My name is Rick. I'm now a Chicago based designer but I first learned about design and art while surrounded by a tight-knit creative community in Youngstown, Oh. I tried to write a clever introduction, but realized I was far more interested in writing an earnest one. Having the chance to support the work and dreams of a community in my own small part, using design and illustration as a vocal advocate, is the most fulfilling thing I could ask for. My design drive is an expression of passion and a desire to constantly learn. What's the use of ironically liking something when I can wholeheartedly throw myself head first into loving it?

I want to make awesome things. And I'd love for you to join me! Email me at design@rick-courtney.com and we'll get started.

Self Portrait of Rick Courtney

Self-Portrait 2010

Taken from an animation I've long since lost - about coming to terms with and learning to talk about my experiences as a birth father to an amazing girl, adopted into a wonderful life.


The Burner Obstacle Mud Run - Hubbard Ohio

I was involved with The Burner since it's inception in 2013 until moving to Chicago in September 2016. I was given a name and a logo and asked to help make the dreams of the co-founders a reality. It started with a simple typography and illustration based website and flyers for the first race, and then I redeveloped the marketing and design direction around high quality photography that we were generating at every event from that point forward.

The website was redesigned and relaunched in 2014 and updated again in 2016 as our content continued to grow with the continued support of our community. I continued to work to improve it in structure and design as well as fought to push our great video and images to the fore since the initial release and the current version can be seen at theburner.us.

The Burner Obstacle Mud Run Website and Concept The Burner Obstacle Mud Run Website and Concept

The Burner - Community & Coordination

With The Burner I was a wearer of many hats. The primary designer and creative director, Community/Social Media Manager, Registration Coordinator, and on event days I balanced on-site management of registration/check-in with management of the photography team.

Through it all, I strived to continually improve on our designs and web content, and always keep in contact with our growing community of fans and friends, because what's the point of a locally grown event without fostering and sharing in that community? Everything we did on the event planning and design side was aided by extensive user research and community feedback which I was the driving force behind.

The Burner apparel, on site booth and social media design

Laser Reproduction - Magento Design & Management

With Laser Reproductions I joined the team as a designer and manager for a recently completed Magento eCommerce store, one of three run by the company. I manage the digital design for the Legendstudio website, creating related content, marketing, and communications within the CMS platform and for company newsletters.

Legendstudio website on laptop, mobile, and 2 web banners

Supporting Youngstown Creatives

Since my time in the design program at Youngstown State University, the city of Youngstown itself has evolved tremendously. Much of this has happened through the continued hard work of the wonderfully creative people in the area, whose passions have turned into thriving businesses and artistic communities and I will always remember the friends and experiences I made there.

Black Lace & Burlesque sprang out of a halloween sideshow act, which inspired the many talented stage actors and performers in Youngstown to found their own burlesque performance group the following year. I've had the chance to collaborate with the talented performers on several of their shows in developing the promotional posters and digital marketing.

Black Lace & Burlesque Show Posters

Suzie's Dog's & Drafts was the first of a series of downtown Youngstown based illustrations, which highlight local businesses that helped foster a living downtown area, and championing those businesses with a classic promoter's flash and style. The design pulls its script from the venue's logo and plays off the custom topping options for it's "fight slogan."

Suzie's Dogs & Drafts Food Fight Illustration on tee shirts

Student Art Exhibition - Spring 2012

This poster series for the annual juried student exhibition at Youngstown State University was made using a combination of sculptural letterforms, painting, photography, and digital typography as a way to represent the different forms of artmaking within the University. Complementary Call for Entry posters and entry forms were distributed throughout campus while an oversized print of the primary image served as the main advertisment for the exhibition outside of the gallery space.

student art exhibition show poster, call for entries and entry form

Kensington Golf Course club car

Truthfully, this project was just fun to do and an exciting change from an average day of print or web design. I love showing it as an example of breadth. I love new design projects. The chance to tackle a new medium, build a new skill, or help our clients in ways we hadn't previously thought of is always an exciting and fulfilling experience for me. With Kensington, I designed and prepared this vinyl graphic wrap for a Chevy Cruze, used by the Canfield, Oh golf course as a club car and golf pro touring car.

kensington golf course, vehicle graphics on white Chevy Cruze

Afterburner FX Website and Custom Apparel Design Store

I was initially hired at Afterburner FX to design and build a new modern web site for the design and production shop, covering all of their services and carrying a sleek style to call back to their roots emerging from the motocross community. The current site can be seen at afterburnerfx.com.

After the launch of the static site I built a connected online store using the DecoNetwork sales & design platform, allowing customers to design and order apparel directly online. I took on the role of eCommerce manager for the site once completed.

In 2016 I once again redesigned the website with a focus on responsive and mobile usability and user experience feedback.

Afterburner FX website and online store

Rich Center For Autism - Identity Design

Myself, two other students, and a design professor teamed up with the Rich Center for Autism in Youngstown, Ohio to create a new identity for the center. We created a new logo with a full identity system that bridged the gap between the center's academic research areas with the childlike playfulness of the center's original logo of two children chasing a butterfly. To accompany the identity we included multiple design concepts for marketing and promotional items using that new identity to inspire the board members.

I continue to include this work in my portfolio because as my first professional interaction with a community organization, I find it endlessly inspiring. The service they provide to the Youngstown community is invaluable. By working with them, I learned humility enough to understand that while my designs won't ever solve everything, my skills can be used to better communicate, create, and foster advocacy for truly good causes.

Rich center For Autism logo and concepts for website and apparel



Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art/Graphic & Interactive Design, May 2012

Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio

Professional Experience

Laser Reproductions, Inc

Graphic Designer | Magento Based Web & Project Manager
December 2016-

A design position with a focus on the web management, content, and digital marketing for three Magento based eCommerce stores opperated by LRi. Design and management of product development for retail and wholesale customers in partnership with licensed artists. Project management of production and sales teams.

Winger Productions, LLC

Graphic Designer | Event Coordinator
June 2013 - September 2016

Event coordinator for The Burner Obstacle Course Race in Northeast Ohio. Responsible for Creative direction, brand guidelines, design and production of all graphics for the event, including web site, apparel, promotional materials, event signage, and merchandise. Set up and managed social media, SEO and online registration and day of event registration and photography. Community manager in charge of communications through email and social media, set up, monitored, and implemented user research feedback using online surveys, communications, and at in-person events.

Afterburner FX

Graphic Designer | In-House Web Designer
May 2013 – September 2016

Designer responsible for creative direction of in-house graphics and marketing. Client facing designer for apparel, sign, large scale vinyl, vehicle graphics and printed media creation. Responsible for the in-house design and coding of a new company website in 2012 with further redesign updates in 2016. Set up and managed online store for custom apparel design.


Web and Graphic Designer
Jan 2012 – August 2012

An internship position until my graduation in May of 2012 at which time I remained as an employee. Designed, modified and created web graphics, sites and internal promotional materials for IDMI's marketing, utilizing HTML/CSS coding along with CMS solutions. Consulted and managed in-progress projects with multiple clients.

Youngstown State University – Media Design

Graphic Designer - Student
Jan 2012 – Jun 2012

A student design position with the university until my Graduation in 2012. Designed and modified graphic materials for print and web. Handled multiple design needs for instructional, research, publication and University operational and promotional use. Responsible for design, pre-press and consulting with clients (faculty and Staff).

Rich Center For Autism

Designer / Creative team
Nov 2011

Designer and member of a creative team responsible for redesigning the identity of the center and generating marketing and web concept materials based on the new identity, consulting with the client and presenting finished solutions.


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Resume PDF

Portfolio PDF



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