IN THE INDUSTRY. Chris Hoffmeister founded Western Sky Design LLC in April of 2004. Between 1987 and 2002 she worked in the Denver metro/front range area at commercial printing companies, trade shops, and an ad agency. Her positions included Customer Service Representative, Prepress Technician, mid-level Management in Proofing and Quality Control Departments, and Production Artist. The majority of this time was in Prepress working in desktop publishing applications such as Quark XPress, Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, on both Mac and PC platforms. She had continual interaction with personnel and equipment related to other departments within these companies—sales, estimating, management, and production. It was during this time Chris gained the experience and motivation to start her own business. After eighteen months of commuting an hour each way from Cheyenne to Northern Colorado, she took the leap and started Western Sky Design!
COLLEGE DAYS. Chris headed west to Colorado in 1987 two years after graduating from Western Michigan University with a degree in Printing/Marketing. Her time at WMU was split between the lecture halls of the business college for marketing, and the lab(s) for photography, typography, layout and design, ink, paper and printing. The lab courses in the early 80s were very “hands on”—the only computer was a terminal for setting galleys of text that were then pasted up! From college to present day, her path from old-school methods to computers and digital production has been parallel to the transition and growth within the communication/printing industries.
THE EARLY YEARS. As a young girl in Michigan, Chris discovered her love of drawing and bird watching—two things she is still passionate about. Her favorite classes in school were art and math; her first exposure to the printing industry was through her parents’ employer, the local newspaper.