Jake Stevens defines a decade at Watermark

By : Rick Claggett
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img_9450-2016headshots_ppOrlando – February 8 marked the 10-year anniversary for Watermark’s art director, Jake Stevens.

Tom Dyer, Watermark’s founder and guiding light, remembers the day he met Stevens. “I’ll never forget Jake’s job interview. He radiated New England, down to the brown corduroy jacket. And he had this wonderful, ornery self-confidence. He wanted the job, and I could tell he would give it his all. That’s exactly what he’s done these past ten years, under four very different editors and two publishers,” said Dyer.

In his time with Watermark, Stevens has designed over 260 newsprint publications and nearly 50 specialty publications. He has led the way through the constant evolution of our newspaper design, logos and website.

When speaking of Stevens’ work ethic, Dyer said, “Jake will work an 80 hour week and then spend the weekend building Watermark’s Pride float. He’s excited by every new challenge, and that’s been infectious for an often overworked staff. Jake is talented, funny and bighearted. He gave Watermark a decade of his life. I can’t imagine where we’d be if he hadn’t.”

Stevens’ connection to the LGBTQ community runs deep and has afforded him the ability to help many local nonprofits with design projects. For the past two years, Stevens has been designing the Playbill and other advertising material for the Orlando Gay Chorus. OGC member and board member, Chip Reif, speaks highly of Stevens. “Working with Jake has been a true joy. What a talent! He combines incredible design skills with a genuine enthusiasm for the product. Since he began working with OGC, never a concert goes by that a patron doesn’t compliment us on the energy, flow, artistry, and sophistication of Jake’s designs,” Reif says.

Stevens will tell you his job at Watermark is to make things pretty, and that he does. I often refer to Stevens as Watermark’s last line of defense. He is the final set of eyes before any of our products are printed, and ultimately responsible for keeping us on schedule and looking good. Watermark, nor I, would be the same without him.

Happy 10th Anniversary to my colleague and friend!

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