About the Designer

Christopher Marx’s Bio:

I have a hard time bragging about myself.  Ironic, since the field of Marketing is often lumped together with the field of Sales.  As such, this site was very difficult for me to create.

I have always been creative.  I picked up sketching and painting quickly.  I never wanted to take music lessons, my brother did… until I surpassed him in lessons. This set me up to always have a side passion which counterbalanced my main study.  By the time I was in college, I was pursuing a business degree while doing graphic design, Flash animation, and websites on the side to help pay my tuition.  I focused in school in the traditional studies of marketing, business administration, research and analytics, and applied psychology.

When I first learned about Adobe Photoshop, I literally took out every book I could find in all of Illinois.  I was a college freshman.  My college had a book sharing program, so I was able to request great study material from across the state. But I was not a graphic design major, it was just a side passion for many years.  By the time I did take a class in college, it was too rudimentary – serving only as an exercise in the process, not the tool.

Folks asked me over the years why I did not train in graphic design or computer programming. My answer has been the same since college.   I could learn those skills myself, I find they come natural to me.  But those would keep me in my shell – an introvert succeeding at a craft.  However, the larger concepts of academia could be applied to a wider variety of fields, and being social and an effective communicator were skills I could not teach myself.

I was fortunate to learn about web design before everything changed.  In those early years of web design, Photoshop layouts became websites by slicing up the image into a table grid of HTML.  We could create something visually appealing, with very little interactivity.  Tools helped us add some interactivity and speed up the process.  The code was horrendous, so many people learned coding just to fix mistakes the software editors would put into place, or issues caused by Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer not having the same interpretation of HTML.  And as a contrast to that, text only editors were having a resurgence, as their code was more elegantly rendered – and aspects like usability and site architecture could be focused on. Then CSS came along and changed everything.

After web design changed (due mainly to style sheets and standards compliant browsers), those same tools that excelled at creating Photoshop-to-HTML websites became the basis of a new rapid prototyping, and aided in the transition to user experience design. I was already great with Adobe ImageReady and Macromedia Fireworks, and clients valued my business mindset applied to their need for websites.

For a couple years, I fooled myself into thinking I could keep “digital” out of my marketing career, being more of a generalist.  But at every new role, I kept being drawn into digital marketing projects. And my creative skills kept putting a polish on my work that exceeded those around me with better knowledge but lesser creative talents. Eventually I caved in and embraced a more specialized role in digital marketing.  But I still try to wear many hats as often as possible.

For more concrete experiences and success stories, please see my LinkedIn profile.  It has far more than any version of my resume would, and I am proud of the recommendations I have received from my coworkers, managers, and clients through that social network.