Hi! I'm Tim Palin. Thanks for checking things out here.
I was born a small baby in Salem, Massachusetts.
I’m not a witch.
But it’s true. I grew up in Peabody a few minutes down the road from the witch gallows. To avoid public shaming, don’t pronounce it “Pea-Body,” but rather PEEbuhdee.
I was a creative little tyke, drawing monsters and dinosaurs and monkeys…lots and lots of monkeys. I drew sad self-portraits that I would slip under the door to the outside world when I was sent to my room. From elementary school all the way up through college, I took as many art classes as I could. I wasn’t a math whiz. And I certainly wasn’t taking the science world by storm. But, hand me a ball of clay, or a sketchpad, or egg cartons and Popsicle sticks and suddenly I could create the world that was inside my head. I loved it all. I loved making stuff.
At Salem State College I discovered the glamorous and dangerous world of graphic design. After graduating, I began my design career in event and marketing companies in greater Boston, mostly for the free trips and parties. I did it all: brochures, ads, custom packaging for promotional mailings.
Then all heck broke loose.
In 2005 I moved from Boston to NYC to become Promotional Art Director for ELLEgirl Magazine, working with fashion brands including America’s Next Top Model, Marc Ecko, TJMaxx and Baby Phat. Janice Dickenson kissed me on the mouth.
Eventually, after a couple of years of photo shoots and cocktail parties, I moved into book publishing as Senior Designer for Disney Editions/Disney Press. Later I designed for PlayBac Publishing and Bill Smith Group.
Now I am primarily designing and producing books for both the children’s and adult contemporary markets for publishers including Cantata Learning, Scholastic Books, Blue Apple Books, Girl Scouts of America, Hinkler Books, Enchanted Lion Books, PrintMatters, Thunder Bay Press, The Book Shop Ltd. (for Race Point Publishing, Sterling Innovations, Thunder Bay), and Octane Press. All the while, I still get to have the branding, identity and promotional design fun with a variety of clients.
But after many years of lying dormant, the monkey-drawing kid in me has re-emerged with a vengeance. I’ve dusted off my sketchbooks and pencils (real and digital) and begun to indulge my passion for drawing even as I continue to do the design work I love. I’m art directing and illustrating for the children’s and tween book markets and my inner little Timmy Palin is having a blast. How can you not have a blast drawing a rhino in a tutu?
Professionally, I’ve navigated almost every aspect of the creative services and publishing industries. I bring to every client and partner a very adaptable design sensibility with focus and a commitment to making things beautiful. Whether it’s a book publishing project, magazine layout, identity piece, marketing design or the cutest, fuzziest bunny I can muster, I do whatever it takes to achieve the perfect finished product. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a finicky perfectionist and your projects will benefit from that.
But most important to me is that we have some fun together . . . and make fantastic stuff!
A 400-page cookbook of apple recipes? A fashion spread for your dog-centric magazine? An advertising campaign for your off-broadway production of Steel Magnolias? A complete brand identity for your teeth-whitening clinic? I bring the same level of passion, research, and design expertise to the table. Sure, the path to get there is different for every project, but we do reach an end result that's eye-catching and engaging. It's my motto to "make something every day"...and make it beautiful.
Contracts! Timelines! Templates! Spreadsheets! I've always been a sucker for details and organization, which is funny having been a "creative type" my whole life. But maybe it's about balance. Exploring the expanses of art and creativity while managing deadlines and calendars seems to round out a project for me. So, whether it's managing all of the art, design and production of 50-100 picture books simultaneously or coordinating your branding agency's own branding, a soup-to-nuts project is a blast.
"You can't make a living drawing pictures" . . . can you? That's what I always thought. Well, after years and years of hiding my pencils and pads in boxes in a closet, I decided to challenge this theory. Guess what? I'm a working illustrator. And now, some mornings I wake up with one job for the day . . . make pictures of a hippopotamus climbing a tree . . . or . . . fill a book with pictures of kids taking their first yoga class . . . or draw a marching band of ants as they make their way across a meadow. It's one of those " love my job!" moments, and it feels great!
Watching you transition from art director to illustrator has been such a joy. Your sense of design translates so well to character development and I love your work.
-Eric Barclay, Illustrator-Designer-Author
You are always such a joy to work with – from leadership to encouragement, insight to grace!
