J David Deal | Biography
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J David Deal

Photo by Bruce Luetters   www.3Sixty.com

My earliest memories are of drawing and painting. I was captivated by illustration, typography and graphic design. When I realized that those were career paths I could follow, I knew that was the direction my life would go.


I pursued a Graphic Design BFA at Louisiana Tech University. There, I was lucky enough to have a design professor named Bud Donahue. Bud was a grizzled ad man from Chicago. He introduced us to the real world of graphic design. He expected a lot from us and gave a lot in return. His willingness to share his experiences and knowledge prepared us for jobs that turned into careers for many of us.


Upon graduation, I moved to Dallas, Texas. Eventually I was hired by Pugh and Company as a Graphic Designer. Pugh and Company, a true design studio, had a stimulating environment where I was able to learn, experiment and mature as a designer.


In 1984, I accepted a position as Senior Graphic Designer at The Dallas Morning News in their Marketing Department. The department provided marketing for the newspapers advertising efforts and their sports marketing initiatives involving Dallas area professional sports teams. We also provided pro bono creative services for charitable and non-profit groups ranging from the Susan B. Komen Foundation to the Dallas Symphony.


The Morning News Marketing Department was one of the first art departments in Dallas to adopt Apple Computers. Being at the forefront of the computerization of the design studio was an exciting time for me. I enjoyed having to look at creative problems in a new way and learned to be flexible in my processes. As a department, we developed new ways of working and were involved with Adobe and other software companies in the testing and revision of their early software packages.


My wife and I moved to Maine in 1996 to raise our family. After working in Maine for a few years, I became Creative Director at Glen Group, a marketing design and web development firm in North Conway, New Hampshire. In 2008, I started Big Attic, a graphic design and web development studio with clients as diverse as convention coordinators in Boston, publishers in Texas, and guitar builders in Maine.


In the past 10 years, I have also returned to painting and drawing. As much as I love working digitally, it is very satisfying to create by moving paint around with a brush and feeling vine charcoal grind against paper. This, along with my professional work, led me to return to school to pursue my Master of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design through a low-residency program at Marywood University in Scranton, PA which I completed in the summer of 2012.


After 5 years of teaching Graphic Design at Eastern New Mexico University I accepted a position

at Purdue University, and the journey continues. I hope Bud is looking down on me and smiling.