Make Your Mark
Making accessible design beautiful one project at a time.
My name is Melanie, a designer/developer from Ontario who can be found most summers restoring our 200-year-old farmhouse in beautiful Prince Edward Island! I am designer by trade with an eclectic mix of trade skills ranging from graphic design, website development, content management, editorial journalism, brand development, e-learning and photography all wrapped around accessible design principles. Check out the links provided to some of my work.
When I started out, I completed an undergraduate degree in the sciences with joint emphasis in Anthropology. I did a portion of my Honours degree in Africa and later added a couple Media Studies diplomas in Print, Photo and e-Journalism, travelling throughout Central America to gain world experience. During my education I wrote for Canadian Geographic and various newspapers, co-developed a website prototype for the CBC’s Investigative Unit, managed online content for several news agencies and was nominated for a global investigative journalism award alongside fellow nominees from all major media circuits including The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, The Walrus, The Toronto Star, The Ottawa Citizen, Canadian Business, CTV, Vancouver Sun, The Nation, Vision TV, National Post, The Fifth Estate and other foreign media outlets.
On the heels of my academic adventures, I began an entrepreneurial pursuit starting my own multimedia company specializing in website design and development driven by open-sourced, PHP-based content management systems like WordPress and Drupal. I chose this approach because it put the power of creativity and engagement in the clients’ hands, while at the same time giving me room to grow and learn. Pulling all this together through years of experience, I became the designer I am today, accepting a position as graphic and media designer for the City of Peterborough in 2012. I commenced this position by leading the design and development of a municipal website for the Social Services Division and recently played a key role in the redesign/development of a new City of Peterborough corporate website.
My journalism roots are at the core of everything I do, approaching each project with a passion for engagement, inclusion and storytelling. My web design tools are straight forward, relying on the basics of HTML and CSS adapted from the genius of collective open-source community contributions. Visual mapping is where the creativity happens and innovation sparks through teamwork, sound project management and open collaboration with stakeholders. This is when good projects become great ones from print materials, communication strategies to online engagement!