Danielle McLean

An award winning concept designer, a travel-writer and a social media ninja with international business expereince and over three years of digital design experience with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver

Social Profiles

About Me

  • Danielle McLean
  • dmclean21@gmail.com
  • 1 (703) 725-2258
  • 20772 Rainsboro Dr
    Ashburn, VA 20147
    United States

Danielle McLean was born on December 20th 1990 in Baltimore, MD (USA). She graduated from James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA) with a B.S. in Media Arts & Design (SMAD) in May 2013. She is currently living in Santiago, Chile, where she works as a Marketing Intern for Patagonia Sur, a sustainable development company that invests in, protects, and enhances scenically remarkable and ecologically valuable ecosystems in Chilean Patagonia.


“I am happy to recommend Danielle McLean for an internship in communications or multimedia design. Danielle was a student in my “Writing for New Media” course in the School of Media Arts and Design, and she was one of the strongest, most enthusiastic and dedicated students I have had during my time teaching at James Madison University.” A. Paige Normand
Writing & Communication Specialist
School of Media Arts and Design
James Madison University

”Danielle was a gift to have in the classroom...she seems to get involved with various clubs and projects in the School of Media Arts & Design (SMAD) at James Madison University. To illustrate, at the same time that she was enrolled at my advertising course, she joined the Madison American Advertising Federation Club, and became the Research Director and Web Designer of the club”. Alexandra M. Vilela PhD
Associate Professor
School of Media Arts and Design
James Madison University


  • B.S. Media Arts and Design2010 - 2013
    James Madison University

    GPA: 3.4

  • General Education 2009 - 2010
    Northern Virginia Community College

    GPA: 3.9


  • Marketing Intern Sept - Nov 2013
    Patagonia Sur

    Developed marketing material, web content, and communication strategy, across these institutions:
    • Reforestemos Patagonia, the largest reforestation campaign in Chile's history
    • MERI, a scientific research institute conducting pioneering research with blue whales
    • The Patagonia Sur Foundation, which works with local communities in Patagonia
    • Compensaciones CO2, Chile's first carbon offsets project

    Projects included:
    1. Development of graphic material to promote activities of all organizations affiliated with the company.
    2. Contribution to the design and development of these institutions' web sites.
    3. Elaboration of interactive, video and/or graphic material for English programs, environmental education, organic agriculture and traditions, and trades rescue with artisans.
    4. Social media content creation and management with Hootsuite, across platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

  • Awards

    • Winner of MTV's Against Our Will Challenge 2012

      Won $10,000 top prize for concept design Designed an interactive video project that illuminates the back-stories of sex and labor trafficking survivors, to raise awareness of modern-day slavery. Launched in Jan. 2013 at thebackstory.mtv.com

Langauge Skills

  • XHTML 85%
  • CSS 85%
  • JavaScript 60%
  • Spanish 20%

Graphics and Media Skills

  • Photoshop 90%
  • Illustrator 85%
  • Indesign 75%
  • Dreamweaver 90%
  • Final Cut Pro 60%

Other Skills

  • Digital UX/ UI 90%
  • WordPress 90%
  • Hootsuit 85%

Download My Resume

October 5th 2013

Own Your Career, Not Your Job

On the first day of SMAD 101 (Media Arts & Design), our professor opened class with this one piece of advice, “Own your career, not your job”. It wasn’t until now, nearly three years later, that I’ve fully comprehended the meaning of those words, and realized how important this philosophy is, especially for someone in a creative field...

Read more →

September 22th 2013

Inspired Marketing

I recently watched a Ted Talks video featuring Simon Sinek, an Anthropologist turned marketing genius (the two things really go hand in hand don’t they). In his talk, “How great leaders inspire action”, he illustrates why companies like Apple are so much  more innovative in their approach to marketing than any other company...

Read more →

Own Your Career, Not Your Job

On the first day of SMAD 101 (Media Arts & Design), our professor opened class with this one piece of advice, “Own your career, not your job”. It wasn’t until now, nearly three years later, that I’ve fully comprehended the meaning of those words, and realized how important this philosophy is, especially for someone in a creative field.

“Own your career, not your job”, doesn’t mean that the job does’t matter. It just means that a job is more than just it’s monetary value.

As a recent college grad, just entering the job market, it’s so easy to think, “What position will offer me the most money”, when I should be thinking, “What opportunity is going to be most beneficial to my career in the long run?”.

Right now I’m about to finish an unpaid internship in Chile, and I’m sure my friends and family think that I’m just stalling, or taking a mini vacation before entering the, “real world”, but the truth is, I’ve learned more from this experience than the last 3 years of college combined.

