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Local design artist helps film become 'beautiful'

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David Friedman’s company is getting more beautiful and more national by the minute. The owner of local design firm FriedMedia designed the poster and Web site for the award-winning documentary, “America the Beautiful,” a film that explores America’s obsession with beauty.

Friedman said he jumped at the chance to develop their signature Web site and poster.

“I had always wanted to work on a film project so I spent a couple of weeks throwing out a bunch of concepts,” he said.

Friedman says it was gratifying to see the two- by three-foot poster prominently displayed at theaters last month. His concept features the Statue of Liberty holding a bright pink lipstick tube in lieu of her torch and a cosmetic make-up kit replaces the book held in her left hand. He also added hand-written notes to the statue, including “widen mouth,” “install implants” and “remove wrinkles.”

“Of our symbols of America, one of the most beautiful was this gift from France, the Statue of Liberty,” he said. “So the idea was turning the torch into a lipstick and her book into a makeup kit to make the point about our obsession with being beautiful.”

Dennis Damore, the movie’s executive producer, and Friedman’s client for his company Crisis Simulations – which builds computer-based simulations of crisis events for senior leaders in the public and private sector – called Friedman in 2007 to join the film’s team. Damore and Friedman worked together at CMD, Portland’s largest integrated marketing firm.

“David designed the film’s Web site, the logo, the entire identity piece,” Damore said. “I have worked with him off and on as a co-worker, as a manager, as an independent contractor, for more than 20 years. He’s my go-to guy. He’s very intuitive. His brain works in pictures.”

Not bad for the 2004 graduate of the Small Business Management Program at Portland Community College’s Small Business Development Center. Ten years ago, Friedman decided to strike out on his own, forming his company, FriedMedia. The former senior art director for CMD wanted to try his hand at running his own business. Prior to that Friedman was an art director on Madison Avenue in NYC, working for ad agencies and packaging design firms.

His graphic design work includes packaging design for more than 100 products, many of them food items; Web site development and graphic identity development and design for Oregon’s Cristom Wines; the national Girl Scouts of America; Springboard Innovation, which helps people conceive and launch socially beneficial ventures; the Abundance Farming Project; and more.

Friedman said his relationship with the center helped take his business to the next level. He credits the SBDC program for steering him in the right direction.

“I took the class with Jackie Babicky-Peterson and she is just an inspiration,” he said. “The knowledge she imparts about developing business processes is something I really needed help with and she was fantastic in our private meetings to help me strategize ways to build my business.”

When it comes to running a business, Friedman said the completion of the yearlong SBDC Small Business Management Program helped him move in the direction that suits his style.

“I’ve created a virtual agency that includes writers, programming engineers, and myself as designer and creative director,” he said. “That’s the beauty of knowing people and working with people who have eclectic interests, such as myself. Portland is all of us.

“I think (the SBDC) is the best deal in town,” he added. “For any small business. It has great value. I highly recommend it.”

The Small Business Development Center is one of 19 SBDCs in the state of Oregon. For more information on the center (2025 Lloyd Center Mall) call (503) 978-5080, or email

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »


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