I'm Joe Wirtheim and here at my studio, I love what I do: draw, think, make and do. It's my passion to communicate graphically and put creative ideas into action that drives me. I use illustration, type, color and layout to excite the viewer's imagination.
My design work has been recognized by Martha Stewart Living Magazine, by Organic Gardening Magazine, by the Portland Art Museum, the Design Museum Boston, the NBA Portland Trail Blazers among others, and our goods can be found in fine shops and homes across the United States.
More Bio on Joe
I'm originally from a working-class suburb of Dayton, Ohio. In high school, I took lots of industrial arts classes, wood shop and drafting. I also worked as a grocery store cashier after school, and a bicycle shop in the summers. A scholarship took me to Sinclair Community College where I eagerly studied industrial engineering, while working as a detailer for tool designers doing manufacturing tooling—automotive mostly. Then a lucky connection brought me in contact with a pipe organ maker in Columbus, Ohio. The craft and novelty of the operation, with its many facets, both charmed and interested me for several years. I worked as the layout guy, and made production drawings of new organs. It was at this time that I became interested in photography and printing, not to mention zine-making and the arts in general. I was 26 when I quit the job and struck off on my own—back to school earning an AAS in Graphic Communication from Columbus State Community College. I painted houses and worked at a food co-op to make it happen. By 2007 I had begun screenprinting posters that were retro yet modern and spoke to an alternative narrative for Americans. The food co-op experience just caused me to see consumption differently and I wanted to enjoy making something positive, hence food posters. A move to Portland, Oregon enabled more school: a B.S. in Communication, with further studies in Urban Development and Journalism from Portland State University. The key experience at PSU, for me, was editing a student-run magazine, where we rebuilt the publication from the ground up to create a successful local glossy magazine full of original news and opinion (not to mention great design and photography). Leaping out of the school experience, I had the lucky break of a small feature in an issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine, which really marked the founding of my own design studio. J. Wirtheim Design is where I work today, turning neat ideas into action.
I currently live in NE Portland with my lovely wife, Taylor who is an elementary school teacher. Follow me on Instagram.