We blend a deep passion for Adventism with creative expertise.
We’re small, and that’s a good thing. You won’t have the A-team only showing up for proposals and presentations, because all we have is the A-team: five passionate designers, each with years of experience, harboring a curious spirit, and a love for Adventism.
With a BFA from Andrews University and an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, Mark has spent over twenty years designing for brands like Whirlpool, Herman Miller, and Johnson & Johnson. He spent eight of those years running Thesis, an award-winning design studio in southwest Michigan focusing on the contract furniture sector.
Mark brings a wealth of first-hand experience working with Fortune 500 companies on complex design challenges, and has worked strategically with in-house teams as well as globally distributed teams.
Bryan attended Pacific Union College and graduated with a BFA from Art Center College of Design. His entire career has been focused on helping Adventist ministries and organizations communicate more effectively.
Since 1986, he has worked on numerous ADRA projects, designed book covers, websites, magazines, and logos, including the official logo of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He has served as a professor of design at Montemorelos University, creative director for Review & Herald Publishing Association, and most recently at director for Liberty magazine and the Adventist Review; a role he continues to do through Types & Symbols.
Ivan graduated with a BFA from Andrews University as J.N. Andrews Honors Scholar, and has worked on editorial projects, web design, and boutique brand-agency work, spending time in a handful of award-winning creative studios. Of everything he’s ever worked on, he is most proud of the wedding that he co-wrote, designed, and performed with his brilliant and beautiful wife, Livvy.
Brett graduated with a BS in graphic design from Southern Adventist University and over the past decade he has lead a diverse range of design projects from initial concept through final production. In the studio, Brett is a bit of a Swiss Army Knife moving effortlessly from designing new brands to creating compelling digital experiences to navigating the complexities of producing monthly publications.
Ellen graduated with BFA in graphic design from Andrews University in 2010, harboring a love for editorial design and a disdain for what many were proclaiming to be the end of print. Thankfully, print is still very much a part of our lives and Ellen was able to start her career as a designer at Adventist Frontier Missions and is now focused almost entirely on editorial work for clients at Types & Symbols.
How We Work
With a focus on how design-thinking can influence every aspect of a project, we use our capabilities in research, strategy, and user-centered design to inform compelling solutions that improve the quality of Adventist experiences ranging from events to digital interactions.
We Have a Conversation
We begin every client project with a conversation. The format is simple—we gather all the key stakeholders together, ask lots of questions, and make careful notes of your answers. You understand your ministry better than anyone, and we want to get up-to-speed quickly.
We Conduct Research
The amount and type of research we conduct depends on the project, but we always try to establish objective criteria that will be used to inform design exploration and evaluation. Often, this work provides value well beyond the conclusion of the project we’re working on. Here are a few of the exercises we often go through with our clients. If you would like to learn more about any of these, please contact us.
- Brand Tone
- Onliness Statement
- Trueline and Tagline
- User Interviews
Now we get to the part we love: we play, explore, iterate, and craft, drawing on our decades of experience and our familiarity with the Adventist audience.
We always present multiple solutions, but we never include anything we don’t think will work well.
For branding projects we present each concept within the context of real world applications (e.g. business cards, signage, websites, social media profiles, etc) so we can demonstrate how all the brand ingredients will work together (logo, color, type, imagery, etc).
Are We a Good Fit?
We typically begin new client relationships around strategic initiatives. Our clients think of us as partners to help think through big hairy problems, and provide creative solutions.
Minimum Level of Engagement
Our focus on strategic design means the time required to begin working with a new client typically requires at least a $5,000 initial investment. This ensures we have time to establish an understanding of your existing brand, your long-term goals, and your audience, which serves as a foundation for a long-term partnership. After this work has been done we are in a much better position to execute efficiently on smaller projects on an as-needed basis.
One additional factor we consider when thinking about a good fit is the breadth of what we will be able to accomplish together. We find that we add the most value to ministries that are in a position to invest at least $20,000 in design fees over a 12-month period. This isn’t a magic number—and it doesn’t determine whether or not we work together—but it does indicate that an organization has taken seriously the need to rethink fundamental aspects of their brand, and has budgeted appropriately to ensure dramatic results.
Reasons to Work with Us
- You’re facing a big challenge and know you need to do something, but don’t know what that is
- You’re a forward-thinking organization that values design and is seeking to communicate effectively with a design-conscious audience
- You want to work with a studio that knows both Adventism and design at a high-level
- You want to fundamentally re-think the way your organization works and would like to engage design-thinking to help
- You need help crafting a pitch or proof of concept for key stakeholders
- You’re looking for strong creative direction, leadership, and perspective
- You’re looking for a long-term, multi-disciplinary creative partner that can work alongside your internal team or help them improve their skills
Reasons to Work with Someone Else
- You’re not interested in a long-term relationship
- You’re shopping around for the lowest price
- You know exactly what you want and “just need a designer” to execute
Questions? Comments? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use this handy form.