Amber Huff joined the Reader as a graphic designer in January 2020, roughly six weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic sent the city spinning into lockdown. If the way she helped steer the visual side of the paper through such a turbulent period is any indication of her drive and talent, we can only imagine what she’ll be able to accomplish during her second year on staff and beyond. Amber earned her Master’s degree in visual communication design at the School of the Art Institute, and in addition to being an ace graphic designer, she’s an accomplished illustrator and cartoonist. In fact, she’s responsible for our lovely staff images— including the self-portrait that accompanies this bio. “I’m inspired by my coworkers’ work,” she says. “Even through the struggles of current times, the Reader has helped me find new music, online events, and general ways to enjoy the days.” Not that she’s at a loss for ideas. Her favorite places in the city include Quimby’s Bookstore, Rotofugi, the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and her corner store. When she’s at home she enjoys listening to Turkish rock group Mor ve Ötesi and English R&B singer Nao, and reading literature and comics (Jesmyn Ward’s novel Salvage the Bones and Tillie Walden’s graphic novel On a Sunbeam are among her favorite titles). “As a Chicago local obsessed with print media, design, and most things art, my role at the Reader is a perfect fit, isn’t it?” she asks. That question may be rhetorical, but it’s impossible to imagine any of her coworkers responding with anything less than a resounding, “OMG. YES!!!”

@berhuff