Chicago Senior Creative Leadership with a
passion for great design and amazing solutions!

Digital design management and creative leadership
Hands-on creative strategy and concept development
eCommerce & checkout flow for national brands
Usability standards and user interface design
Strong waterfall / agile workflow & process
Mobile & eCommerce site design, management, and production
Social media, email, and targeted, pay-per-click marketing
Design, concepting, prototyping for responsive sites, mobile, B2C, & B2B
HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, javascript, Database Management
Excellent client relationship and project management skills
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & 508 compliance
Photo shoot direction & production


Download a PDF of my resume


Adjunct Professor, Digital Image Design: Columbia College
Senior Art Director/Associate Creative Director, Agency: Media Made Great
Associate Digital Creative Director, UX: Walgreens
Design Manager: Unilever
Senior Digital Art Director, Agency: Harp Advertising & Interactive


April 2010-Present
Typically longer-term onsite contracts. Digital design for B2B, B2C, eCommerce, responsive, and mobile, print design, illustration, and photography. Concept through production, wireframes to design to presentation to prototype and file hand-off to dev. Partial Client List: Sears, McDonald’s, The Marketing Store, Barcodes, Inc., Brady Corporation, Illy Brand Coffee, Sony, Disney, Precious Moments, Trade Secret, Hasbro, Malt-o-Meal

Senior Art Director / Associate Creative Director | MMG, Chicago
Agency creative lead and account liaison for multiple national clients including Sears, Kmart, & Time Warner Cable. Direct and aid in the execution of all creative, managing user experience process, strategy of site architecture & functionality, digital and print ad campaigns. Direct photo shoots, coordinate with client stakeholders to gather requirements, relay progress and process, lead scheduling of team & projects, and manage direct reports in design & development teams. Reports to Creative Director/owners.

Digital Associate Creative Director |, Chicago
eCommerce side of Fortune 35 corporation. Leadership of team responsible for designing architecture, user interface, messaging/copywriting for online properties. Includes website services, checkout process, online promotions, landing pages, banner ads, emails as well as various site redesigns. Liaison between product managers, marketing, tech, development, and design.

Interactive Director | Marketing Support, Inc., Chicago
Managed and created Interactive strategy and social media campaign for The Dalai Lama’s presentation on behalf of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin Madison. Develop, manage, and establish process for Interactive team. Liaison between clients, creative team, and developers.

Senior Art Director | Harp Interactive, Oakbrook Terrace
Managed design creation and process for global and national brands such as OfficeMax, Illy Coffee, Precious Moments, and Barilla. Hands-on creation of Flash, web design and production, point-of-purchase, catalog design and production, print advertising design,

Adjunct Professor | Columbia College Chicago
August 2014 – Present
Adjunct Professor, Digital Image Design, Interactive Arts & Media Department. One evening a week I enjoy teaching Digital Design, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to college students at one of the best art schools in the country.

Design Manager | Unilever HPC, Chicago
February 2008 – January 2010
Manage the design and production of the primary packaging, line extensions, POP and bonus packs for the Dove and Degree brands until Unilever moved their offices from Chicago to New Jersey in 2010.

Interactive Designer, Art Director | Pearson, Glenview
September 2002 – March 2006
Creation of key branding elements that are in use across all company products. Wire framing, storyboarding, and production of many educational interactive materials, websites, and CD ROMs, management and coordination of freelance personnel, designers, illustrators, photographers, and writers. Extensive expertise in the area of photography permissions, various forms of electronic media, established usability standards, user interface design, and 508 compliance.

School of Visual Arts | New York, NY
BFA, Photography, Mass Media


Below are a few of my most recent projects. If you’d like to see more of any type of work, please feel free to contact me. I don’t typically add wireframes to my portfolio, but I am happy to make samples available.

Capabilities decks available for download:
Overview of digital work, packaging & print design, and product photography

All recent agency projects may be reviewed at


“Alana is a passionate and talented creative leader. She not only had a clear vision for her efforts, but was also able to explain her vision to other members of the team to bring them along and help us all align on a path to improve the digital customer experience. While passionate about her efforts, Alana is also a great listener and actively works to understand other perspectives to incorporate into and improve her work. Overall, I was happy to have Alana as a part of my team at Brady and would gladly work with her again in the future.”

