Before starting DG Communications, I owned and operated a small type shop in Western Mass., was the in-house designer for several magazines, managed a large type shop in Boston, designed materials for a natural foods company in London, was the in-house designer for Oxfam America, and was a communications trainer in West Africa.
IT ALL STARTED WHEN I WAS BUT A LAD
From the time I was eight, I was doing odd jobs in my dad’s print shop. By 15, I was operating a linotype machine. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the linotype, look below.) In my early 20s, as a volunteer, I began producing cause-related materials. I have been “promoting the good work of others” ever since.
I have owned and operated a small type shop, was the in-house designer for several magazines, managed a large, urban type shop, designed materials for a natural foods company in London, and served as a graphic arts trainer in West Africa.
After my return from Africa, I met the future mother of my children, fell madly in love, and married. A week after our first child was born, I started DG Communications in the hallway of our Boston apartment. Once I saw my firstborn’s face, I felt compelled to find a way to connect my interest in social and environmental change, my overwhelming desire to be home with my child, and my need to help support our growing family. Et voilà — two newborns in two weeks!
FINDING THE RIGHT FIT
I work primarily with organizations that promote environmental health, and social and economic equality. DG Communications has produced materials for hundreds of nonprofits and educational institutions. I’ve helped launch several organizations, served on a number of boards, and been a print and web communications trainer in a variety of settings.
My success is measured by your achievement. Having done this work for a while, I’m clear about what I do and don’t know. When the fit is right, I tend to build long-term relationships. When it isn’t, we both know it. I have the experience to take charge (when asked) and the good judgment to know how to work well as part of a collaborative team.
I’VE BEEN BUSY
I work on an incredibly varied range of print and digital projects. On any given day, I am likely to be working on print ads, a magazine or school bulletin, a website design, an identity package, and a large report or study. Each brings its own challenges. It is this variety, as well as the larger missions, that keeps the work fresh and alive.
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS
I couldn’t do what I do without collaboration and a lot of support. I generally have from 15 to 50 active projects (of varying size) in the works. It takes a lot of coordination and occasionally requires the help of other skilled folks. I have the good fortune to work with a number of fantastic colleagues — editors, photographers, illustrators, programmers, and printers. Though I coordinate each stage of production, we approach the work as a team, seamlessly passing the baton, in turn, offering clients a complete communications package. I work only with people I know, trust, and like.
MY OTHER LIFE
I spent much of my youth at The New England Conservatory of Music, studying the piano and music theory, performing in a children’s choir, and occasionally appearing in operas in the Conservatory’s Jordan Hall (when they needed a kid). Elsewhere, I performed in plays and musicals, organized a ragtime band, sang in an a cappella group, and accompanied other singers and musicians on various stages. Longing to re-experience some of the pure joy of creation and performance, a few years ago, I helped organize a seven-voice a cappella group in which I performed and arranged (check out one of my arrangements at the link below) and hosted a weekly blues jam, where I got to perform with some great local talent (listen below). Though I’d been booking music for our local farmers market and a restaurant for many years, in late 2015, I went all in and created Fugitive Productions (FugitiveProductions.com). Since then, I’ve produced more than 150 music, comedy, and storytelling events, and sold more than 10,000 tickets to happy patrons, in a half dozen towns west of Boston. Occasionally, I get to sit in on the keyboard with a performer, including the great Kemp Harris (listen below). If you live in the Greater Boston area or are visiting, check out my calendar (fgtiv.com/calendar) and try to make it out to a show! (Special thanks to Christo Tsiaris for producing the Fugitive videos below.)