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Brian McAndrew, President


Although I have always been drawing, painting or doing something creative, I sort of mark 1976 as the begining. From then till the end of 1984, was when most of my original paintings and drawings were done. Those early times involved shows of my original paintings in Ontario and later in BC and In 1983, formed BEYOND GRAPHIX, to help market my original art. My first daughter was born at the end of 1984 and after that, I eventually moved into more commercial work.

By 1987 I moved from Vancouver, to the Sunshine Coast, near Gibsons, BC, and added sign painting, designing logos and screen printing to my work.

In 1988 I started as a cut and paste artist for a weekly community paper in Gibsons BC. (The Sunshine Coast News). During my 4 year stay there I became familiar with all facets of newspaper production in the old "cut and paste" method. This also included the operation of a Robertson 480 Linestack Camera, developing the 18"x23" negatives, opaquing and stripping in colour. I gained some experience with the editorial and front office. In 1990 I became Production Manager during the Christmas rush just after Macintosh computers were brought in with industry standard publishing programs. Right after the Christmas rush, I received computer training and became proficient in Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop, and designed a time saving Quark XPress template to handle the classifieds for both papers. Later that year, a second paper was added to the weekly schedule.

While working for the Sunshine Coast News, I also worked part time for Randy Chodak, Art Director of the Beach Combers TV series during the last 3 years it was running. I did special effects painting, sign and set painting.

A few shots from my work on the Beachcombers TV series.

Painting the fairwell float for the last season of the TV series The Beachcombers

Painting Beach Comber float

The fairwell float with crew for the last season of the TV series The Beachcombers

Beach Comber final year float

My job with the Beachcombers was special effects painting, set and sign painting. Here's one of the kids rooms fixed up for the last season with a cloud and sky theme.
Beach Comber Cloud Room

In November 1992, I left the Coast News and made BEYOND GRAPHIX a full time job. I invested in the necessary Macintosh and compatible equipment and since then, some of my logos have gained international recognition.
In early 1995 I contracted out to Coast Creative Printing & Design in Sechelt to help them trim time from the production of a weekly ad and leisure paper and a monthly magazine. Within 2 months my training and changes to production helped to trim enough hours from their production time that they no longer needed an extra production person (which was me).

I moved on in September 1995 to start Northern Light Publishing Inc., a bi-weekly community style newspaper (9,500 copies) in a 6 column 11.5" x 17.5" tabloid format. Three months after starting my paper, The Powell River Peak, backed by the Lower Mainland Newspaper Group moved in, and immediately got into a price war with the "Powell River News", the other establish paper. Northern Light was caught in the cross fire and had to close.

Since 1996 I have lived in Grand Forks BC, spent 1 1/2 years with another broadsheet newspaper, the Castlegar Sun, where I won the first page layout and design awards the paper had. I was an integral part of their change over to complete digital transfer of their broadsheet newspaper to the printer.
By 1999 I had left the Castlegar Sun and revived Beyond Graphix. I designed the logo and other advertising material for the local service provider (Sunshine Communications) and soon added website design to my services.

In order to advertise and market my talents and establish myself in Grand Forks, I started and ran for 1 1/2 years, a booklet style, local news publication called the OpenMinder. I solicited and designed the ads, did publication layout, interviewed for stories, typeset, published, folded and delivered 1000 copies every 2 weeks.

In 2001 I worked with Cannabis Research Institute designed all the graphics, worked out flow charts, and presentation material for the bid on the government contract to grow the first crop of medical marijuana.
I am also head of the team that has designed proprietary equipment for the roulette table.

Being in Grand Forks that has high speed fiberoptic cable, makes it easy for me as a graphic artist, to stay in touch around the globe and not compromise a quality lifestyle.

From June of 2002 till May 2004 I took on the title of Art Director/Production Manager for CANNABIS HEALTH which allowed me to bring together my graphic and publishing experience to produce a top quality magazine with the design of the Anniversary Issue #7, winning a Silver Award at the 2004 Summit Creative Awards. SummitAwards

After issue #10 I took a 3 issue leave of absence from Canabis Health. During the Summer I designed posters, ads & website for the "Festival of Freedom in the Forks, which I continued with for 2005 & 2006. In the fall, of 2004, started production on the "Welcome to the Boundary and Beautiful Kettle River Valley. This was a 48 page glossy vistor information magazine with a 4 page centre fold out map of the Trans Canada Trail with a topographical background and many other features. Beyond Graphix redesigned the guide and published it again in 2005.

In the fall of 2006 to spring 2008 Renna Hoolsema added her photographic and design eye-deas and skills to the production of the 2006/7 visitor guide also took on advertising sales. The magazine went up to 56 pages in the 3rd year.

While in production of the 2004/5 Visitor Guide, I took on Cannabis Health Journal again which continued for 8 more issues before closing with the March/April 2006 issue.

In 2007 I moved my buisness from my home to an office inside Copy Cat Printing, in downtown Grand Forks, which has added a lot of walk-in traffic and exposure for my buisness.

Summer of 2008 I produced for the Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament, their 32 page full colour glossy program, website and ad banners around the park. I have continued with producing the program and web site till 2012 with a 42 page program. The tournament will not be hosted for 2013 but will come back for 2014.

In March of 2012 I incorporated my company under the new name of Vicom Design Inc. Vicom is a combination of two words, "Visual Communicatons". When I started out, Graphic Artist seemed to cover the job description but as time went by and computers made their way into the publishing industry, many other jobs fell on to the plate of the "Graphic Artist". Tthe typseter, darkroom photo manipulation, pre-press work, trapping and bleeds and now web and social media and more. Now, Graphic artist doesn't describe the job and I have adopted the name Vicom Design Inc. We Visually Communicate your idea in print and digital media.

I have only been able to mention some of the highlights of my career. There are many more things I have done, including web design, labels, logos and much more. Enjoy your tour thru my site and please come back again soon as there is always something new to see.

Brian McAndrew
For further information e-mail brian@vicomdesign.com

 
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