My name is Rick. I'm a designer and artist from Youngstown, Ohio. I learned design and art while surrounded by a tight-knit creative community hardwired to make our passions a reality. 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 something new. 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've been involved with The Burner since it's inception in 2013, Given a name and a logo and asked to help make the dreams of the co-founders a reality. We started with a simple typography and illustration based website and flyers for the first race, and then redeveloped the marketing and design direction around high quality photography that we are generating at every event.

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've continued to work to improve it in structure and design as well as fought to push content to the fore since the initial release and the current version can always 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

My role with the Burner has grown with every event. I'm now the primary designer, Community/Social Media Manager, Registration Coordinator, and on event days I balance on site management of registration/check-in with management of the photography team.

Through it all, I strive 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?

The Burner apparel, on site booth and social media design

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.

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 is the first of a series or downtown Youngstown based illustrations, which highlight local businesses that have helped foster a living downtown area, and championing those businesses with a classic promoter's flash and style. The design pulls a brush script from the venue's logo and plays off the custom topping options for it's "fighter's 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

This was just fun to do and an exciting venture beyond the average day of print or web design. I designed and prepared a vinyl graphic wrap for this 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 began working on setting up and skinning an online shop using the DecoNetwork sales & design platform, allowing customers to design and order apparel directly online.

Afterburner FX website and online store

Rich Center For Autism - Identity Design 2011

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

Winger Productions, LLC

Graphic Designer | Event Coordinator
June 2013 -

Event coordinator for The Burner Obstacle Course Race in Northeast Ohio. Responsible for conception, design and production of all graphics for the event, including web site, apparel, promotional material, event signage and merchandise. Set up and managed social media, SEO and online registration and day of event registration and photography.

Afterburner FX

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

Designer responsible for apparel, sign, large scale vinyl, vehicle graphics and printed media creation for clients and in house marketing. Oversaw the in-house design and coding of a new company website. Set up and manage 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.

Relevant Skills

Web & Interface Design

Publication Design

Corporate Identity Systems

Event Design and Coordination


Pre-Press Production

Professional Memberships

AIGA National member and a founding officer of the Youngstown State University student design group


Email Me Directly!

Resume PDF

Portfolio PDF



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