About Us

Mark Allen

Hit the targetMark translates confusing business jargon into clear messages that resonate with ‘normal’ people. His background in big consulting has uniquely prepared him for this mission.  Mark has served as a creative consulting leader with Accenture, Arthur Andersen, Mercer, and other companies. He prefers particularly complicated products and services as challenges to clarify before audiences.

Mark has degrees in Business Administration and Visual Communications, and applies his skills to marketing communications, process development, and instructional design.

Eric Baker

Eric has worked at newspapers throughout the West as an artist and photojournalist for more than 30 years. Along the way he has received national and international recognition for just about every visual journalism award there is.

CommunicationsEric excels in taking complex processes and explaining them in an easy to understand visual format, a skill honed while covering science and natural history issues at newspapers. He recently illustrated a book for the Columbia River Maritime Museum explaining why the Columbia River Bar is considered the most dangerous bar crossing in the world. He is also one of the last photojournalists who choses to shoot exclusively with film.

Steve Cowden

swim with sharksSteve has been a visual storyteller for over twenty-five years. His informational graphics, maps, diagrams, charts and illustrations have won national and international awards. In 2008, Steve was runner-up for a Pulitzer prize for explanatory journalism for a series of graphics he created for the Oregonian newspaper which explained the workings of Intel’s newest chip design. His graphics are used by Intel in new employee education on chip production.

Steve enjoys taking on challenging projects that require creative thinking and unique visuals. his artwork can e seen at Oregon Zoo’s Stellar Cove where a permanent display explains how the water filtration system works.

Dave Awl

big001Dave Awl is a writer, editor, content developer, and social media strategist with extensive experience in both digital and print media. He’s also the author of the popular book Facebook Me! from Peachpit Press. Dave’s background as an advertising copywriter includes stints at a number of Chicago agencies. In the publishing world, he’s served as an editor on more than two dozen book titles.

Over the course of 25 years Dave has written communications of all kinds, bringing his creative touch to a wide range of web content as well as presentations, brochures, direct mail, email campaigns, and much more. As a scriptwriter, Dave has recently worked on a series of short animated videos developed by Visual Translations to communicate internal messages to employees of the US Forest Service.

Jan Troutt

bum013Jan’s consulting insights on learning were forged in the educational publishing industry. She has over 30 years’ experience in the development of visuals that help people understand complex scientific concepts. Her illustrations are primarily seen in higher education print and online materials. In the corporate world she translates complex processes and workflows, sketching new visual analogies, and simplifying what was once overwhelming into understandable and engaging images. These visual resources are highly valued for employee training, client sales efforts, and change management projects.

Jan takes pride in building cordial long-term client relationships by working hard with all her contacts to ensure the final products exceed goals.

Bilal Dardai

bum023Bilal Dardai is a writer and editor based out of the Chicago area. He has worked in marketing and branding across a wide array of industries, including real estate, finance, government, nonprofit organizations, and business consulting. Bilal is also an award-winning creative scriptwriter whose work has been featured in the acclaimed audio drama Unwell (2021 BBC Award for Best Podcast) and children’s podcast The Imagine Neighborhood (2021 ALA Award for Excellence in Early Learning).