Home studio focuses on up-to-date digital function.

Word + Design Specialist

About J. R. Underhill
When you'd rather not decide, do them all!

J. R. Underhill Communications has been an independent business since 1980 in the service of brand creation and management, and the design and production of every form of communication material. I'm Jan Underhill, founder/owner, and I think my passion for message-focused design grew out of my inability to choose between Art and English majors in college, and between fine art and commercial art. Eventually, I studied them all, and my business allows me to combine all these disciplines to the benefit of my clients.

No need to choose between great words and great design

I have worked in retail sales and marketing, and for publishing companies and advertising agencies as a designer, print production specialist, and business partner. Since striking out on my own, I've shepherded a great range of business and nonprofit clients through the profound changes brought about by the digital era and remain committed to updating the needed skills. The one constant, though, is my commitment to marrying words to the most effective visuals possible in service of your (carefully edited and proofread) message. I find this principle more relevant by the day.

I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do for you!

Community Involvement

American Advertising Federation Board of Directors, Northside Business Association Board of Directors, Kalamazoo Network Board of Directors, InterCom Board of Directors, Kalamazoo Social Media Week Marketing Committee

“Jan is like a member of our team. Because she understands what we do, she is able to provide great customer service and quality work for a reasonable fee. Oftentimes the timeframes are quick, and Jan has always come through.”

Judy Sivak, Director, Region IIIA Area Agency on Aging, Kalamazoo Co. Health and Community Services Department

“As I started my career in design, I had the privilege of working with Jan and J.R. Underhill. She was a mentor and held my hand as a young professional. Her insight and professionalism is something that I have come to appreciate even more over the years. Jan's relationships with her clients is not only providing great creative, but solid strategic planning. I highly recommend working with Jan as a creative partner or communications resource. Her years of experience will surely benefit both parties.”

Victor Rodriguez, Creative Owner, Eurie Creative

“Jan helped me conceptualize my Web site, designed it, and helps me maintain it. The best compliment I can give her is that my clients think it's a great site that accurately reflects my company. Easy to work with, responsive, creative, supportive, flexible, and reasonably priced -- these all apply to Jan.”

Jan Andersen, President, Beyond Words Inc.

“Jan Underhill’s designs are crisp, creative and out-of-the box. Just take a look at her website for a great example of the kinds of innovative design you’ll get for your nonprofit organization or business. From big projects to small – and large format down to business cards – Jan brings a wealth of knowledge and an extensive history of proven performance to her work.”

Gretchen Johnson, WordPlay Marketing Communications

“Jan is an over-achiever for customer satisfaction. Not only can she provide solid design guidance and document preparation, she is also an excellent copy editor and consultant for marketing content. I would recommend her for any combination of marketing and/or print design needs.”

Patty Smetana, Owner, Howard Printing

“I just wanted to thank you for your help, good sense, and good taste. There are too many businesses around that will design a look for you according to their impressions of where you're at instead of listening to where you want to be and putting it together from there. You're not one of them!”

Jim Burman, James Burman Photographs

“Thanks for the fine job you did on this ad—the client was very complimentary and very, very happy!”

Oakley Sovereign, Sovereign Incorporated

“Jan created my MindProd logo, print identity pieces and my website. She lends a unique flair to her clients' requests for image materials - with a crisp graphic sense that's not overbearing. Her designs state who you are and what you do in a precisely packaged visual impact message - and it is amazing what she can do on a budget! I highly recommend Jan and J.R. Underhill Communications.”

Patrice Mindock, Mindock Productions

“Thank you for the prompt, professional layout of all of the projects we've given you! The hand-out materials are so well-done, and it really makes my job so much easier.”

Lynda Read, Director of Client Relations, Three Rivers Area Wellness Center