Chris Dargis, Digital and Ecommerce VP/GM with expertise in Product Management, Digital Marketing, and Mobile Commerce

“Over the course working with Alana on several projects, I was impressed with her ability to balance strategic issues, creative concepts and practical considerations. She was able to masterfully manage several important and complex campaigns from concept through launch for sites in multiple countries and over four different brands. These skills are matched by a keen eye, attention to detail, and excellent presentation skills to both the working team and executives.”

Chrisa Hickey, Senior Director, Strategic Growth, Online at Sears Holdings Corporation

“Alana joined the team and helped introduce the new Web Pickup service offered by Walgreens to market – from print, signage, outdoor to a robust e-commerce experience. Under her leadership, the creative team has produced an impressive amount of outstanding work that both Walgreens and she can be proud of! I really enjoyed having Alana around to banter with. Her light-hearted spirit together with her business sensibilities are a magical combination for success.”

Marina Karassellos, Associate Creative Director: Photo by Walgreens
worked with Alana at Walgreens

“Alana is a great Associate Creative Director to work with. She’s a joy to be around and makes coming into work enjoyable. She has a great design eye and is always helping me step my work up another notch. She manages relationships well within the team and always keeps projects on track. She makes herself a valuable asset to any team.”

Allie Yoko, Art Director, Walgreens
reported to Alana at Walgreens

“I have had the joy of working alongside Alana for nearly year now, she took a corporate idea,brought in fresh ideas and made them happen in a big way. She is very passionate about her work, adding her own spice and flare to the project she is involved with. She is a credit to the her Creative field. Great job Alana, keep it up!”

Matthew Medlen
Web Developer, Walgreens

“Alana was an outstanding associate creative director and always brought great insights to her work at Walgreens. Her designs were always grounded in real business data, and she was able to contribute creative ideas to the project. She was also a great leader and manager for junior designers. She’s also a lot of fun! I’d recommend her for any great design team.”

Cynthia Abat
Sr. Information Architect / Sr. User Experience Analyst, Walgreens

“Alana was an genuine asset to our team at Sears Holdings providing the much needed link between managing the intake process of the Promotion Group and bridging the gap between clients, design and development. She was able to handle many multi-faceted projects juggling them with ease and making sure we always met our key milestones and delivery. I believe she would be a great addition to any company in need of a Project or Design Manager.”

Seth Rosner, Manager, Front-End Development, Sears Holdings Corporation
worked directly with Alana at Sears Holdings Corporation

“Alana has been great to work with. I have worked with her on many web sites. Alana is extremely knowledgeable and easy to work with. I highly recommend her!”

Peter Beltemacchi, Technical Director, Harp Advertising + Interactive
reported to Alana at MSI (Marketing Support, Inc.)

“Alana reported to me for about 2 years at Unilever, and she was an absolute delight to work with. Alana is a true creative soul, and is always able to come up with ways to solve creative problems, and get them done on time and on budget. She always had a passion for her work, and radiated positive energy. I would highly recommend Alana to any company worthy of her consideration as an employer, and I am happy to be contacted as a reference at any time.”

Karen Lassiter Bryan
Senior Design Manager, Unilever

“Alana is a fantastic partner to work with. When I knew that I was leaving Unilever, Alana was my first choice to fill the position based on her experience in consumer packaging, marketing, and her “do-what-it-takes” attitude. What pleasantly surprised me is how easily she fit within our group and what a quick study she was. She asked pointed and insightful questions, and seemed to immediately understand the brands she would soon be managing. In addition, she brought a breath of fresh air to the department. Alana is very adept at managing projects, products and people, and I would gladly recommend not only her work, but her personality as an asset to any organization.”

Sandra Madrid
Design Management Consultant, Unilever

“Alana has an incredible talent for bringing it all together and seeing the big picture while still keeping an eye on the details. Alana is able to quickly assess the issues surrounding a new project and create comprehensive plans to move that project forward. Her upbeat, can-do attitude makes even the most difficult projects seem less arduous.”

