Freelance Graphic and Web Designer

About Me

Behind the Mouse – My Design Life Timeline in Bullet Points…

Mauri PullinenHi, my name is Mauri Pullinen, I am an American Advertising Federation ADDY® award-winning graphic designer. I have worked in print design, including advertisement, brochure, publication, and logo design since 1988, and web site design development since 1995.

My main areas of expertise include print and web design for the tour and travel industry, as well as casino gaming, and many other industries, with emphasis on assisting internal marketing departments with quality graphics design and creative support.

I am currently semi-retired in order to focus on my own personal projects and am no longer accepting work or new clients.

The Late 1980s

  • Attended The Art School at Watterson College in Sherman Oaks, California.
  • While going to school I also worked in the graphics and pre-press department of WizPrint (hey, don’t laugh), a small offset commercial printing company based in Reseda. Rapidographs, type galleys, hot wax, X-Acto® blades and Band-Aids® were considered the tools of the trade there. Learned quite a bit from their pressman in regards to the tech side of setting up camera-ready artwork for printing.
  • Designed ads and publications in one of the first in-house Macintosh DTP departments on the West Coast at Encal, Inc., a publishing company in Chatsworth. Duties there also included general pre-press work, stripping (film that is) and plating for a 4-color Heidelberg printing press.
  • Of note during this era, another of my early “freelance” projects was to design a logo on “spec” for the alarm company which serviced Walt Disney® Imagineering’s property in Burbank. Out of the designs submitted by myself, and a couple of Walt Disney in-house designers who were moonlighting, my design was selected. Gave me a warm fuzzy feeling, and 350 bucks in my pocket.

The Early/Mid 1990s

  • Got tired of the smog and my two hour bumper to bumper commute in Los Angeles so I moved to Spokane, Washington.
  • Production artist at Em-Space, Inc. Prepared “camera-ready” grocery ad mechanicals for Albertson’s newspaper ROPs. Manually cut and pasted clipart line drawings of turkeys, hams, various produce, detergents, foot powder, etc. onto artboards then pasted Letraset® screens on acetate layers to simulate four color process screens from which I shot negatives from to send to the local newspaper.
  • Wondered WTF was I doing cutting and pasting clipart line drawings of turkeys, hams, various produce, detergents, foot powder, etc. onto artboards!?
  • Founded ImageQuest, Inc., my first advertising design studio. Clients included a couple of advertising agencies and marketing companies for whom I designed “white label” ad and marketing collateral. The agencies included Zachow Write and Associates, Marshlain Marketing and Bill Blank, two of which won gold Addys for work that I had done. Other clients included Hospitality Associates, Inc., the largest independent hotel group in the Inland Northwest at the time, which managed most of the region’s Best Westerns and Comfort Inns, the Red Lion Hotel and a few local restaurants. I also designed and produced quite a few newsletters and periodicals, one of which, Business to Business Northwest, a bi-monthly trade publication, won a Max Award of Merit (precursor for the silver Addy award) for best digital illustration for a cover that I designed. Another publication which I designed and did the page layouts and pub-set ads, Miller’s Barbie® Collector Magazine, won a gold Addy award for best designed periodical in its second year of publication. This publication was also featured in Aldus Magazine’s annual design awards issue.

The Mid/Late 1990s

  • Missed the city life, and smog, so re-located to Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Designed publication page layouts, and developed photos in an old-school darkroom at On-Track – The Auto Racing Magazine of Record. Of note while there, the publisher had just moved to Vegas and I was tasked to get the art department re-setup and rolling after their move from Los Angeles. I kept their upcoming bi-weekly issue on schedule, and at the same time re-designed many of the sections with a new and fresh look. I guess I made the publication look too new and fresh, as the publisher, Paul Oxman, Inc. was soon approached by, and sold, On-Track to Street & Smith’s Sports Group, also publisher of NASCAR® Scene, who promptly moved the publication to Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Didn’t want to move to North Carolina, am scared of hurricanes and would miss the smog.
  • Digital Department Manager of Photo Finish, Inc., a large format display and film processing company based in Las Vegas. Their state-of-the-art digital department utilized Macs, PCs and Silicon Graphics workstations, I was like a kid in a candy store. Along with file pre-flighting (and correcting and/or completely re-building many of the files supplied by the various hotels and ad agencies own in-house graphic departments), my duties also included use of and maintaining calibration of their Symbolic Sciences LightJet continuous tone film recorder, and various other input and output devices. Of note while working there I was the first, and only, carbon-based lifeform correctly able to decipher the LightJet’s tech manual and accurately color calibrate the $200,000+ film recorder.
  • Graphic Designer at Jerry’s Nugget Casino providing general graphics and marketing support to their in-house Advertising Department. Of note there, among many of the fun and creative casino promotion projects that I designed, one of my first projects was to design a newspaper ad promoting their fine dining event in their restaurant. This event had ran weekly for approximately one year prior to my hire. My first ad design for them did so well that the restaurant ran out of food halfway through the first dinner service. Chef Ramsay would of flipped.
  • Webmaster and print catalog layout/production at The Gallery of History, a historical documents and manuscripts auction house. Of note there, after my re-design and re-launch of their online auction website, the company’s stock price went from a 2-year flatline of $2 per share, to $20, and split to $10 per share in a matter of four months. Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, personally telephoned me to congratulate us on our new website and stated that he just purchased $50,000 in stock (NASDAQ: HIST). I was also tasked to re-design the Gallery’s print advertisements, which were at the time done by a pretty large and expensive ad agency. The full page ads which they designed and ran in Autograph Collector, and a few other national publications, used to draw on average 30 to 40 inquiries, per month, combined. The very first day my ad re-design hit the newsstands I was told that there had been 50 inquiries via telephone and email.

The Late 1990s through the 2000s

  • In 1998 I founded AD Studio, a boutique advertising design firm. My clients included a tour bus company, Nevada Charter, and a couple of helicopter tour companies. Among which Heli USA went from $800,000 yearly revenue to a multi-million dollar company in a little over a year with my website re-design and complete overhaul of all of their marketing collateral. My other helicopter tour client, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, which was already the world’s largest helicopter tour operator, just needed to go to the next level in regards to brochures, sell sheets and other collateral. Among these tour companies, I had also helped many other small and large firms in various industries look their best, in both print and on the web.
  • After nearly a decade of independent operation I sold my company, AD Studio, to a client, Applied Analysis, a business advisory and consulting firm in Las Vegas. The two Lundbergs who just loved cover sheets on their TPS reports brought my little studio in as their in-house design department. Projects worked on from my little grey Initech-style cubicle included print and web design work (mainly financial reports, annual reports, report reports… lots and lots of charts… bar charts, pie charts, line charts, chart charts) for most all of the large Las Vegas casinos and resorts including MGM Mirage, Boyd Gaming, Station Casinos (and some of their UFC reports and other stuff, which was pretty cool), etc., as well as various local and state government entities.

2010 to today

  • After putting on my flip flops and walking out from Applied Analysis I founded Icon 27 // Advertising Design, my third and final design studio, which had a brief, but… the best word to describe it… “interesting” run due to the bad Las Vegas economy. Oh well.
  • Moved to Finland where I lived for a little over three years. Did some freelancing from there, went to the sauna quite a bit (Finnish national pastime)… and when I wasn’t in the sauna, I’d be freezing… so once again missed the “dry heat” of Las Vegas, so here I am.
  • Still doing graphics and websites, but only for friends, family and myself. Currently am sort of semi-retired and not accepting new clients nor employment in the graphics industry, and just having fun working on my own projects.