Nancy Wirsig McClure, Designer

Visual and interactive designer with many years of experience

Nancy is the founder and principal of Explanagraphics in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Nancy says….

My professional passion is helping your audience/customer/user comprehend complicated concepts through visuals.

Nancy’s Skills

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Visual design, with an emphasis on clear communication...

As a designer, Nancy focuses on projects whose primary goal is to convey information — “selling steak and not sizzle.”

She doesn’t have a single visual style; instead, she develops a style appropriate to the content and goals, or she matches an existing style.

She deploys the toolkit of the visual artist — arrangement, color, typography, style, scale, illustration and images — to tell your story.

Graphics production...

Nancy has over 5000 hours of Photoshop experience, so she creates alternatives blazingly fast. She’s always happy to make other’s ideas “look real.” She has produced hundreds of final graphics assets for apps and web sites — and the files are right the first time.

Analysis & Synthesis...

Nancy brings left-brained skills to visual communication projects. She can help you analyze your content and determine where visuals will make it clearer. Her technical background means she really understands complex topics and data, and she can synthesize and organize ideas and data stories to compress them into effective illustrations.

Written/verbal communication & Presentations...

Nancy is very experienced in developing documents and presentations. She can work with subject matter experts on drawing out salient points and turning them into communication.

She also enjoys presenting live, at professional association meetings and Ignite events. Also, she has occasionally taught at colleges, and her students say she’s a great explainer of technical concepts.

Nancy’s Background

Nancy became a graphic designer after a first career as a software developer. In the last decade she’s merged her creative and software expertise to create the range of visuals she provides through Explanagraphics.


• B.S. Computer Science, University of Iowa
• B.A. Anthropology, University of Arizona
• Continuing studies and professional development courses in graphic design, illustration, interactive design, digital marketing strategies

Work History...

Nancy has been a solo practitioner, running two design agencies: formerly hand2mouse (1990 – 2004), currently Explanagraphics (2009 – present). Her agencies have had many clients, especially tech companies, marketing firms, and publishers. She started in print design in 1990, then began doing web & presentation design in 1995. She began working with web app user interfaces in 2004. Download Nancy’s resume at left.

When she wasn’t self-employed (that is, 2004 – 2009), Nancy has worked at a web agency and a small software company. In both companies she was the sole graphics and user experience expert, creating a wide range of online and print materials and working with developers on web app interfaces.

Intermittently, Nancy has taught college classes in Adobe software and graphic & web design.

See Nancy’s LinkedIn profile l for more details.

Copyright © 2004 - 2023 Nancy Wirsig McClure