Colleen Nicholson is a freelance editorial art director with an ambitious coffee habit and a penchant for pithy bios. (Oh, yes, and she also travels quite a bit).


Colleen Nicholson finds creative (sometimes even award-winning) ways to tell stories. She likes curious podcasts, a packed carry-on and happy clients.

Have a project to discuss? 
Just want to chat without the discomfort of third person pronouns?



Some of my clients:


Kind words from kind people

Colleen worked with us to reimagine our yearly Discovery Guide for the Bay of Quinte region and the result has been a multi-award-winning publication. She became part of the team immediately, investing herself in each detail of the project, from sizing, to paper and cover choices, to font, and even impressive deliberation over the use of the em dash (a little humour for you editors out there...). Her creative network was a definite asset and led us to work with first-class illustrators and photographers. The result was a complete rebrand of our Guide, which won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award from the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (their highest marketing honour), won best print publication at the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence and was recognized by Applied Arts as a winner of their Community Awards. And, perhaps most importantly, it worked; our Guide is now a sought-after publication across Ontario. Can you guess whether we hired her to do it all over again the next year? The answer is Y-E-S!
— Dug Stevenson

I had the enormous privilege of having Colleen as my art director and creative partner in crime at Canadian Family magazine. Colleen is a top-notch art director whose breadth of skills and exacting standards ensure every editorial idea is communicated beautifully, no matter what the medium. Colleen has a modern design sensibility that elevated the look and feel of the magazine tremendously. 
— Brandie Weikle, Editor-in-Chief (Full comment on LinkedIn.)

Colleen is a gifted art director and designer whose passion for both type and image are clearly evident in her thoughtful visual solutions. Her talent is matched only by her work ethic. I frequently relish my good fortune of having her as a creative co-pilot!
— Jeff Hannaford, AD


A few industry-related things i get up to:

  • Judge: International Regional Magazine Association, 2019

  • Reviewer: Sheridan Illustration Class 2019

  • Judge: Sheridan Illustration Graduate Exhibition, 2019

  • Judge: Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, 2019

  • Judge: Sheridan Illustration Graduate Exhibition, 2018

  • Judge: Sheridan Photography Graduate Exhibition, 2018

  • Judge: Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, 2018

  • Speaker: Magnet 2016, Design for Beginners

  • Judge: Canadian Society of Magazine Editors, 2016

  • Judge: Canadian Society of Magazine Editors, 2015

  • Judge: National Magazine Awards, 2014

  • Co-founder of Post Production Night, a social for magazine art staff. (If you're a local magazine art director or designer, send me an email to get on the event list.)

  • Designed and programmed the first digital interactive tablet edition at St Joseph Media. 

  • Guest Speaker: CBC, photography workshop

  • Guest Speaker: Magnet, Magazine Infographics. "Infographics that Work”

  • Guest Speaker: Ryerson University, Magazine Packaging. 

  • Director for ArtsScene, Business for the Arts (2008-2010)