Kelli Evans
Design Management Consultant, Unilever

“Having many interactions with photographers in the music business was a normal occurance for me, until I met Alana. She is creative, has the “eye’ and puts the artist at ease. Mixing these elements together produces positive results in working with artists, who at times can be a handful and a bit ‘picky’. Happy to know her and to be asked to make this recommendation.”

Mark O’Shea (client)
Mark hired Alana as a Photographer for national touring acts including Nine Inch Nails

“Alana is a gifted, professional photographer that has the natural ability to capture her subject with passion and soul. Although Alana’s range of photography is vast, it’s her attention to detail and raw talent for capturing people that prompted me to hire her for my acting portfolio shots. Alana is also a people person that makes you feel confident and comfortable, enabling you to relax and be yourself in front of the camera. I highly recommend her for your next shoot.”

Lawrence Grotts (client)
Lawrence hired Alana as a Photographer, hired more than once

“Always eager to lend her expertise, Alana approached each design project with enthusiasm and her unique and very qualified perspective and experience, whether it be website design or print. A pleasure to work with!”

Diane Rayfield, Partner/Acct. Director, Harp Interactive
managed Alana at Harp Interactive

“Alana is a design powerhouse! She is a fantastic print designer *and* a kickass web and media developer. There is *nothing* this woman can’t accomplish. When faced with a challenge that she cannot resolve, Alana knows where to look or who to call to solve it. Not only did I learn a lot from Alana on a technical front, she taught me many lessons about the value of being a gracious person. On a team or as a solo artist Alana is energetic, cheerful, and a true diplomat. When encountering a rough patch, Alana can find that ray of optimism to inspire herself and those around her to overcome it and get the project back on track! I was incredibly fortunate to have had Alana on my team and am truly blessed to have her as straight arrow in my quiver of resources!”

Holly Blessen, Senior Designer, Pearson
worked with Alana at Pearson Scott Foresman

“Alana exudes creativity, yet has the rare ability to transcend the artistic and produce tremendous business product. Her many talents make her a pleasure in the workplace.”
Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Creative

David Mims
hired Alana as a Graphic/Web Designer


Interactive design process flowchart

I’ve written interactive design process documentation in several settings during my career and have been referencing this chart for quite some time. It’s a helpful way to help folks who aren’t used to a standardized process understand how a digital project moves from conception to launch. Feel free to download the PDF by clicking here or on the image below.

I hope you find it helpful! Please let me know if you do, or if you have feedback regarding your own process and ways things work better for you and your team.

Interactive design process flowchart

Walgreens Web Pickup


Breaking ground with a new type of eCommerce service has it’s challenges. Web Pickup by Walgreens offers the ability for customers to shop the inventory of their preferred Walgreens store and pick it up, bagged and ready, in as little as an hour. It doesn’t cost a thing to use and has proven to be incredibly helpful to people who are mobility-challenged, new parents, and busy folks everywhere.

Since Web Pickup is a web-born service, ownership of the creative sat with the Walgreens eCommerce team downtown, where I was working as the Associate Creative Director in charge of all creative strategy for the brand. Our team cranked out great-looking collateral for every conceivable application from the website, digital marketing, email blasts, and functional screens to in-store coupons, signage, and billboards. We produced our own tabletop photography in the department and developed a clean look and feel that helped to delineate this shopping experience as something separate from the eCommerce buy online, ship to home and in-store experiences.

Each week we saw growth after each new creative launch. Our very agile team rapidly turns new learnings into refined messaging which improved customer understanding of the service from day to day while keeping the overall brand presentation consistent.

Creating a conversation with The Dalai Lama


Unilever had just closed their Chicago offices and one of my favorite vendors called and invited me to lunch to find out what I was going to do next. Dave Weiner at MSI explained that he has a longstanding relationship with the University of Wisconsin Madison’s psych department. A good friend of his there, Dr. Richard Davidson, was just about to open The Center for Investigating Healthy Minds with the encouragement of The Dalai Lama. He wanted to contribute to the celebration and so he put together a team in his firm to help them out. I was brought in initially to consult with the CIHM team about things they could do to open the audience up and make the celebration accessible to anyone who wanted to participate, but might not have been able to be in the building.

