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Deborah S McKinney


Art and Design | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

Visual Communications, Graphic Design, Illustration, Two-dimensional design, Adobe Creative Suite including Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat. Design Excellence with Marketing Savvy.


B.A. from FSU

M.A. from Syracuse University

Continuous life-long learning


Deborah S. McKinney is the grand niece through her paternal grand mother, Sarah Ruth Johnston of Edward Johnston, the author of the book Writing and Illuminating, and Lettering first published in 1906. Edward Johnston designed the typeface used for the London Underground system and his font design is described as a humanist San serif. Deborah has always loved letters, books and writing. She earned cash as a sign painter while earning her B.A. in Visual Communications from Florida State University. Robert Rauschenberg was a visiting instructor while Deborah studied all forms of printmaking. “I still have the silk-screen press we built in that class and have used it for many years to make greeting cards and small posters,” says Deborah. She, also, spent many hours in the etching lab and the photography lab. While in Tallahassee, Deborah studied graphic arts technology and after graduation, worked as a typesetter for both printers and advertising agencies, specifying type for senior art directors and setting headlines.

Deborah began teaching on a university level in 1983 and is a professional designer since 1978. In 1988-89, Deborah was one of the founding members of the AIGA Jacksonville chapter and wrote the initial bylaws and articles of incorporation. She served as President in 1991-1993 and vice-president, secretary and treasurer at different times. She earned her master’s degree in Illustration from Syracuse University in 1999 where she studied with Murray Tinkleman, Bob Dacey, C.F. Payne, Marshall Arisman,  Alice “Bunny” Carter,  Alan Gussow, Brad Hamann,  Wendell Minor, Philip Meggs and a host of art luminaries. Deborah’s book, The Illustrator and Painter’s Role in the Elevation of Societal Awareness of Ecological Issues is also available as a talk and visual presentation.

Deborah McKinney founded McKinney Levine Studio, Inc. in 1989 after twelve years in the Direct Marketing and Advertising  business. Deborah has won numerous awards including Echo Awards from the Direct Marketing Association, Addy Awards from the Advertising Federation, Laurel Awards and Excel Awards for Excellence in Real Estate marketing and the prestigious Mark of Excellence from The Kimberly Clark Corporation. Her designs have been used for national and international promotions. For her work with the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless, Deborah was honored for her outstanding commitment to community service with a 12 who Care Award on First Coast News. Deborah was an integral part of various marketing campaigns and donor recognition programs for the Center since it opened in 1995. The American Institute for Public Service also awarded her with a 3-inch bronze Jefferson Award Medal.

She is a multifaceted designer who has written and illustrated several unpublished children’s books, is a closet cartoonist and an accomplished photographer and product designer. She enjoys gardening, painting, drawing, photography, swimming, bicycling, walking in the woods, and reading. Today, she spends much of her time crafting web sites and getting the code right and co-producing a movie called, The Daughter.


Past-president and Founding Member of AIGA Jacksonville. AIGA, the professional association for design, is committed to advancing design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force.

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

the Long Now Foundation

The Natural Step

Publications & Presentations

"How Illustrators and Artists have Elevated Society's Awareness of Ecological Issues."

Contact Information