April 26, 2005 / Spring 2005

Let’s Talk With – Max Berkbigler

Written by Idea File Staff

Max Berkbigler joined Walsworth about 18 months ago after completing college. He graduated from William Woods University in Fulton, Mo., with a graphic design degree and a business minor. He is a native of Wellsville in east-central Missouri, and now lives in Brookfield, Mo., with his dog, Lexi, a mini pinscher.


Walsworth’s cover artists work with customers to develop and translate their cover ideas. They take the information given to them by staffs and come up with a concept. The schools work with the artists via phone, fax, and, from June to September, in person at workshops. Occasionally, students will attend an in-house workshop at the Brookfield, Mo., offices of Walsworth.

“(I) travel to the workshops and talk to the students about what they want their cover to look like, then I come back to the plant and design it on the computer.”

“It’s a lot of fun getting to travel, but you can get a little jet lag because you are hopping planes.”

Berkbigler hurt his hand when he was eating out. A waiter bumped the table and a wine glass started to fall off. He caught the glass mid-fall, but he gripped it too hard and it broke.

“I made my first trip with 13 stitches in my (right) hand, and I arrived in South Carolina without my luggage and art supplies. So I went to Wal-Mart for paper and colored pencils.

“It wasn’t the best way to start,” said the right-handed artist.

“I like designing the covers. I do a lot of the comic book-type covers. We are getting more requests for those. I’ve done four this year. They take longer to do but it’s your own artwork, so it’s more fun.

“We are also getting more requests for puzzle piece covers, and covers with a movie theater-type theme, showing the audience and the screen, with the theme on the screen.

“This is only my second year here, but there are more decorated covers this year, hot foil… a more classic and traditional look this year over last year.”

“By (customers) meeting with Creative Services, we put the cover in their hands. They can help us visualize better what they want than talking over the phone. It saves time and problems because it helps our ideas meet.”

“(When we meet) the main thing is students should be somewhat prepared, have an idea and a theme. We end up having to rush things if I just have notes and not a sketch (to take back to the plant).”

“I’m a huge movie fan. I have a big collection,” he said of his more than 300 DVDs.

So when asked what some of his favorites are, he had a difficult time narrowing them down, but here are some he named.

Best comedy: National Lampoon’s Animal House, Out Cold and anything by Monty Python.

Best Drama/Suspense: The Usual Suspects, Seven and Rounders.

The best horror/thriller was Saw, with Lord of the Rings trilogy taking the top spot for science fiction. A film he would admit to liking is The Sweetest Thing, which is not surprising since Cameron Diaz is one of his favorite actresses. Edward Norton and Kevin Spacey are his favorite actors.

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.