by: Lisa Slagle
Luke Mehall is the man. He writes. He climbs. A lot of times, he writes about climbing. When he is not getting rad on rocks, Luke is the editor and publisher of The Climbing Zine and the author of Climbing out of Bed. He is also one of my most entertaining clients-- our phone meetings always involve a lot of ideas, laughter, and the occasional story about the Gunnison Valley. Here, Luke answers 10 Questions from Wheelie Creative about rock climbing and graphic design.
Name: Luke Mehall
Company: Benighted Publications
Job Title: Publisher
Location: Durango, Colorado
Wheelie Creative: What is The Climbing Zine, and what does it do?
Luke Mehall: The Climbing Zine is first and foremost, a zine, which means its a creative writing based outlet for something a little bit different than any other climbing publication. We also have a website (thanks to Wheelie Creative Design) that has the same focus on featuring well told, interesting stories related to climbing.
WC: What is your job within The Climbing Zine and Benighted Publications?
LM: I'm the publisher and the editor.
WC: Does that mean you are a badass climber?
LM: My Mom thinks so.
WC: Thought so. What are some projects you have worked on with Wheelie Creative Design?
LM: Lisa at Wheelie Creative Design has designed three book covers for me, redesigned our original website (www.climbingzine.com), and built a brand new website that we launched this spring.
WC: Why do you think a good website is important to the success of The Climbing Zine (or any business for that matter)?
LM: It's something people notice if you don't have a good website these days, so it's basically a no-brainer. If your website is up to date, people notice more now than ever. It's expected. Wheelie Creative Design helps us keep up with the times, by offering a user friendly, appealing website.
WC: What is your favorite part about working with Wheelie Creative Design?
LM: Lisa's commitment to creativity. She's not just someone I hire to do graphic design work, or to build a website, I rely on her to see what she thinks of "off the wall" ideas, because at the core of our mission is to remain creative and to avoid being stagnant or boring.
WC: What do you love more-- rock climbing, or this interview?
LM: Rock climbing, but I must say these are some good questions :)
WC: What have you learned from working with designers?
LM: If they are on the same creative space as I am we can work through the inevitable trials and tribulations of doing business, if not, I'm better off finding someone I vibe with.
WC: What are some upcoming projects or events at The Climbing Zine?
LM: We have just released our fifth volume, The Dirtbag Issue, and our first book, Climbing Out of Bed (with cover designed by Wheelie Creative Design). On the horizon is a fall book tour for Climbing Out of Bed, and another book, Climbing Out of the Bathtub, more tales of freedom.
WC: What is your advice to other companies when hiring a designer?
LM: Find someone who not only does professional work, but a person who you get along with, and can have a conversation with, even if it is not about a project you're working on!
By: Lisa Slagle
Western Nephrology is one of my favorite clients. Their company mission is to provide the highest quality, compassionate medical care for patients with kidney disease. About a year ago, Wheelie Creative and Western Nephrology started working together on a corporate rebrand and new website. The website ended up being huge, brimming with helpful information ranging from meal options for dialysis patients to patient testimonials. The rebrand included new letterheads, announcement cards, typography, and marketing materials. The results have been very well-received by their patients and staff alike, and I am very proud of the new marketing collateral I created for them. This morning, I asked West Neph marketing wizard, Amy Nesbitt, a few questions about her experiences working with a designer. Check out her answers below:
Wheelie Creative: What does Western Nephrology do?
Amy Nesbitt: We are a physician group specializing in kidney care with multiple locations across the greater Denver Metro Area.
WC: What is your job within Western Nephrology?
AN: I'm the Marketing and Outreach Coordinator. I handle all the marketing, social media, and physician relations.
WC: From working with you all year, I know that you love your job. How did you get into marketing?
AN: After college, I moved overseas and fell into marketing for an agency marketing company in New Zealand. I knew it was something I really enjoyed.
WC: What are some projects you've personally worked on with Wheelie Creative Design?
AN: Our website and rebranding, all of which have been extremely successful for us.
WC: What is your favorite part about working with a designer?
AN: I really like that I can think creatively and collaborate with you, and we can come up with solutions that appeal to a large market audience. It is a more relaxed, fun atmosphere for me because design is so creative.
WC: What have you learned about working with a designer over the past year?
AN: Communication is imperative! You can't expect someone to be on the same page with you unless you tell them exactly what's on that page.
