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Hey, I am Christian Barker.

I am a multidisciplinary designer, illustrator, photographer, videographer, animator, marketer, technologist, and entrepreneur.

To put it simply, I am a people person. Human-centered design and design thinking is the foundation of my career. I create experiences that connect with people and build relationships. These experiences include brands, photographs, smartphone apps, magazines, products, and videos to name a few. 

I am a founder of the co-working space CoLAB and the Creative Director at the USC/Columbia Technology Incubator. At the incubator I help blossoming startups develop their identity and strategies that help them grow.

I am also available for freelance work.  

 

 
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Photography

A camera is a versatile tool. It has the ability to control the capture of light and preserve a moment in time. But a camera's real power is that it produces images that tell stories that transcend language.

Journalists use cameras to document events. Marketers use them to catalog and sell goods, services, and experiences. Artists use a camera for self-expression and the sharing of ideas.

As a photographer with over 10 years of experience I have used cameras in all of these ways. I started out photographing bands, which eventually lead me to managing a nightlife media company and multiple teams of photographers. From there, I got hired as a photographer and columnist at South Carolina’s largest circulating free publication.

 

 
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Graphic Design
& Illustration

I have always been fascinated by hieroglyphics. When I was a kid, my friends and I made up our own logogram system to send coded messages to each other. Symbols have been used since the beginning of human existence to represent ideas, share stories, unify people, establish authority, and overthrow it.

Graphic design is much more than making something look pretty. It is about creative problem solving. It is the process of distilling meaning from sets of complex variables and creating visuals that improve the efficiency of communication. On the surface this could look like a logo, a brochure, or the user interface of an app on your smartphone. I enjoy the process of analyzing something, breaking it down to its most simple form, and creating unique visual syntheses of information, emotion, and experience. In graphic design the parts are greater than the whole, because it is the details that make the design.

Some of my best memories from childhood were the afternoons I spent drawing with my dad. I’ve come a long way since then. In 2014 I received the Designer of the Year Award from the University of South Carolina. I have worked with amazing people and helped numerous startups develop their identities. 

 

 
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Product Design

In a way, we all design products without even recognizing it. It is as simple as folding a piece of paper to use as spacer to stabilize a wobbly chair.

The first products I designed were light modifiers for my photography work. My interests in fashion lead me to and internship at a uniform factory and eventually to designing and handcrafting neckties and clothes. Learning to sew became an opportunity to get into leather working and designing wallets and bags. From there I began designing and making eyewear by hand.

Balancing the form and function of an intangible idea to create a physical object that benefits the person that interacts with it is incredibly satisfying to me.

 

 
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Video / Animation

The result of combining moving visuals with audio is a powerful vehicle for communication. As kid I spent a lot of time playing with Legos and making stop motion mini movies.

My experience from graphic design, photography, and influence from music made for an obvious transition to my work as a videographer and animator. Video production and animation are quickly becoming one of my most requested services because my clients realize my ability to strengthen their call to action through video.

"Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world."

– CHARLES EAMES

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