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Personal Background

Born and raised in Iowa, I spent 10 great–but frigid&#150years in Minneapolis before moving to Portland in June of 2006 with my new wife and my old dog.

mugshot - Jason Duerr

Aside from design and marketing, I’ve worked as a Music Director, Newscaster and DJ in radio markets throughout the Midwest. I still do a bit of voiceover and audio production, but my radio endeavors have been strictly non-commercial for a number of years. Radio and music have always been in my blood and I still manage to make time to indulge in both. I’m a creative at heart, but a confirmed and confessed technology geek.

Outside the Studio

Outside the studio, I spend my time obsessing about good coffee, cooking, beating on drums, strangling guitars, clinging to youth on bicycles, motorcycles, and skateboards, and exploring my new hometown with my lovely wife and Otto the dog.

Interesting and/or Disturbing Facts

I grew up in a funeral home, owned a car wash, was briefly a clown in a 3-ring circus, and have played in bands from Bluegrass to Hardcore. I’m an obnoxious foodie and have been accused of being a coffee snob more than once. I owned parachute pants in the 80s, had an amazing mullet (once), and my first car was a mighty El Camino Conquista.

About this site

This site is a place to present some of my work and resume to potential employers, collaborators, and partners and a place to write things that might not be best suited to be on my business site.

Professional Experience

Before coming to Portland, I spent 10 years in Minneapolis serving as a Designer, Art Director, and Interactive Developer both at agencies and on in-house teams. I also did a stint teaching Interactive Design at Brainco School of Advertising + Design.

I’ve provided creative and strategy for clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune Global 500 companies including Full Sail Brewing, Nike, RE/MAX, webtrends, Allianz, Microsoft and US Bank.

Since 2008, I've been serving as Web Tzar at Sandstrom Partners here in Portland. I also have a small shop of my own called DROPKICK.

Tools & Skills

The tools and skills I’m asked about most frequently – this is just a point of reference. Get in touch to find out if I’m a good fit for your needs.

Level of Mastery
level of mastery graphic
familiar 1
functional 2
competent 3
proficient 4
expert 5
Tool name and level of mastery.
Tool Mastery (1-5)
ActionScript 2 5
ActionScript 3 4
ASP 3 3
ASP.NET (C#) 2
JavaScript 5
Perl 4
Ruby, Rails 1
Tool name and level of mastery.
Tool Mastery (1-5)
Photoshop CS6 5
Illustrator CS6 5
InDesign CS6 5
Quark xPress 7 4
Flash Professional CS6 4
Premiere Pro CS6 3
After Effects CS6 2
Final Cut Pro X 3
Audition CS6 5
Pro Tools 4

The longer version of the things I do.

  • Identity and Brand — Logos, identity design and brand. Two peas and their pod. The foundation of most solid design is brand. Define the brand and you're almost there. Stay true to that brand and you're home free. I'm comfortable defining and designing complete identity systems as well as working within existing brand specs.
  • Collateral Design — Advertising, business cards, stationery, media kits, brochures, posters, flyers, newsletters...they all support marketing and sales efforts. Thoughtful design and execution can be the difference between successful marketing and a money pit.
  • Package Design — From an eye-catching label on this year's Pinot Noir to CD and DVD cases. Packaging is the front line on the retail sales front. I'm fascinated with good package and label design and find it especially rewarding when a piece comes out well.
  • Web Design, Interaction Design, Interface Design — From concept to code, I strive for clear, unpretentious design with usability always in mind and advocate standards-oriented HTML markup and CSS. Interaction design isn't just relegated to the web browser anymore. Email marketing is still a channel of communication that's not used effectively by most companies, web communities provide tremendous opportunity for your message to move itself, and consumers are increasingly connected via mobile devices.
  • Web Development — Beyond HTML, JavaScript, and CSS scripting, I'm certainly not as speedy at bottom-up application development as developers that live strictly in code all day every day. But, my development background makes me a very capable integrator and able to understand and communicate well with development teams.
    • HTML, XHTML — I advocate for a balance of progressive enhancement and standards-rooted markup to make use of some cutting-edge features while maintaining usability and features across platforms and legacy environments. I keep as much of the presentation layer out of the HTML as much as possible to keep things consistent and make future updates easier.
    • CSS — My specific approach to CSS varies as the project dictates, but I really push for maintaining as much separation of the presentation layer as possible. If implemented thoughtfully from the start, changes down the road are so much simpler.
    • Flash, ActionScript — We’re fortunate to have a wonderful array of options for many things that were once only achievable with Flash. However, Flash is still the best choice in certain circumstances and will likely continue to be for quite some time.
    • JavaScript — I'm using jQuery a lot when a framework makes the most sense. Having the heavy lifting done makes it easier to to think about how a bit of scripting can improve things. That said, there are times when just a touch of JavaScript can do the job and a framework like jQuery or Prototype are extreme overkill.
    • ASP, .NET — It's been a few years since I've done much VB/ASP scripting, but I can get my head wrapped around it pretty quickly when necessary. I've worked on a number of enterprise-level .NET projects from a front-end perspective, so I'm comfortable thinking in context of .NET controls and application structure.
    • PHP — I started coding simple applications when PHP was in its first version. I'll still write something from scratch on occasion, but I've been working with systems and frameworks like WordPress and CodeIgniter more lately. It makes much more sense to start with building blocks that have the kinks worked out already when you can. Wordpress, in particular, has shaped up as a good starting point for an inexpensive and fairly flexible CMS for many of my clients (and myself).
    • Perl — the first server-side development launguage I dealt with, I still find uses for PERL from time to time. As PHP has matured, I use Perl much less than I once did, but it's still a useful tool.
    • Ruby, Rails — My experience with Ruby and RoR is limited to some personal exploration at this point, but the MVC pattern is great for fast development and I like the concept a lot. I don't anticipate learning Ruby any time soon, but its similaries to PERL syntax make me comfortable peeking into underlying code when necessary. I'm certainly comfortable enough with MVC architecture and to work from the front-end.
    • SQL — I can get at and update the data I need pretty readily and work out the kinks with problem queries, but I don't consider myself a database expert. Proficient. We'll call it proficient.
    • XML, XSL — I've worked with XSL for some application interfaces and think it has enormous potential for use on the web. XML is so portable that you can't ignore it's value as a data format. It'll be interesting to see where it goes in the future.
    • SEO, SEM — Organic SEO is always on my mind when write HTML and build out sites. It almost always leads to better markup in the end. I'm aware of many black-hat SEO techniques, but find that they rarely present enough of a benefit to try to compete in that arena. There are plenty of experts in this area. I haven't found it necessary for my projects to branch out much beyond thoughtful coding and architecture.