PSU GD GRAD 2004 : Heidi Neslon, ZGF, Seattle

Posted on Sep 28th, 2009 by Command Save

Drink_timeline&pics SM

Drink timeline


WHP book cover and interior spreads

IWB pavilion&3Dlogos

IWB Pavilion and 3-D logos

Kids Coloring Books SM

Kids Coloring Book


ZGF Cards

What year did you graduate? 2004

Where did you attend graduate school? 

I received a post-graduate in 2007 from the Institute without Boundaries. It is a think-tank based program in Toronto, Ontario. I focused on the subject of Communication in every environment, device and human sensory possible. I highly enjoy collaborating and working with people outside of my own boundaries.

Where have you worked?

I first interned with The Felt Hat Design Studio on the Portland Armory Project. I then received a Visual Communications job within the ZGF marketing team. After Institute Without Boundaries, I worked at the Beal Institute for Strategic Creativity as a Research Associate. When funding was cut, I went to work for Work Worth Doing on their Now House Project. Currently, I own Sky Collaborative creating innovative branding, strategy, and design. Recently I just accepted a new position with ZGF in Seattle.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a few projects of self-infliction and for-hire. One is researching the social impact of cups and beverages. I am gradually accumulating the research onto a large visual 'document'. Two is a Brand Development for an Occupational Therapy company. Three is bookarts, paper, patterns, color and texture. Four is my "moth attracted to light" scenario… it changes daily… and today it is a book "Get There Early by Bob Johansen &  Institute for the Future."

What do you like best about your current projects?

That they range from open ended, to final product, to follow your gut.

What attracts you to a project?

The people I will be working with. It can be the most terrible subject in the world, but if you have people that are willing to re-contextualize, it is the best project created. 

Why Portland State University's Graphic Design program?

I transferred to PSU, but before doing so, I researched every state school in the country. I choose PSU because the Graphic Design program was the most forward thinking (and adhered that thinking), and the campus/city/state is beautiful. Did I mention I love backpacking?

What recommendations do you have for any current students and/or students graduating?

Take risks, from large to huge. Stand up for yourself but don't run people over. The connections you make can last for a conversation or for a life time, that is up to you. Encapsulating writing and visual skills is an extremely powerful combo, use them wisely. Always have a 'matchbook' statement ready. Stretch. 

Where do you frequent for inspiration?

I am constantly going to events and talking with people. You can learn so much through a conversation, just check the facts later, don't keep spouting misinformation. I frequent Busness Week's online Innovation and Design page. I also listen to podcasts like This American Life or Sound Opinions or stream The Current. My browser's home page is I sometimes look at IdN, Core77,, Edward Tufte's website, and Cool Hunter. I love Geology and rocks.

Please send us images of your work and links to your site and/or blog

My site is, where I have links to my Facebook, LinkedIn and Delicious. I am always available to hear from someone that has the same interests or would like to debate a subject. The work below is process to final work with some fun in-between.