*Let’s skip the pleasantries and get straight to the good stuff:

This large and curated PDF portfolio that houses the past decade-and-a-half of my career.

In short, if you find yourself in need of a little, or a lot of, creative help I’d love to chat with you about collaborating as I am actively seeking new projects of all shapes, sizes, and scopes.

Now, for those pleasantries...


↓↓↓

Hi. Hello? Howdy!

My name is John J. Custer and yes I am related to the general, for better or [much] worse.

I am also a Texas-born, Austin-based, conceptually-conscious award-winning designer, creative director, art director, illustrator, and educator, despite failing art history twice at the University of North Texas.

With over 15 years of experience, a decade of that time fostered in the jungle of New York City, I have refined a collaborative process to develop, lead, and manage creative ventures for clients ranging from Fortune 500 institutions and so-called “fake news” organizations to early-stage start-ups and mom-and-pop shops alike.

Currently, I am accepting new freelance and contractual projects, big and small, in addition to seeking a full-time opportunity to develop considered and witty work with folks that simply give a damn.

That being said, I have curated this extensively detailed PDF portfolio of my work for you to enjoy as I figure out how to finish my “real” website.

Until then please don’t be shy, say hi!

Email
Instagram
Twitter
LinkedIn

↓↓↓

Things I do professionally:

· Creative & Art Direction
· Brand Identity
· Graphic & Print Design
· Illustration
· Painted Murals
· Book & Editorial Design
· Packaging Design
· Wayfinding & Signage
· Digital Design & Development
· Motion Graphics
· Creative Consulting
· Strategy & Naming
· Team Management
· Creative Networking
· Career Coaching
· Remain Curious


Things I dream about doing professionally:

· Illustrating a USPS Stamp
· Developing a cocktail bar’s concept, identity, & space
· Creating a race car’s livery
· Collaborating with BMW and/or Porsche
· Designing a tabletop book
· Fabricating a brand system for an art museum/gallery
· Building a hoppy brewery brand & space
· Directing a film/tv series titles
· Fostering a plant store’s identity & environment
· Developing a thoughtful cannabis brand
· Brewing up a coffee shop’s refreshing identity, interior, & exterior
· Partnering with an architectural firm
· Commercial & residential interior design projects
· Concepting and develop physical products


Things I don’t do professionally:

· Craft cocktails
· Photograph cars
· Dog training
· Indoor bouldering
· Play soccer (Go Fuego FC!)
· Play with Legos
· Take naps


Résumé:

John J. Custer
Everything
2009—Present

Buzzfeed News
Art Director
2022

The Atlantic
Art Director
2022

Media Arts Lab
Design Lead
2021—2022

Pushkin Industries
Creative Director
2018—2021

Apple
Art director
2021

Franklyn
Design Lead
2020

The New York Times
Art Director
2017—2020

Turner Duckworth
Design Lead
2017

School of Visual Arts
Adjunct Professor
2012—2015

Brand New
Writer & Contributor
2012—2014

Dress Code
Art Director & Designer
2013—2015

Google [Creative Lab]
Senior Designer
2013

Oliver Munday Group (OMG)
Illustrator
2013

Collins
Designer
2011—2012

Wieden+Kenndy
Designer
2010—2011

Pentagram
Intern; Bierut
2010

Tractorbeam
Intern & Designer)
2009—2010

Nike
Intern
2009

University of North Texas
Undergrad
2005—2009


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
· KIPP
· 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!?


Freelance Studio, Agency, & In-House Clients:

· Apple
· Buzzfeed News (art director)
· Collins
· DressCode NY
· DIA
· Franklyn
· Frog Design (formally Fahrenheit 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


Teachings, Speakings, Writings, Awards, & Stuffs:

School of Visual Arts
(adjunct professor)

Parsons School of Design
(guest lecturer)

Pratt Institute
(guest lecturer)

Clinton Foundation Design Conference
(keynote speaker)

DSVC Student Conference
(keynote speaker)

Brand New & Quipsologies
(contributing writer)

Print Magazine
(featured writer)

The New York Times
(The Year in Illustration)

American Illustrator
(selected work)

Society of Illustrators
(selected work)

HOW Magazine
(logo design award)

Print Magazine
(design annual)

Society of Illustrators
(juror)

Makers Club
(organizer)





© 2023 John J. Custer/Very Dandy, LLC.
All rights reserved. All wrongs reserved.

Updated: 08/09/2023