Fine Graphical Designs


"Everything is a design problem."

Yep, it's me again.

Yep, it's me again.


Chris Yates

I majored in Graphic Design at West Virginia University, but I was a problem-solver long before that. Graphic design has simply helped me translate my desires to make things right into a particular set of skills, a way to see the world.

After graduation, I contributed to product development at K12, a then-small curriculum and instructional design company. While I started in the (thankfully now-defunct) world of Flash animation, I leaped at every opportunity to grow my skills and learn new design languages. Publication design, specifically textbooks, really clicked with me.... Big design challenges, rich visual products, and a huge opportunity to really affect how kids learn and engage with the world around them? How could I not love that?

Eventually, I wanted to seek out bigger challenges... not just for my graphic design skills but an opportunity to grow as a leader. I found that opportunity at NASA Headquarters, where as a contractor I led editors and designers to document and publicize NASA's current and past accomplishments. I grew the book program from 1-2 publications per year to 20+, and built the project plans, design goals, templates, and promotional tools the program needed to deliver at that scale, without sacrificing quality or speed. 

Having built the book program up, I started looking for the next big challenge. The Treasury, quite frankly, made me an offer I couldn't refuse: supervise a team of visual designers, refresh Treasury's brand, and contribute to the creative and strategic direction of the agency. Since I've arrived, it's been hard to let go of visual design opportunities. But my choice to enter public service has been richly rewarded through the opportunity to lead others and influence the direction of a massive, far-reaching agency. 

My go-to problem solving approach is to focus on solutions, defining the best possible scenario for the humans who use or interact with the intended result. When we focus on what's possible, we paint ourselves into a corner... but when we focus on building the best possible solution, and building it that way from the start, we can move 'impossible' barriers in service to people.

“[T]here's such a thing as Quality in this world and it's real, not style. Quality isn't something you lay on top of subjects and objects like tinsel on a Christmas tree. Real Quality must be the source of the subjects and objects, the cone from which the tree must start."

If you have a problem you think I can help with...