WC: Very well-said. Why do you think design is important to Western Nephrology?
AN: Without a designer, there's no true way to communicate to our audience who we really are. By incorporating a designer to show our patients who our physicians are, and who we are as a company, our patients can relate to us. And that's what it's all about-- helping our patients instantly relate to us.
WC: What are some upcoming projects and events at West Neph?
AN: We are adding another physician to our staff, which is exciting. We are looking into more and newer advertising opportunities, and of course, we are in the very first phases of our biggest internal event of the year, our annual holiday party.
WC: Last question--- What is your advice to other companies when hiring a designer?
AN: You need to have a personal connection with your designer. You'll be interacting with your designer more than you think you will, so it is really important to have a positive connection with them. A lot of companies think they will hire a designer, tell them to make something happen, and then it's done, but in my experience, it becomes a long-term relationship as your company grows and continually creates new projects.
Thank you Amy!
For more information on Western Nephrology and to view their website, please visit www.westneph.com
by: Lisa Slagle
Featured Story: 10 Questions with ColoRADogs, Fort Collins, CO
Name: Nancy (Pants) Tranzow
Location: Fort Collins
Job Title: Founder/President/ Head Crazy
1. What does ColoRADogs do?
We are a rescue, advocacy, education and outreach organization. We rescue all breeds but our focus is on “Pit Bull” type dogs. We advocate for breed neutral laws, educate about responsible ownership and reach out to at need communities to provide resources to dog owners so they can keep their buddies.
2. Well that's rad. What is your specific role within the company?
I’m the Founder/President and head crazy of the group. I am the go to girl and where the buck stops. I am in charge of getting out our message, fielding inquiries and coordinating rescues, especially in the case of cruelty/fighting cases. I am also in charge of making my Board feel supported and cheering them on as they do amazing jobs in their roles.
3. What projects have you worked on with Wheelie Creative Design?
Our branding, cards, brochures and getting great advice about wording and communication.
4. What has been your favorite part about working with a designer?
They know their job and are professionals at what they do. I did not have to worry about that aspect of our organization and my design is unique to us, noticeable, and isn’t some lame self-developed logo that is obvious that a non-professional developed it.
5. What have you learned about design or working with a designer?
That they are worth every penny! A designer can help bring your organization to the next level through personal branding that shows the public who YOU are.
6. Why or how do you think design is important to ColoRADogs?
Because we work with Pit Bulls, and often fighting victims, our logo needed to be welcoming, fun and cartoonish which is what our dogs are despite what their past is. People KNOW who we are through our logo and it has helped make us more approachable and brought a lighthearted aspect to a sometimes difficult endeavor.
7. What upcoming projects or events are happening at ColoRADogs?
We are in the process of finishing a “mini-barn” so we have a place for dogs to decompress while they wait for fosters. We are at local dog related events and will be participating at the first annual Colorado Mountain Dog Festival. We are also working to develop laws to present to area councils where BSL is present in order to try to replace them with breed neutral legislation.
8. How can people get involved and help more dogs?
We need people to become more educated about Pit Bulls and how abused they are as a breed instead of the usually “monster” myths. But for all dogs, consider fostering for a group if you have room. If not, donate what you can. Make sure they are reputable. Ask to walk a dog. If you have a neighbor who is struggling, help them out so they can keep their dog with them. Sponsor the cost of a spay/neuter. The way to truly make a difference is to keep dogs out of the shelter and in their original homes with people who love them. But, money always helps. It is our biggest struggle to keep funding coming in.
9. What is your favorite aspect of running a non-profit?
We are helping people and dog, and making a difference one pup at a time. Nothing feels better than saving lives and changing hearts and minds…nothing!
10. What's your advice to other companies when hiring a graphic designer?
Look at their previous work. Make sure you “click” and that you communicate well with each other. Find the designer that does the type of work that fits your company and finally, appreciate them and PAY them well. People look at artists/designers as somehow not being as valuable as say, their bookkeeper. But they are far more valuable. They will brand your company and that is a huge part of what will help you be successful. They are worth every penny! Best believe it!
Check out the ColoRADogs at: www.coloradogs.org
Wheelie Deep Thoughts
This is where we showcase fun stuff-- new work, case studies, weekly updates, job openings, and general awesomeness from members of the Wheelie Crew.
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The North Fork
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