In such a small office, I’ve been forced to take on many more responsibilities, than I would have as an intern in a large company, where I might just be bringing people coffee. I’ve actually gotten experience working with real clients, and solving real-world crises. I’ve been forced out of my comfort zone, in the best possible way, and as a result, I’ve  learned a tremendous amount in a relatively short amount of time.

I made no money on this deal, and in fact, spent a great deal of money to come here. In addition to not getting paid, I am the only graphic designer in an office where about four different organizations’ directors are all giving me assignments. Each of them, wants his or her project to be my top priority. On top of that, I’m also working with a language barrier which just makes everything ten times more complicated.

I can’t express what an amazing learning experience this has been!

I took about four years of French throughout my high school and college career, but in just two months I’ve learned more Spanish than I ever knew of French. Why?

Because I HAVE to learn. It’s essential to my survival here.

The same is true with my graphic design, problem solving, organizational and time management skills. In college I was working for a grade, but now I’m working for my reputation. I’m working to prove myself, and if the work is subpar, the entire company is affected. That added pressure, means that my brain is racing to learn as much as possible. It’s completely different from learning at a leisurely classroom pace.

It’s really no different than learning a foreign language. When you’re forced to use what you’re learning daily, and the stakes are higher, you’re brain goes into survival mode! It suddenly has the super-human capabilities of a mother on an adrenaline kick, who can inexplicably lift a car to save her child.

The point I’m trying to make is, the job choices we make now are crucial, but what we should be looking for isn’t a high salary or good benefits, and we certainly shouldn’t be looking for something that’s comfortable.

The best jobs are the ones that we can learn the most from.

Jobs are necessary part of life, and the immediate pay-off is great, but always remember, that your career is your long term investment. It’s worth investing in.

#smad #internships #jobs #career #education #learning

October 5th 2013

Why Designers Hate Mobile-First

There has been a lot of debate recently over the mobile-first strategy of web design. Of course, in an era of 1.2 Billion Mobile Web users, it makes sense to design with the mobile platform in mind, and even to use responsive design to create custom designs for each screen size.

When I first learned the art of responsive design, I definitely had some fun with this technique, by making websites that changed colors and morphed like chameleons as you adjusted your window size (maybe not the most practical design strategy in the end).

So what is about the idea of mobile-first design, that has so many designers’ panties in a wad?

Part of it might be that designing for a 320x568px screen just isn’t as much fun as designing for a 30inch desktop display (2560x1600px).

It’s one thing to design for the glorious iMac canvas, and then make an alternate version for those less fortunate folks, who will only get a simplified glimpse of your masterpiece, but to create the entire design based on the mobile device just seems backwards.

I mean, for peat's sake, what am I supposed to do with all those spectacular onClick and RollOver effects? What was the point of even learning JavaScript?

I was just getting excited about some of the new features made possible by HTML5, such as the ridiculously awesome Parallax-Scrolling effect, and now you’re telling me that I should just leave all those magic tricks in the hat and focus on minimalism, small images sizes, quick page-loading speeds?

The audacity! Although….

As a user, I do appreciate being able to pull out my android at any given moment and look something up. The thing to keep in mind, is that the ultimate goal of a web designer is to create something that is functional and easy to use.

Design exists as a means to improve the overall experience of the user. So unless the user is viewing the  webpage, simply to appreciate its artistic beauty and innovative interactive features (which, I actually do from time to time), the goal of design should be usability first…and maybe, at this point in time, that means designing for mobile first.

In this industry, it's essential to be able to adapt your skills to the technology of the times. With any luck, in the next 10 years, I’ll be witting about designing for holographic pocket projectors first. That's the dream!

#mobilefirst #responsive #layouts #programing #usability #webdesign

September 28th 2013

Inspired Marketing

I recently watched a Ted Talks video featuring Simon Sinek, an Anthropologist turned marketing genius (the two things really go hand in hand don’t they). In his talk, “How great leaders inspire action”, he illustrates why companies like Apple are so much  more innovative in their approach to marketing than any other company.

The secret? They started with the question, “why?”.

This sounds like an easy enough question to answer. All of us should know what drives us, but then, why is it that so few companies can tell us exactly why it is that they’re doing what they do. What is the underlying belief, the core philosophy on which the industry is built?

Sinek explains in his talk, that the most intuitive and obvious way to sell a product or service is to start with the “what”.

