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I got this in response to my blog “Every Great Dream Starts with a Dreamer.” I’d love to hear your story, so please send it my way.


I’ve been exposed to art and design all of my life. When I was a child, my mom often took me to art classes at PSU where she got a degree in Graphic Arts. I can still remember being in illustration and art history classes with her when I was four years old. When she completed her degree, she initially worked as a designer and then later became co-owner of HB Design in Portland. She was the “B” in HB Design.

Although I don’t have a knack for drawing, I do understand and appreciate good design: clothing, furniture, magazine layouts, Interactive, landscape, architecture. My personal creative path first became evident to me while I was in college when I became deeply interested in literature—especially Chaucer and Shakespeare. I discovered I loved literature and writing and took many English literature and creative writing courses and obtained a degree in English Literature.

Today, I’m the Quality Assurance Technician at HB Design. My work provides me with the opportunity to review many of the elements that go into our creative deliverables. Through this work I’ve developed a unique perspective about the importance of balance between design elements, English language rules, and brand guidelines and preferences. I get to help create that balance as a part of our team.

I realize that some people may not understand why I would enjoy the work that I do: proofreading to find mistakes in grammar, punctuation, or design guidelines. I can’t explain why I enjoy it but I do know it brings out my creativity in a meaningful way and is an important support in the overall delivery of creative services.

Many people today rely heavily on electronic spell check and do not thoroughly proofread a document for other errors. For example, sometimes I’ll find a word that isn’t spelled wrong, but just used wrong. In that case, electronic spell check wouldn’t find it. Maybe the writer didn’t understand the meaning of the word, or the context in conjunction with the use of the word. Also, with new language being produced all the time—especially in the tech world—proofing is becoming even more complicated. I first saw the word “architected” around 1996. I thought it was a typo. The client was using it as a verb to mean “created.” I wanted so badly to change it to “created,” “designed,” or “produced,” but was told the word was correctly spelled and used. It’s interesting to note, however, that the word “architected” is still not in the dictionary.

Kiersten Wilbur, QA Technician
HB Design