Leslie Straw dingdongnationI Love My Job

What I do: team up with businesses, non-profits and individuals in finding their voice and brand in traditional and new media; create unique visual and written content; present complex information clearly; nag my kids,  have cocktails with my husband; make some art; and ride my bike. In no particular order.

My design experience began with pre-press, then moved on to include on-screen presentation design, marketing, web design and usability, project management and for a fun while, toy design. I’ve been an associate of Windesheim Design since 2000, where I learned traditional type layout techniques from a master, Nancy Windesheim. My specialties are User Interface design, informational design, incorporating graphics, photography, illustration with text, and helping businesses discover and project their unique style and personality.

I created my first website last century, for Bistro Soizic in Jack London Square in Oakland. I learned programming initially because I was tired of programmers saying no you can’t do that. Since then, I’ve created hundreds of sites, mostly in WordPress. I like to push the limits on the design, while keeping the interface user friendly.

I work with a number of clients on a monthly bases with their social media, analytics and SEO to help them make the most of their on-line presence


It’s a good thing I love my job!

My husband Phil Aro and I had the first legal live-in in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood (SOMA) in 1985. In the newspaper they called us the voluntary poor. In those days you could get a decent night job and spend your days in a roomy if run down space and just make art. And since it was the 80s it was BIG art, and in my case also HEAVY art, since a lot of it was done on 4 x 8 sheets of plywood.

I was in a number of gallery shows: the original Artaud space, the Walter and Mc Bean Gallery at SFAI, Pro Arts, the Richmond Art Center, indie galleries like Show N Tell, as well as some downtown and South Bay galleries that don’t exist anymore. The last show I had was at Terrain (SF) around 2002. I curated shows last century at Pastoral in Berkeley and occasionally do now at Mua in Oakland.

But by then we had kids and lost our space and had to go out and get real jobs. Lucky for us we got in early on the digital world and I have been fortunate to work with some incredible and talented people in other fields. In a way, having to take a break from making art full time was not altogether a bad thing, and getting back into it has been so great, if a little OCD.

Education: UCD (B.A painting and photography)
École Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux-Arts (Artist in Residence).

facebook DingDongNation

facebook LeslieStraw

Leslie Straw :: San Francisco based consultant, website and graphic designer