Don began his career as a graphic designer more than 25 years ago as a junior art director working for Eric Ericson and Associates in Nashville, Tennessee. The three years following found Don in Fresno, California, working as Senior Art Director and Creative Director for Soto Associates and Solutions by Design respectively. He designed material for health care clients, financial institutions, radio stations, fruit growers and manufacturers of high-tech equipment. Don's brochures, billboards, annual reports and catalogs were recognized for their clean design and attractive presentation of information. His work won numerous awards for excellence.
In 1988, Don began his teaching career at Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina. During that same year, Don opened his own agency. With a partner, Jim Lemke, Austin-Lemke Associates was formed. Both Don and Jim managed full-time teaching positions at Coker while designing and marketing corporate identity and advertising campaigns for several clients in South Carolina for eleven years. The move to Columbus and Otterbein came in 1999.
Don has continued his professional study in design through programs at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Yale University Summer Graphic Design program in Brissago, Switzerland. Sabbatical leaves at Otterbein include a tourism poster project for the Intermountain West, furniture design as part of a corporate identity system and residential design as part of a personal identity and energy conservation project.
Don’s appointment to Otterbein includes teaching Communications Design courses and teaching 2-D Design to incoming Art Majors. Don also teaches a course in the Freshman Year Experience offerings entitled, “Identities, Dwellings and Living Off The Grid”.
Outside of design and teaching, Don also enjoys life with his son Conrad. Don is also an avid fly fisherman and a private pilot. During the summer of 2006, Don finished a 13-year project of building his own aircraft and test flying it successfully. Most summers you can find Don standing in some remote river in the Intermountain West waving a graphite rod at trout!