"You only have a certain amount of time on this planet. Why would you do something you don't like?"
- John Contino, Weapons of Mass Creation 2013
WHO I AM
What is the definition of success? It could be alot of different things to different people, but for me the definition is simple (though there's no question achieving it is no walk in the park). My idea of success is doing what I'm passionate about for a living, while first and foremost providing for myself and my family. Money alone being the driving force in my career without being passionate in what I'm doing won't work for me. Alternately, doing whatever I want creatively minus the financial practicality that comes with reality is also no good. Success in my life is finding the balance between the two. One can't survive without the other.
Design to me is about visually-communicating, problem-solving, and strategy just as much as it's about being creative and making something look good. It needs a concept behind it in order to accomplish a specific goal. For that reason, I see my design work as "creativity with purpose," where I constantly strive to find the balance between creativity and strategy.
I work with a span of clients from local businesses to global brands. I enjoy creating great design, visually-communicating, and supporting brands; whether it's helping a small startup look amazing and function well, or adding continued value to a large, more established brand (and everything in-between).
My work is multidisciplinary, with a focus in graphic design, branding, and art direction. I design for various applications, specializing in logo development & identity, packaging, apparel & product graphics, print, and digital.
Extending beyond design itself, my passions also lie in networking, client relations, brand strategy, and mentoring other designers.
After graduating from SUNY Cortland with a bachelors degree in New Media Design, I quickly dove into the industry head first and never looked back. Amid the ever-pressing obstacles and adversity that the industry can bring (including poor economic times, high competition, nightmare clients, and horrible employment experiences that have ultimately taught me how NOT to run a business), I quickly discovered that faith, drive, hard work, and LOTS of passion has allowed me to continue doing what I love to do as my career.
Over the course of my career, I've had the pleasure of working directly with clients such as Puma, PepsiCo, Jim Beam Brands, Grenade, Ride Nature, Mill House Brewing Co, Red Robin, Original Skateboards, To Write Love On Her Arms, Yonkers Brewing Co, and many others. I've also had the privilege to work with clients/brands through some amazing agencies & studios, such as Anheuser-Busch, Courvoisier, PepsiCo / Frito-Lay, GoPro, Bed Bath, Macy's, Fossil, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and more.
I have also worked with many faith-based organizations and non profits in and around my community, doing pro bono and donation work.
integrated brand identity
apparel / product
print & digital
WHERE I'VE BEEN
CVD (self-employed) :: Designer/Art Director; 2008 - PRESENT
FAI Design Group :: Designer; Sept. 2015 - PRESENT
Safari Sundays :: Freelance Designer; May 2015 - June 2015
Original Skateboards :: Art Director; 2013 - 2015
H2M Beverages :: Senior Designer; 2010 - 2013
ColorPage :: Graphic Designer; 2009 - 2010
Straus News :: Graphic Designer; 2008 - 2009
SUNY Cortland :: BA : New Media Design; 2004 - 2008
"The end result was amazing. From the moment we first spoke he listened to what I was looking for but offered his professional insight as well. He was willing to make changes and edits and sometimes just go in a whole other direction - all without hesitation."
~ Jackie Rubbo- Director of Creative; Yonkers Brewing Co.
"When it comes to communication and working with clients, Craig is one of the best guys we have had the chance to work with. He has been extremely reliable, quick with projects, and always super easy to communicate with. With many creatives, it's hard to find someone with his caliber of talent who can also manage projects and stay on task."
~ Mark Koch- Executive Director; The Ride Nature Brand
"Craig is a talented packaging designer. Whether an assignment is simple or more complex, Craig provides innovative solutions and high-end comps to ensure tight presentations. I recommend working with him."
~ Beth Positano- Creative Director; Jim Beam Brands
"I am super particular with high standards (and) really want industry leading/quality graphics in all of my businesses. Investing in quality graphics is as good as any marketing campaign or sponsored athlete. There is a trove of creative (received) that I am very pleased with. You have been the first source I have been able to get A++ work from, so I am grateful. Really like your work."
~ Thom Gridley- Senior Team Head for Apparel; Puma Global
"Craig is professional, hard-working, dependable, positive and takes on every project with genuine enthusiasm. He is a breath of fresh air within the creative industry. He strives to always produce high quality work, and will go the extra mile for his clients even if it means spending additional time to get it just right. I recommend him with the utmost confidence."
~ Tara Puntasecca- Owner; Maintenance Clothing
" Craig's understanding of my rough ideas and ability to turn them into a reality was amazing. His communication and delivery of promised work were both prompt and right on point."
~ Ron Schnell- President; Orange County Snowboards
"One of the most recommended traits Craig has mastered is interpretation of creative vision for a project. His ability to visualize design from inception and close with a premium finished project is by far my favorite attribute. With which is comparable to his timeliness, professionalism and phenomenal work."
~ TJ Eaton- Partner; Dicks Cottons / ShadesClub
"Craig is a top tier graphic designer for professional and commercial work, as well as creative and artistic projects. Punctual and detail oriented, he goes above and beyond in his work and the results always show it. "
~ Kristian Szabo- The Code Masons
"He always puts his word on what he does and follows through. This is what is most important to a client as everything is based on relationships."
~ Bill Scott- Ind. Distributor; MonaVie
"His grasp of the business needs from a brand level was outstanding; his talent unmistakable and his management skills (overseeing two designers) enabled him/his team to consistently provide award-winning work. He delivered great artwork; delighted stakeholders and retail partners and designed the look and feel for three brands. Always eager to learn, he is a sponge for knowledge. What’s more, he applies that knowledge in new, often surprising ways. Anyone who works with Craig will immediately see what I experienced."
~ Joseph Panetta- Left of Center Consulting