What got you into design?

This morning I answered a question in a FB design group I follow… “what got you into design? Hmmm.

I always liked to draw, I spent many summer vacation days drawing at our kitchen table with my cousin, but never really pursued it. Fast forward… I worked at Goodyear as a mail boy, one of my daily routes was to deliver mail to the advertising department. At that time, all the work was being done in house and by hand. No computers, no interwebs blah, blah, blah. I delivered mail very early in the morning, like 4:30am early. There was always one guy working in that department, his space was a mess. Drawings, layouts, photos, torn bits of paper, markers everywhere, but it looked so cool. One day I asked him if I could watch him lay out an ad. “You into this stuff?” At that time I wasn’t but I told him I did like to draw. I watched him a few times… finally I told him that I thought it was really interesting. He asked if I wanted to try laying out an ad. He gave me some “homework”. A picture of a tire, some content, logo, a size and told me to give him three layouts. I did. He sent me back home with another test. And finally a third. He then asked if I’d ever considered going into design. I told him I hadn’t. “You should. You’ve got an eye.”


So to answer the question from the FB group…HIM, John. He was what got me into design. He saw something in me and I never looked back. John became my mentor for many, many years, helping me tremendously until he retired. He’s no longer with us, but he will always be with me. Thank you John Suru!

This picture was when I got a new job at Goodyear… yup, in the advertising department! Different group, but still in the advertising department.

Annual Reports Don’t Need to be Boring. Part 2

TomTod Ideas is anything but boring OR typical. Their approach to what they do is simple. Uh sort of.

TomTod uses an experientially-oriented, project-based approach to giving students the skills and abilities to impact change in their world. Ranging from What If You Could a 6-12 month long experiential mentorship adventure, to our in-school collaborative What If 101, to our week-long summer Camp What If, we meet middle school students where they’re at and connect them to the wisdom, resources, and experience of adults.

Middle school students live in this unique space of intellectual ability, imaginative capacity, and passionate energy. We believe that this incredible combination is ready to unleash all sorts of wonderful ideas into the world, but often students are overlooked instead of empowered.

So when we were asked to design their 2015 annual report, we knew we had to give them anything but a typical and boring layout.

Feeding off the excitement of the students, staff, community and volunteers, we threw out the traditional and expected annual report elements and went with a bold, colorful, graphic approach. Here is a sampling of the pages we created.

Who said annual reports had to be boring?

Annual Report Spread-lo


Wake up and smell the coffee

Our friends over at Mandy Yams Coffee Company asked us if we’d be interested in developing the brand for the newly launched coffee roasters. Well, being lovers of coffee, of course we wanted to. Their Mandy Yams Facebook page has this description of the business, “MandyYams roasts high quality coffee to support nonprofits and make your taste buds happy.” We wanted to design a brand that would make your eye happy as well.

We wanted the brand to convey the process of roasting coffee bean, which if you didn’t know, start out as green and get their rich brown color from the roasting process. The color chosen for the logo concepts represented that with rich browns of varying tone. Our initial concepts were presented and one was ultimately chosen to represent Mandy Yams. Mandy Yams is “my” coffee.

We look forward to furthering the brand and exploring all it’s possibilities.






Annual Reports don’t need to be boring

People are bombarded with information everyday. Time is limited and so are attention spans. So why complicate an annual report with a long, drawn-out document. The North Canton Public Library had their story to tell about their successes in 2015. Site 14 developed a one page, easy to look at, easy to read, easy to comprehend annual report. The colors are bright and engaging and the playful, casual feel of the report is a fresh approach to doing things the traditional way.

NCPL 2015 Annual report FINAL

ChoreChaser Corporate Identity

We wanted the brand to be visually appealing and humorous (sort of) to reflect the sense of humor of the owner Vicki. We presented three logo and stationery concepts, each having a different look. The top two are shown below.

The final choice incorporated a “to-do” list and check-marks, just like someones’ actual to-do list.

The brand development, now in phase two, includes the design and development of the ChoreChaser website and other support materials. Stay tuned to see what get checked off “this” to-do list.




Ermanno’s Rebranding

We love pizza. So when we were asked to redesign the logo for Ermanno’s Legendary Pizza… we were all over it. The old logo served Ermanno’s well but it was “time for a new look,” according to Alan Frank, owner and president.


“We want and need something that’s going to bring us up to date. Can you help us?” Of course we can. Did we mention that we love pizza too? We not only designed their new logo, but took applied that new look across the board. Logo, shirts, pizza boxes, chicken boxes, menus, website redesign, banners you name it we did.