CCS: Communication Design (Graphic Design) Programs


Heidi Brown

Hard Rock Cafe

Senior Graphic Designer

We’ve all seen the T-shirts. Whether tourists visit the Hard Rock Café for their food or hip merchandise, the restaurant chain is a hit in every major city where they pop up. Heidi Brown designs the promotional material and merchandise that set the company apart.

“As senior graphic designer, I am responsible for the concepting and designing of in-house brand initiatives for Hard Rock's live events, Casinos, Cafes, and large scale marketing campaigns,” said Brown.

Brown was first hired as a senior graphic designer in 1998. As a young professional couple, she and her husband, Jerry, were drawn to the opportunities booming in Orlando and the city’s vibrant life. They were eager to network with professionals in the area and began seeking out information about the creative business in their new community. It was sparse.

By 2001, Heidi and Jerry launched Brahn Communications (taken from the combination of Brown and Hahn) and published the first issue of Create, a magazine targeted at creative professionals working in Central Florida. Eventually, Create became the nation’s largest creative publication with a readership of more than 100,000 professionals in the hottest metropolitan areas nationwide, including Detroit. They sold the business in 2008.

“We absolutely loved what we were doing, but it took a lot of hard work to get us there,” said Heidi. “We often worked 70-hour weeks and through weekends to accomplish everything.”

Perseverance and self-sacrifice were not foreign concepts to Brown. CCS ground these traits into her work ethic and helped keep her on the cutting edge of technology.

“During my last semester, CCS offered a course that utilized computers for graphic design,” explained Heidi. “Up to that point, everything had been taught old school. I believe I was hired after college because I took the course and became proficient using computers when they were just getting popular.”