The Center for Investigating Healthy Minds states their mission as:

The Center for Investigating Healthy Minds (CIHM) conducts rigorous interdisciplinary research on healthy qualities of mind such as kindness, compassion, forgiveness and mindfulness. Scientists at CIHM represent an integrated team with a broad array of research methodologies from behavioral to neuroscientific. The CIHM engages in translational research and outreach with the goal of cultivating healthy qualities of the mind at the individual, community and global levels.

We sat at a big table at MSI and brainstormed ways to create as much interaction as possible, then came up with a plan to engage with a live Twitter feed, Facebook event page, live webcast, and blog. There were comments and questions via all of these streams and posted to a 2 story high screen in the theater.

Of course the logistics around hosting a speaking engagement for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet are astounding. There were internet security concerns and worries about demand on the University’s bandwidth. But with all of the moving parts and details to secure, the team was positive and resourceful. At the end of the day we were proud of ourselves and each other, forever changed by being in the building that day and hearing such empowering words from such an amazing humanitarian.

CIHM team

Leading the campaign for real beauty

At the core of the Dove and Degree brands is a simple message:

Don’t fail them. Empower them. Make them feel confident and beautiful.

Working for a brand like Dove at that moment was something I was incredibly proud to be a part of. The campaign was all about being comfortable in your own beautiful skin. We were using real-life models and speaking to our customers in a sincere voice. This was just between us, me and you, a tip shared between friends.

Dove is all about beauty. Degree is all about active. They’re actually the same formula, but different marketing strategies to appeal to very different kinds of women.

While I was a Design Manager at Unilever over the Dove and Degree brands, I led the creative for all primary and secondary packaging, line extensions, sample sizes, and in-store point-of-purchase displays. We partnered with external media outlets like Disney for Degree girl, appealing to their market by teaming up with teen celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Ashley Tisdale, then Bear Grylls and Dale Ernhart, Jr. for Degree Men.

Partnerships like this are worth a special mention because you’re not just routing your creative to in-house stakeholders, but you’re also responsible for being respectful of a celebrity’s brand. The same goes for retail outlets like Walmart. You’re responsible for balancing the messaging needs of your brand with theirs.

When we initially received the brief for what ended up being the Adrenaline Series, we arrived at the conclusion that this pack needed to represent a tool that an active guy would throw in his rucksack right alongside his outdoor gear. We didn’t want pictures of footballs or downhill skiers. We wanted the product itself to be thought of as part of the activity. After an extensive exploration of images that would resonate on this message, we arrived at the carabiner and rope against the diamond plate background.

I’m going to toot my own horn very briefly and mention that this design had been with another team for a full year before it was presented to me. I had an approved design within 2 weeks by practicing good design intake processes. I’m extremely proud of that.

Another part of my job as Design Manager at Unilever was mixing color for the structures and fills. I would fly out to the labs in Connecticut and work with the techs there to blend just the perfect shade for our line of body mists, then off to Uniform Color to mix the pigments for the plastic.

I used every trick in my book when it came to the Nature Effects line. Unilever wanted to create a product which removed anything unnecessary to its effectiveness  and sub in natural ingredients wherever possible. They wanted packaging that was beautiful, looked natural without being “too granola”, and evoked the fact
that it was based in nature. I removed the color from the body spray, opting to do a reverse printed wash of color on the back label (think Fiji water bottle). We kept the trademark Degree teal and used photography of the ingredients on the label, designed by Wayne Molinari of Molinari Design. Long debates ensued about that bold e between the “nature” and “effects” and how to work a + symbol in there to elude to science and nature, but the end product is gorgeous and probably one of my top 3 favorite projects I’ve ever worked on.

degree-nature-effectsThe experience at Unilever was incredible. There is such a large arena of knowledge that goes into packaging design. From analyzing products on shelf to being sure you’re communicating the variants clearly, to really utilizing your packaging as the art form it is. I had packs that used hot stamping, spot varnish, reverse gravure, you name it. There could be 13 stations on a single pack.

Please be sure to review my portfolio for an overview of the work I created at Unilever. That’s far from all of it, but it’s a decent swath of some of my favorites.

Thank you!

Chicago, IL

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© 2014 Alana Waters-Piper | Chicago Senior Art Director | All rights reserved.