I'm Rick. I'm a Chicago designer. Having the chance to support the work and dreams of communities in my own small part, using design and illustration as a vocal advocate, is the most fulfilling thing I could ask for. I figure, what's the use of ironically liking something when diving head first into loving it is an option?

So welcome to my personal website, which I sometimes use to test weird code ideas but mostly it's my expression of simplicity in design and lightweight code - and an exploration of how the web is already responsive when we don't try to control every little pixel. I just 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 a Flash animation I've long since lost (Raise your hand if you remember Flash) - 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.

Concept + Design

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Short Ideas On Process

My design exists through the frame of people interacting with my work and I don't believe that UX only applies to apps and the web. Human life is comprised of endless interactions and conflicts in both digital and analog space and a consideration to all of those points of contact is truly just a baseline view. The principles behind what our industry now calls Human Centered Design are at the foundation of everything we create and researching and considering human impact and interaction with my design is always at the forefront of my process.

phone screen mock ups of a Bill Sharing & Splitting App

I've included a wireframe of this project to show how this design problem was first defined and went from initial notes and sketches, to it's formal structure and important features. Some additional thoughts and reflections on the initial research can be seen in Presentation Slides.

Image of wireframe showing layout and input flow through multiple pages of a concept App for Splitting a check

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 Local 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 illustrated 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

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

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

Rich Center For Autism - Identity Design 2012

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


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

Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio

Professional Experience

Chicagoland Games Dice Dojo

Event Coordinator
May 2018 - August 2019

Dice Dojo runs a wide variety of events coordinating with local hobbyists and large game companies looking to promote their products. My job was to be a liaison between companies wanting to run events and our local community. I worked on scheduling, both on and oine marketing, and day-of logistics for events. Beyond larger one-time and seasonal events, Dice Dojo has a full schedule of weekly gaming activities, including multiple Magic the Gathering card game tournaments. I received additional certication from the game's parent company as a rules judge and tournament organizer to run events that met the standards of their professional tournament circuit (WPN).

Laser Reproductions, Inc

Graphic Designer | Magento Based Web & Project Manager
December 2016- June 2018

Design Position focused on managing and marketing four Magento-Based online store platforms with individual brands. I was on a team as the primary designer alongside a Magento developer, a marketing specialist, and one other production designer. My secondary focus involved team project management for all website related design tasks and coordinating with licensed artists and licensing groups selling work that is featured on the sites.

Winger Productions, LLC

Graphic Designer | Event Coordinator
June 2013 - September 2016

Event coordinator for e 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. Managed social media, SEO, online registration alongside day of event registration, and coordinated photography teams. Manager in charge of email and social media communications, with a focus on user research and feedback through 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 HTML/CSS coding of a new company website in 2012 with further redesign updates for updated user accessibility standards 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 work-study 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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