Jim graduated from Kutztown University in 1977. Upon graduation he headed to New York where he started his career at New American Library as a book cover designer. While at NAL, Jim’s handlettering skills won awards from the Type Directors Club. In 1979 he did a short stint with letterer Ray Cruz and then returned to publishing as an art director with Berkley Putnam. His art direction on numerous covers won awards from the Society of Illustrators.