For example, Apple could start by saying, “we sell computers”. Next, the company would want to illustrate “how” they are different from their competitors. Apple might say, “our computers are beautifully designed and easy to use”. Most companies fail to illustrate the “why” at all, (maybe they don’t even know it themselves) instead ending their pitch with an uninspiring,  “want to buy one?”.

But apple doesn’t market this way. Instead they flip the conventional marketing method on it’s head and start by talking about what they represent.

Their pitch goes something like this:

Why: “We believe in challenging the status quo and thinking differently”

How: “We do this through beautiful designs, that are easy to use”

What: “We just happen to sell computers, want to buy one?”

Sinek’s mantra throughout this presentation was,  “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

If you don’t know why you do what you do, what your mission is, then you can’t expect anyone, clients or the people who work for you, to have any loyalty or trust in you.

Is this type of marketing really necessary though? People might support Apple’s philosophy, but they are ultimately going to buy a computer based on facts and figures, not a philosophy, right?

Sinek says that the opposite is true. If you look at the human brain, the part that deals with facts and logic, the Neocortex, is actually not the one responsible for our decision making.

That job belongs to our Limbic Brain, which also, happens to be what responds to the “How’ and “Why”. The Limbic brain is responsible for our “gut feelings”, like trust and loyalty. It has no capacity for language, which is why people often can’t express why they feel a certain way about something, and might say, “it just feels right”.

In other words, people understand all the facts and figures, but those don’t drive behavior. When you reach someone at an emotional level, you speak to the inner brain (the decision maker) first, and then allow people to rationalize their decision with the facts afterwards.

When you start by stating your believes, you will attract people who believe in the same thing. Those people, be they clients or employees, will be committed to the same cause.

That’s the difference between having employees who will do enough work for a paycheck, and having a team who will pour their souls into a project, not for their boss, but for themselves, because it’s a cause they believe in too.

That’s the difference between having customers, and establishing a committed community of supporters.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

#marketing #tedtalks #apple #psychology #leadership

September 22th 2013

Contact Info

  • 20772 Rainsboro Dr
    Ashburn, VA 20147
    United States
  • dmclean21@gmail.com
  • (703) 725-2258
  • dmclean21

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On The Map


Hello! Here, you'll understand how we projected this theme. Read all the text to know any details about Metroid vCard Template. It's a powerfull personal page to start your web life, because it's simple, fast, animated, beautiful, colorful and it brings many possibilities!

Exclusive Grid System

.col .c1

.col .c2-1 .first

.col .c2-1

.col .c3-1 .first

.col .c3-1

.col .c3-1

.col .c3-1 .first

.col .c3-2

Creating new pages

Is it easy to do?

A: Yes, simply add a <section class="content"> into the <div id="page"></div> and create a tag link with the (class="menu").

See the example:
<a href="#blog" id="blog" class="menu">Blog Link</a>

<div id="page">
  <section id="blog-page" class="content">
    <div class="inner">
      ...page content


Changing the content

Metroid was designed to be simple to use and customize. Here's how easy it is to use it.

How to change the text of my site?

A: Everything that is displayed on the screen, whether text, form boxes, portfolio or progress bars, are written in a single file named "index.html". The screen changes are simulated by script calls, so our theme is considered Onepage.

How to change profile picture?

A: Go to the folder "img/profile/" and replace the file "photo.jpg". We recommend that you use a square photo with 245x245 pixels.

Note : We recommend that you use the same sizes as the profile pictures and blog to keep the layout is appropriate in all resolutions (screen, tablet and mobile).

Icons | Credits: Font Awesome (http://fortawesome.github.io/Font-Awesome/)

Changing the style

The Metroid comes with predefined CSS files with 10 different colors in different color tones. In addition, we selected 20 patterns to choose as background.
Patterns | Credits: Subtle Patterns (http://subtlepatterns.com/)

How to do?

A: Just choose the color and pattern you want and change the CSS call into index.html file on line 32. To configure the desired pattern go to the folder "img/bg/" and see the numbering pattern to set the line 54 into index.html.

See the example:
Line 32: <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="css/colors/color-name.css" id="color" />
Change to name of color.

Line 54: <body class="bg01">
Change from '01' to '20'.

Can I set up my colors in the theme?

A: Yes, simply access the file "custom.css", include your colors there, comment out the line 32 and uncomment line 33.


Metroid used fonts from Google Fonts. There are amazing font styles in Google Font that you can choose. So, you can choose the better font to you, and apply in your new website. We are using the font "Ubuntu" in all Metroid's pages. Enjoy and customize!

Use simple tags to create your headers, texts and lists.







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