I am a graphic designer, artist (click here to see my animal alphabet!), college professor, and evangelist for orange. I’ve created work for universities, hospitals, country musicians, and film production companies, among others. Won some ADDY awards and stuff along the way. Now my days are spent training the next generation of designers. And, my nights? Well, they’re spent playing with letterpress type, ink, mags, and my Mac with some chocolate chip cookies close by my side.

What's Happening

Animal Abecedary, the book

Enjoy my playful alphabet artwork series in a hardcover book format. Fun for adults and kids alike, it even comes with a free poster! Find it on amazon.com or schifferbooks.com. And grab prints at any size here!

I am honored to have my book selected for the international artists alphabet book exhibition, Alphabets Alive!. When the exhibit ends in 2024, my book will become part of the permanent collection of the Bodleian Libraries.

The Real Wonder Women is a passion project where I create personal portraits of fellow breast cancer survivors. The series has exhibited in Nashville International Airport and is ongoing. See more at Nashville Arts Magazine.

My Work

Animal Abecedary

Visit my Animal Abededary print site to see the complete alphabet! My animal series explores unusual imagery juxtapositions by transforming something ordinary, like an alphabet book, into a fanciful flight of unusual and amusing pairings. Letterpress type, engravings, my original drawings, found objects, photography, and old book pages all blend together digitally to become something unexpected. Click here to order prints at any size shipped directly to you!

Logo Design

Creating an identity for the area’s only Americana radio station was an incredible honor. The logo had to work across the spectrum, from merchandising to social media. I’ve shared some images of my creative process from initial thumbnail sketches to idea refinement. Ads promoting the station support the brand and logo through the use of letterpress type and the same color pallet.

Branding and Identity

My philosophy towards logo and identity design is simple: know your client and their needs before putting pen to paper. Every identity is different, that’s why my process starts with a one-on-one client interview where I can learn about the business, the competition, the desired outcome, and target audience. My research is then put into a creative strategy that the client and I review to make sure I’m on the right track. Only then does the design process begin. The end result? Successful design. Happy clients.

The Real Wonder Women

Telling the brave story of individual women battling breast cancer has been my most rewarding work. My goal is to exhibit the series to raise awareness and encourage other women fighting this challenging battle. Honored to exhibit the work at Nashville International Airport in 2019. Learn more at Nashville Arts Magazine.

Strategic Campaigns

A third of Americans can’t name even one of the five freedoms of the First Amendment. The Free Speech Center aims to change that with this advertising campaign launched in 2020. The ads feature celebrities and appear in print and on the Web nationwide. My goal with the design was to use the power of color to draw in the viewer and establish a powerful theme for the campaign.

Advertising and Copywriting

When misinformation about COVID-19 started running rampant, I was tasked to develop imagery that would lead viewers to a reliable news source. My many years of experience allowed me to quickly develop effective ads. Short, direct copywriting with close-up photos of people in masks proved a strong way to grab attention. Viewers were guided to The Free Speech Center for accurate, reliable coronavirus updates. Banners were also used on the FSC website.

Non-Profit Branding

Being able to use my design skills for the greater good has been a goal of mine for many years. I have worked with many nonprofit organizations at a reduced or pro-bono rate to make sure they are able to aptly communicate their needed messages. Other nonprofits I’ve worked with include Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition, Donate Life Tennessee, Kids Global Outreach, Nashville Film Festival, Water City USA, and Metro Nashville Arts Commission.

Editorial Design

I love editorial design and have art directed new publications from scratch. Shown are mockups for a magazine article on Florida beaches exploring type as shape. Studio NY is a small-format publication where I did all the writing, photography and design. Each issue was printed on various uncoated paper stocks.

What My Clients Say

Parker Bowab
Parker BowabAssociate Creative Director at the New York Times
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Leslie is an amazing instructor who pushes her students to explore new solutions and holds them to a high standard of quality. After graduating and entering the workforce, I noticed that I was equipped with a higher degree of knowledge than my peers. I am truly indebted to her.
Fumiya Sawa
Fumiya SawaMarketing Director at King Jewelers
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One of the most inspiring and creative individuals I have had the honor to receive my education from, Leslie gave me the drive and perseverance I needed for my career. I highly recommend and am 100% confident in Leslie to take on any creative challenges.
Marni Trelove,
Marni Trelove,Freelance Marketing Consultant
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Leslie knows how to focus on essential information and find creative, intuitive solutions to design problems. She always managed to excel even when faced with demanding and competing priorities. It was my absolute pleasure to work with her on Boulevard magazine.


The Girl with the Ampersand Tattoo


I might be a little obsessed with ampersands. At least, according to my daughter I am. She pointed out the other day that there are seven ampersands in our living room alone, eight if you count my forearm tattoo. OK, point taken.

Why am I, and many other graphic designers around the world, so enamored of this typographic symbol? Perhaps it’s because it comes in so many varying forms, from the flowing script version to the inverse 3 shape. Or it could be the movement of graceful lines that so elegantly tell such a simple story: and. To me it seems like a succinct logo design that understands beautifully the importance of both positive and negative space.

As fascinated as I am with the symbol, I realized I knew little about its graphic origin. Why does it look the way it does? Here is the short and sweet version of the history of the ampersand:

The character & derives from a symbol that was used in place of the Latin word et, which also means “and.” It was common practice to add the “&” sign at the end of the alphabet as if it were the 27th letter, pronounced as the Latin et or later in English as and. As a result, the recitation of the alphabet would end in “X, Y, Z,and per se and”. This last phrase was routinely slurred to “ampersand” and by 1827 the term had entered common English usage.

The ampersand mark itself can be traced back to the 1st century A.D. and the Old Roman cursive in which the letters E and T occasionally were written together to form a ligature (a joining together of two letter forms into one). In the later and more flowing New Roman Cursive, ligatures of all kinds were extremely common. During the development of the Latin script that led up to the Carolingian minuscule (9th century) the use of ligatures in general diminished. The et-ligature, however, continued to be used and gradually became more stylized and less revealing of its actual origin.

It’s that stylization, that personality of letter form that I so enjoy. Some of my favorite ampersands include the gracefully curving American Typewriter, the strength and solidity of Eames Bold Italic, the clean lines of Helvetica and the playful grace of House Industries’ Worthe.

So you may feel that I have an ampersand addiction. I like to think of it as an appreciation for good typographic design.

Just My Type Nashville



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Contact Me!

Want to order a print or hire me for design work? Give me a call or send an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.