Mark started out as a graphic designer and illustrator in 1976. During the early part of his career he worked as an art director on a number of magazines and other publications.
Mark was head designer and art director for Minnesota Public Radio (1981-85) and an art director for its sister company, Rivertown Trading Company (1992-2000). During that time, he designed over 200 audio packages, including most of Garrison Keillor’s, along with several hundred products (t-shirts, mugs, rugs, watches, etc.) for mail order catalogs.
Mark frequently did lettering as part of design projects he worked on. This was always his favorite part, so in 2000 he opened Mark Simonson Studio, specializing in lettering and typography.