The man behind the designs

Alex Jensen, Staff Writer and Graphic Designer

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Former Linfield student and Wildcat hall of fame inductee Christopher Miles knows all too well that the intense love for graphic design has no walls.

Miles graduated from Linfield College in 2005 and is currently the owner and creator of CMDesign Graphics Company based in McMinnville. He recently taught a graphic design course at Linfield College.

Miles is the man behind the sensational athletic posters and game day pamphlets. One of his biggest projects has been the 99-foot banner set out at home football games listing out all the teams wins and accomplishments.

Miles holds Linfield athletics very close to his heart. He played defensive tackle on the football team and was part of the 2004 National Championships.

He has carried Linfield athletics into all parts of his work and business with “perseverance, determination and the will in stride to be the best.”

Now that he owns a business he says it is all about the best customer service. Miles wants his designs to be the best his customers have seen, and is never satisfied until they love them.

Over Jan Term Miles taught a month-long productions course in the mass communications department. His students learned the ins and outs of graphic design and paginating to create either an eight-page newspaper or 12 page magazine.

He began teaching after Professor Thompson recruited him to help modernize the newspaper class, trying to make it less black and white with all the rules. Miles agreed with only one condition: he wanted to completely redesign the course ensuring that the students would be producing his way. This past Jan term was the third time Miles taught the class, and it continues to be a success.

Miles formerly worked at the News Register after his college career from 2006-11. Within a year he was lead artist and within another he was the production artist running the design for the whole newspaper. In 2011 he left the Register to start CMDesign.  

Today his clientele list reaches across the country. Doing work for Crossfit companies all around the state, Wineries, Northwest Fitness games, Barrell Restaurants, Everyday Warrior, Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan and the Parker Moore Memorial Run.

Miles began to learn graphic design in 2002 at Linfield College in his electronic arts media class taught by Professor Liz Obert. At the time the college only offered the one course so Miles took the class four more times, specializing on each Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver.

Miles said that, without a doubt, Linfield has prepared him for his career. He has always loved to draw, especially with charcoal. Professor Obert introduced and opened a new way for him to design, and the graphics amazed him. He knew that once he could be good at graphic design, he would have a happy life, specifying that it is not always about the paycheck but for the love of the profession.

What sparked Miles’ passion is that, “there was no ceiling for probably what I could do, today I have been doing graphic arts for fifteen years and there is still more to learn. There are no parameters.”

His biggest critic is himself but sometimes he will look at a design and say “wow I produced that, I made that.” “I get a love for it,” he continued to say.

For students looking to be graphic designers, Miles says they must have two things. One is patience, because learning the technology is one of the biggest steps, and two is loving and having passion for creating while always moving forward as an individual and designer. Since technology and software keep advancing so rapidly, it takes a special kind of perseverance and adaptability to stay in the game.

He tells people all the time to continue to be creative because it is what shapes us and that we never know what we could do.