Dear SmartBug,

My name is Ana Kova, I’m a freelance graphic designer and illustrator with a focus in science and technology communication. I’d like to express my interest in your Graphic Designer position. 


I’m excited to apply, as I believe this role suits my varied design background, focus in communication for science and technology, and experience working remotely.

I have 5+ years of experience working as a contract and freelance designer for studios and clients directly. I’ve completed both web and print projects in branding, infographics, product design, UX design, illustration, presentation design, and animated storytelling. I’ve also completed the General Assembly’s Front End Development course.

Recent projects include an infographic poster for Lyft, a cover feature on artificial intelligence in Think:Act Magazine (for Axel Springer), numerous science-related projects in collaboration with Sandbox Studio. As a product designer I’ve completed projects for One Design Company, Digital Intent, and Techstars Chicago cohort of 2014 (where I juggled working on 10 companies), and independently for various startups.

Being practiced at balancing many different projects and clients simultaneously, I’m confident that I can tackle the multi-disciplinary demands of this role with SmartBug.

Additionally, I believe my focus in science and technology communication fits well with SmartBug’s domain of clients. I’ve worked with US Department of Energy, CERN, SLAC, Fermilab, Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Quanta Magazine, Symmetry Magazine, Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, and various startups.

I can integrate my experience productively towards Smartbug’s clients in healthcare, biotech, construction, and other technical industries.

As a result of my work in product design I tend to approach every project strategically, taking time to outline crear goals, considering symbolic narratives, and prototype-testing variations where it makes sense. 


Below I’ve outlined how my experience fits the specific demands of the job, with project examples.

I’ve designed identity systems.

I’ve developed brands from the ground-up and across media contexts. In 2016 I designed the identity for sister apps Stridekick and Movespring, including hand-lettered logos and a custom illustration style.

An example of early stage identity strategy --
A 21st century programming textbook

I’m comfortable working within existing brands.

Lyft has an internal department for onboarding new drivers and driver support. For a recent project Lyft asked me to create a poster for this department, using illustrations and staff-sourced tips. It was important to communicate the four pillars of conduct (Welcome, Connect, Support, Delight) with respective tips, and the onboarding sequence, while keeping the tone fun and casual rather than oppressive or corporate. The poster is currently in production to be printed in A1 format and displayed in Lyft offices across the US.

I based my design on a style guide shared by Lyft (pictured partially)



I regularly work with technical and narrative content for web and print.

As a science communicator, I work with information that might be dense or technical, developing concepts for hard-to-visualize things like certain areas of theoretical physics. I believe I can put this experience to good use to tell stories for SmartBug.

Below are a few recent examples of my illustration work for web and print.

LHC cooling system infographic for US Dept of Energy 

The DUNE neutrino experiment (Symmetry)

Neutron star collision lights up the sky (Quanta)

Exploring the fabric of the universe (International Linear Collider, print)

Plasma: at the frontier of scientific discovery (US Department of Energy, print)

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)


Let me know if you’d like to see more of any particular kind of work, as my instagram and this portfolio are focused chiefly around science communication.

In all future work I’d like to continue experimenting with visual language across different media contexts, pushing both content clarity and aesthetic form. This role at SmartBug sounds like a perfect opportunity for me to pursue this goal.

I would be thrilled if you consider working with me, and hope to hear from you soon.


Copyright Ana Kova 2018 — Earth, The Solar System, Milky Way, Laniakea