industries, in an array of mediums, I am currently seeking to collaborate with clients that simply give a damn (especially in the Austin/Texas region.) Aligned in this commonality, I promise bespoke experience that results in joyful outcomes (with a dash of wit, of course.)

Please do say howdy, y'all:


PDF portfolio available upon request

· Art Direction
· Branding
· Career Coaching
· Creative Consulting
· Print Design
· Illustration
· Strategy & Naming
· Packaging Design
· Publication & Book Design
· Motion Graphics
· Interior Design
· Wayfinding & Signage
· Digital Design & Development
· Creative Networking

Independent Clients:
· Adobe
· AARP Magazine
· Buzzfeed News (Illustrator)
· Coca-Cola
· Columbia Magazine
· D Magazine
· Facebook
· Google
· Harrison Metal
· Institutional Investor
· Intercom
· J.P. Morgan/Chase
· Marz Brewing
· Nickelodeon
· Nike
· Pushkin Industries
· Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
· Sidewalk Labs
· Sid Lee
· Siegel + Gale
· The Atlantic (Illustrator)
· The Baffler
· The New York Times (Illustrator)
· TIME Magazine
· Quicken Loans
· Village Voice
· Wall Street Journal
· You!?

Studios, Agencies, & In-House:
· Apple
· Buzzfeed News (Art Director)
· Collins
· DressCode NY
· Franklyn
· Frog Design (formally Farhenheit 212)
· Good Friends
· Google Creative Lab
· Grand Army
· Jones Knowles Ritchie
· Interbrand
· Media Arts Lab/TBWA
· Oliver Munday Group (OMG)
· Pentagram
· Project M (2008)
· Selman Design
· Small Stuff
· The Atlantic (Art Director)
· The New York Times (Art Director)
· Tractorbeam
· Turner Duckworth
· Upperquad
· Wieden + Kennedy

Current Dream Projects:
· Work with an automotive/auto racing institution
· Create a USPS Stamp
· Build a hoppy brewery brand & space
· Direct a film/tv series titles
· Foster a plant stores identity & environment
· Develop a thoughtful cannabis brand
· Brew up a coffee shop's refreshing identity & shop
· Fabricate a brand system for an art museum/gallery
· Commercial & residential interior design
· Partner with an architect/architectural firm
· Concept and develop a series of physical products
· Collaborate with BMW and/or Porsche

Guest Lectures, Speaking, Writing & Teaching:
· Clinton Foundation Student Design Conference (Speaker)
· DSVC Student Conference (Speaker)
· Makers Club NYC (Organizer)
· Parsons School of Design (Guest Lecturer)
· Pratt Institute (Guest Lecturer)
· Brand New & Quipsologies (Former Contributing Writer)
· School of Visual Arts (Former Adjunct Professor)

Updated: 09/26/22