Data-driven Marketing and Information Designer with a focus on the customer.
I’m Dara (dare-uh), a blender of marketing smarts, graphic design chops, and illustration skills to create compelling visuals that bring value to your offering. I believe that graphic design begins and ends with data to mitigate risk and forge a path to success. Design shouldn’t be all about aesthetics; there needs to be a measurable objective in order to determine success. Learn more about my values and philosophy here.
How did I become a hybrid of analytical and creative impulses? I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid. I scoured the library for issues of TIME, LIFE, and National Geographic magazines so I could absorb space-related data, charts, and illustrations. Spent lots of nights staring at the stars and wishing I was up there in a galaxy far, far away. Didn’t make it into NASA, but I did make it to Space Camp…as an adult. I even won “Best Design” for my team’s mission patch. Guess those art lessons paid for themselves after all. (Wink.)
Influences? Edward Tufte, Dona Wong, Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, and Nancy Duarte are a few of my information design influences. I also am drawn to Saul Bass, Paul Rand, Paula Scher, Chip Kidd, and the Fossil in-house department. My inspiration is a bit of a hodgepodge – fueled by nature, patterns, hand lettering, vintage advertising, and old science books.
“Dara has the innate ability to get into my head and get the nugget of an idea that I’m doing a very poor job of explaining and turn it into a beautiful graphic masterpiece. In the past, she worked on several product packaging pieces for my company and each time her results exceeded my expectations and made the products jump of retailers’ shelves. Without a doubt, she’s an expert in this area and passionate about what she does – as such, you can’t go wrong hiring her!”
– JENNIFER LEWIS, Small Food Business Consultant
I also have a strong interest in neuroscience. Specifically, its correlation to how humans learn and how the science can improve visual engagement with audiences. What?! How does neuroscience help design? 1.) Test your designs by measuring the targeted audience(s) response(s) utilizing hardware and software designed to measure biofeedback. 2.) Analyze the data from those responses in order to improve your package’s visuals or website’s interface in order to elicit the desired behavior. As Spock would say, “Fascinating”. I am hoping to explore this topic further once I enter graduate school. (Fingers crossed!)
You can usually find me outside at the dog park with my beagle, in front of my easel, or be reading a good book if I’m not buried in my computer. I also volunteer time to Zooniverse. My latest projects include tagging Martian solar winds and hunting for planets around stars utilizing custom software developed for Zooniverse volunteers. Hoping to someday catch a ZeroG flight so I can float around while eating space dots.
Download my resume here.