I founded Chinook Design, Inc., in 2008 after several years working on books while in graduate school at The University of Chicago. I have designed many books and other publications since then, only a few of which are featured on this site.

I have two amazing kids and a great wife, a dog with one blue eye (and a loathing for squirrels and rain), a ton of books, and more fishing gear than I will ever need or use. I am interested in, and inspired by, all things biological—especially fish, insects, and birds—and I love exploring, observing, and taking photos of the natural world, from mountains to microscopic creatures. My creative efforts are also inspired by art, music, and cultures from around the world.

Love of language, books, words, print, and illustration has been a constant in my life. My education began in a one-room school in a tiny Montana town that was visited periodically by a rolling library. Our home was full of books, but the Bookmobile is the setting of my earliest memories of a space devoted solely to books. The course of my life could be mapped as a chain of libraries and bookstores, stretching from Pendry, Montana, to Oslo, Norway.

St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota), BA in Writing and Norwegian language
University of Oslo (Oslo, Norway), Norwegian language and culture
University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois), two master’s degrees in Middle Eastern history and the Arabic and Persian languages
Thanks for your interest in Chinook Design. Please contact me to discuss your next project.

Olaf Nelson

Prints and other items are available at the Chinook etsy store.

My photos are on flickr, and various photos and oddities are on tumblr.

My other website, moxostoma.com, is the outlet for some of my fish-related thoughts.