Graphic Design Protects Creeks – In Memory of Bridget Reynolds

Last week we said a final good-bye to a good friend and steadfast supporter of Prescott Creeks Preservation Association. After a trying battle with cancer, Bridget Reynolds passed away in the early hours of September 18th, 2011 while with her family in Minnesota.

Best known by many for her graphic design work with Prescott College during the past 12 years, Bridget was an essential part of the Prescott Creeks team. In many ways, Bridget was the creative engine behind many of the Prescott Creeks publications, interpretive signs, reports, and documents with which you may be familiar.

I first met Bridget in 2004 when Prescott Creeks was in need of new brochures. Technology had come a long way since we’d done our first set – cut and paste style. Bridget had been recommended to us by Joel Barnes, our Board Chair at the time. We all met, played with ideas, and then came that conversation about what the fee might look like. Bridget offered to donate her services since we were a non-profit organization, and since she cared about our local creeks. With Bridget’s keen eye for design and her knowledge of production the result was a fancy (for us) full-color, professional brochure for Prescott Creeks and an equally impressive brochure for Watson Woods Riparian Preserve.

Working with Bridget on those two brochures was the beginning of a long and fulfilling relationship. Over the years, she worked with us to redesign our print newsletter (The Creekside Almanac), design maps, create interpretive signage for Watson Woods Riparian Preserve, along with many, many other projects. These types of projects always seem to have a shoestring budget and I would always approach Bridget with the intent to pay for her services but so many times her response was something to the effect of: “Michael, Prescott Creeks is my top pro bono endeavor. You know that.” I don’t how she fit us in, because she was always working on an exciting project for the college, collaborating with students, or designing a poster for any number of other laudable community-based events. We did manage to pay her a fee here and there. To publicly honor and thank Bridget for her commitment, support and friendship, Prescott Creeks presented her with our bi-annual volunteer award at the 2006 Earth Day celebration at Granite Creek Park.

Bridget and I often did initial brainstorming for a new project over lunch or a drink after work. Invariably we’d drift off-topic into discussions that had nothing at all to do with graphic design or creek preservation. We’d share stories about family, reminisce about the great concerts we’d each attended, or just get all geeky about the new Photoshop (one year we attended a day-long Photoshop training seminar together). We became friends. Knowing Bridget changed me as a person and changed the way I viewed graphic design and its role in protecting our local water resources.

The loss of Bridget is palpable. We will miss her dearly.


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