-Luke Flowers, Illustrator
That moment Tim Palin let's you fill a book cover with balloons! #dreamartdirector #dreamjob 🎈🎈🎈
-Charlie Alder, Illustrator
I've worked on several dozens of book projects with Tim over a period of seven lucky years. Few Art Directors participate in their projects in as many creative ways as Tim, and his input and direction are always invaluable. Time and time again, Tim brings out the very best in the artists I represent. He is organized, communicative, knowledgeable, collaborative, and a whole lot of fun."
-Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency
"HOOOOOOOOOORAAAYYY!! Good job, Palin! You deserve a martini and a ribeye steak! Or a green juice and veggie burger! Whatever!!!”
-Lizzy Yoder, Scholastic Books
You are one of the great tenders of the Frolic brand—thank you!
-Dawn Rundman, Sparkhouse Family
“…you delivered to perfection.”
-Peter Buhler, Cone Communications
“The best thing about working with Tim is his great sense of design coupled with his flexibility. All great designers are problem solvers, and Tim loves a challenge. But what is unique about Tim as a designer is his commitment to brilliant design solutions while working hard to satisfy the specific needs of each project. When I’ve worked on a project with Tim, he starts by presenting his unique design solutions, not as a done deal, but as an opening to a conversation. That’s why I point out Tim’s flexibility. I trust that Tim will always create something beautiful that expresses not just his vision, but our vision—the one that’s just right!
When we worked together at Blue Apple Books, Tim joined us as a designer when I had already defined a strong visual brand for the company. He was tasked with creating new product that had to visually stand alone and at the same time express the “Blue Apple look-and-feel.” For a designer, this can be a real challenge. Tim took it on brilliantly. He worked tirelessly to get it it just right, which took some time, but he kept at it until we were both satisfied. Not only did he design some beautiful books for us, but he helped me further expand and define the Blue Apple style.
I can say without reservation, that Tim will do the same for any project or client that he works with. His commitment to excellence and communication is the perfect recipe for creating great design— and happy clients!”
-Elliot Kreloff, Blue Apple Books
"Tim Palin's versatility is the main reason he's my first-choice designer for marketing collateral. My clients produce work ranging from high-brow literary to pop culture junk food, and he can turn a new style around on a dime to suit the project every time. The rest of my agencies and art directors do one thing really well, but Tim can do it all."
-Jesse Post, Letter Better
“Tim is a great person to work with - creative, enthusiastic, and always upbeat in finding a solution to your problems. He’s talented and will work through the best ways to make your project shine. A top notch individual with the chops to match!”
-Doug Bantz, Girl Scouts of America
“Tim is very passionate about his designs, has a very strong work ethic.”
-Marybeth Tregarthen, Disney Publishing Worldwide
“Thanks so much for your work on this - I feel like you’re the engine that is keeping this running and really appreciate your amazing work and brilliant communication.”
-Louise Coulthard, Hinkler Books
“Tim has a fresh and innovative artistic eye…He works with passion and perception…”
-Jody Revenson, Disney Publishing Worldwide
“You never know what you are going to get when you work with Tim…Don’t let that scare you! Instead, sit back, and relax. He will come up with design themes you could never dream of in a million years.”
-Alexa Barraclough Dowlen, Houghton Mifflin School Publishers
“I sincerely thank you for all you have done to move this entire project forward. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with you.”
-Dianne Burch, Author
“Tim is amazing! I love the style and look of the book…”
-Susan S., Writer
“We are so impressed with the work by Tim Palin at Tim Palin Creative. The new cover for Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding is amazing!”
“As an individual who has worked with Tim for years, I speak honestly to you when I say that he is one of the most pleasant people to work with. Professional, reliable, kind, and talented are just a few buzzwords for Tim. He helped push my photo career and push me as a person. If you’re on the fence about who to build a book with, this is your man.”
-Joshua Griffler, Photographer
Blue Apple Books
The Book Shop, Ltd.
Books Are Fun
Carbon (The Carbon Crew)
Catbird Books (Catbird Agency)
Disney Publishing Worldwide
Enchanted Lion Books
Girl Scouts of America
Law Office of Kimberly L. Kelly
Lion Forge Comics
National Geographic Learning/Cengage
North Fork Guest House
Race Point Publishing
Sparkhouse Family (frolic)
Thunder Bay Press
World of Pawsibilities