Dandy Graphics, a professional, friendly freelance graphic design and illustration business owned and operated by myself, Helena Rae. I am a graphic designer and illustrator from the west coast of Canada, living in Shenzhen, China.
Dandy Graphics specialises in logo development and brand identities for new businesses, creating fun and engaging children’s activity books, menus, and restaurant placemats, and designing business cards, packaging, posters, promotional postcards, book covers…. and more!
My client list stretches from sea to shining sea across Canada, and is quickly growing a new list of customers here in China, from Denmark, the United States, the UK and beyond. Distance need not be a obstacle in this magnificent golden age of technology! I love meeting new people, hearing about what they do, discovering how I can help make their company stand apart from the crowd, and creating dandy solutions to their design and marketing needs.
About my background:
Graphic design and illustration have been my passion and focus ever since I graduated from high school in Whitehorse, Yukon, and embarked on my design studies. During the 1990’s I attended four different art colleges throughout Canada. (Hey, it was a good excuse to travel and see my country!) The highlights for me were the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I studied graphic design, drawing, and textiles from 1995 to 1998, and the Alberta College of Art & Design in Calgary, Alberta, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Design in 2000.
My design career began in the summer of 1991, working as a junior graphic artist in Whitehorse, Yukon. Back then we were still using dark room technology and a giant typesetting machine for layout and design, with a collection of maybe twenty fonts to choose from. Those were the good ol’ days! I also learned the silkscreen industry there, printing T-shirts for local businesses and screen printing signs for mile posts along the Alaska Highway.
On the Atlantic coast I worked as a production assistant at a large-scale silkscreen company, producing billboard-sized artwork. On the Pacific coast I worked for a Vancouver design agency that specialised in food and product packaging. Following that, I worked for ten years as a designer and illustrator for a children’s marketing company, building fun and engaging educational activity books, restaurant placemats and other promotional products for kids.
Throughout all my years of being an employee for various companies, I maintained a steady flow of freelance work on the side, which eventually grew into Dandy Graphics. I love the freedom that having my own business gives me. It has given me the opportunity to be “tri-coastal,” having lived and worked on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Canada, and now the South China Sea. My time in China has opened up a whole new world of design and creativity that is inspiring and fuels my ambition.