We are the professional partnership of two individuals whose complementary background, skills and experience expand and enhance the capabilities of our business. Clients benefit from our decades in design, publishing, copywriting, marketing, project management, consulting and technology.
We are also the life partnership of two people madly in love and overjoyed to be working together doing what they do best. Bette and Michael were married on Valentine’s Day, 2000 and began working together shortly thereafter. They quickly discovered how well their skills meshed, resulting in completed projects that were “greater than the sum of their parts.”
A graphic designer for almost three decades, Bette’s career encompasses almost every type of printed matter and publication. Bette entered graphic design at the time when graphics software was just becoming commonplace, so she is well versed in both manual and computer-aided design techniques. This depth of knowledge and varied experience provides an invaluable advantage over designers who know only one discipline.
Bette has the rare ability to rapidly develop clean, accessible layouts that effectively communicate the client’s message. She is quick to create initial concepts and proficient at then turning them into polished final designs ready for print or the internet.
I love the work I do as a graphic designer. It allows me to express my creativity while making a real difference for my clients. Today’s consumers are overwhelmed by a banal barrage of marketing messages. Our clients want to stand above the noise. What I do as a designer is to create appealing, professional looking layouts that make the most of what our clients have to offer.
If I had to pick one area where I think we’ve made the most difference for clients, it would be with brochures. Clients have often presented us with ‘shoeboxes’ of photos and volumes of disorganized copy. Regardless of the challenge, the end product of our process is a sophisticated, well-organized, persuasive marketing vehicle that sets that client apart from the competition. I take pride in what we’ve accomplished, and in my designs.
Bette holds a BA in Graphic Design from the School of Visual Arts. She began her career in magazine design where she worked for a variety of publishers including Scholastic, Condé Nast, Gruner & Jahr and Times Mirror Magazines. In 1991 she joined Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette as Senior Graphic Designer where Bette produced designs for a multitude of high-profile internal publications, reports, conferences and events. Her design efforts also went towards creating marketing and advertising collateral for various departments at DLJ. In 1997, Bette resigned from DLJ and founded Cowles Graphic Design.
Michael’s expertise reflects three decades as business consultant and information technologist, and is a perfect complement to Bette’s design skills. In professional engagements with clients Michael has served as: business and marketing strategist, project manager, software developer, copywriter, and technology presenter. He now makes all of those talents available to clients of Cowles Graphic Design.
For me, the most important job I have is ensuring that our client’s message is delivered on point, on time and on budget. I ask key questions so we have the right information to help our clients get the most from every marketing or promotional dollar.
As a project manager, I stay on top of the details that could derail a project. I apply my writing and business skills to make sure the client’s headlines are powerful and calls to action effective, even when we’re not being paid for copywriting services. The bottom line for me is having our clients make the best impression with their own customers and prospects.
Michael spent ten years as a financial services strategy and technology consultant with Benton International, which became a subsidiary of Perot Systems. Serving as a team leader, analyst and project manager, Michael reported directly to senior executives at leading financial services firms including: American Express, MasterCard, Citibank, Chase, Mellon Bank, and UPS. Michael’s professional engagements also entailed travel to Mexico, South America, England and Europe.
Prior to joining Benton International, Michael operated his own technology consulting business, custom-programming software systems and advising small and mid-size businesses on automation solutions. He majored in Photographic Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology and is proud to have served in the United States Marine Corps.