a design director with 25+ years’ experience working with national and international clients
I earned a BFA in graphic design from SUNY New Paltz in 1992 and an MFA in 2D design from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1995. I studied under Muneera Umedaly Spence and Katherine McCoy, respectively.
I joined the MASS MoCA project as its second employee and established the MASS MoCA Design Department in 1995—four years before our public opening in May 1999. During that time, I helped put the country’s largest arts center on the world’s cultural map by designing the museum’s identity system, wayfinding and gallery signage, roof sign, print collateral, exhibition catalogs, merchandise and web presence. A bit more about my role there and some of that design work is viewable here.
I co-founded id29 in Troy, NY in 2003 and was responsible for the design direction of a small to mid-level design and marketing firm with regional, national and international clients. I managed and art directed our award-winning design team during that time, building our reputation regionally and nationally for creative excellence based upon research and sound business strategy. We had the good fortune to help build brands, campaigns and marketing strategies for clients such as: Cobra PUMA Golf, Pitney Bowes, Firefly Bicycles, The Steve Case Foundation, Union College, The Travel Channel and NY State Parks. id29 was the agency behind Scholastic’s national campaign for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007, which sold 8.3M copies in the first day.
id29 closed its doors at the end of 2021.
I frequently lecture on design, and have written for design publications such as Speak Up and HOW Magazine. I'm a long-time member of AIGA Upstate New York—the Professional Association for Design—whose mission is to build and promote the Upstate New York design community and advance design as a vital cultural force. I've been programming AIGA UPSTNY events in the Capital District since 2008, including our wildly popular annual Student Portfolio Review. In 2016, I served a 2-year term as President of AIGA Upstate NY, helping grow the organization's member base and outreach to new levels.
In 2010, I was named by Graphic Design USA as one of the top 50 People to Watch. In fact, my name is right next to Saul Bass on that list. It's alphabetical ;)
Some of my design work can be found in:
I live in Brunswick, NY with my family and enjoy fishing in the Adirondacks, playing in the local over 40s soccer league, and yelling at the television when Liverpool F.C. are playing.
I'm a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, having recently discovered my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Morris Barto, fought for 6+ years in the Continental Army at the Battles of Saratoga and Monmouth, among others. Here's a pic of his discharge papers, signed by George Washington himself. Genealogy ftw!