Wendy J. Johnson began her career as a freelance logo designer. After receiving a BA in Fine Arts from Gustavus Adolphus College, she completed additional design, film, and media courses at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her subsequent design experience includes all aspects of graphic design, art direction/print coordination, book publishing, photography, web design, and film/video production.
Wendy has produced designs for thousands of projects, including: logos; letterhead and identity materials; newsletters; booklets; manuals; books; curriculums; annual reports; brochures; slides; overhead transparencies; videos; posters; buttons; banners; flyers; forms; newspapers; advertisements; envelopes; product display cases; signage; museum wall displays; conference booths; and the web.
Art Direction – print & media
For 10 years, Wendy was employed by the State of Minnesota, rising through the ranks from Graphic Designer to an Art Director position. Her principal responsibility was to manage, produce, and coordinate design and printing for public information projects.
Wendy left the State of Minnesota to become President of Points Of View Incorporated. She is a co-partner of this entity with her husband, James V. Gambone, a video producer and intergenerational consultant. She coordinates all aspects of design production for her clients—from inception to delivery. Wendy also designs multi-media materials and web pages; and with a background in creative filmmaking, she is also experienced in digital video production as a producer, writer, and editor.
Elder Eye™ Institute – Design, Publishing, & Consulting – ElderEye.com
After experiencing a period of temporary blindness, Wendy developed a new direction within her work: Elder Eye™ Institute. Elder Eye is a design and publishing consultation service that assists clients in developing print and other media materials using Best Practices for the aging eye. As the “Legibility Doctor,” Wendy gives presentations about universal design while promoting the following Elder Eye vision:
“When you design for the aging eye, you design for ALL eyes. When a designer knows what diminishes legibility, knowledge then exists for designing with optimal impact and clarity.”
Wendy also serves as a self-described “concierge publisher” under the publishing imprint Elder Eye Press, where she assists clients in creating “indi-books” (a professional track of self-published books) under the Elder Eye Press imprint or under the client's own imprint (which she can help them set up). As a concierge publisher, Wendy provides everything needed for publishing a book—from editorial assistance and design, to publishing and printing. Her particular specialty is on-demand publishing (aka, online publishing) and she offers comprehensive presentations on the subject to interested audiences.
Among Wendy’s Clients (past & current):
Search Institute, Augsburg College, MN Senior Federation, Free Spirit Press, 3M, MedicalCV Inc., Salolampi Foundation, Finlandia Foundation, MN Gerontological Society, PTM Group, CLIMB Theatre, State of Minnesota, The ReFirement Group, ISFN Group, Ackman-Baer Commercial Realty, Visions Inc., United Nations Association of Minnesota, EastSide Freedom Library, Crossings Press, Sinclair Lewis Foundation, and numerous indi-authors.
On The Side…
With a passion for all textile arts, Wendy has created a fiber arts business, Saga Hill Designs/Studio, that uses her talents as an instructor, designer, writer, textile photographer, weaver, knitter, professional dyer, video producer, and spinner.
As part of Saga Hill, she has created her own line of fiber dyes, the Minnesota Series Dyes™, which she uses in her handpainted fibers and silks, and offers for sale at SagaHill.com.
Wendy has volunteered her fiber and design expertise at Gale Woods Farm, a Three River Parks District educational working farm, where she taught a variety of fiber arts classes and created an exclusive line of dyed yarns. Wendy is currently a contract fiber arts teacher at the Weavers' Guild of Minnesota, American Swedish Institute, Gammelgården Museum of Scandia, Three Rivers Park District, and the City of Plymouth, MN. In addition, she shares her love of Swedish fiber heritage by teaching Swedish knitting techniques and selling numerous knitting patterns based on her Swedish designs at Ingebretsen's Needlework Shop (a long-revered nordic shop in Minneapolis).
As W.J. Johnson, Wendy authored a popular book on spinning, dyeing, and knitting yarn (Yarn Works: How to spin, dye, and knit your own yarn, pub. Quarto Publishing – Creative Publishing international, 2014) and is a knitting designer in other commercially published books, along with having her own line of individual knitting patterns.
In addition, she has been an award-winning, jury-selected installation artist, creating 1 in 10,000 and Earthly Coat (outdoor installations at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum). Her WordPress blog describes the process of creating her Earthly Coat installation and includes her posts on various fiber arts subjects.
Wendy received the American Swedish Institute Teaching Tools Grant for 2022–2023 on the subject of flax production and linen, continues to blog about the grant work and her fiber projects at Blogger.com, and periodically gives presentations on flax-to-linen production.
Wendy lives with her husband and a nine-breed-mix rescued dog in a home and home office/studio that she designed using aging-friendly concepts and ecologically-conscious materials.