We’ve gone to great lengths to assemble a team that has extensive experience in marketing and advertising small businesses, especially in the green industry. Collectively, we probably have over 50 years of experience in small business marketing. Our award-winning designers have worked for us for a long time. That’s because we’ve created an environment that promotes creativity. We look after them, so they’ll look after you. Simple. Many of our staff have worked for much larger Madison Avenue advertising firms, but prefer the personal touch that only a small business advertising agency can bring to their clients.
The question should be rephrased. Perhaps ‘What don’t you do?’ would be more appropriate. I’m the owner, CEO, Creative Director, personnel director, yadda yadda yadda; I’m the one working 80 hours per week for very little pay. Unless of course, it’s striped bass season or cycling racing season, in which case, I only work 40 hours a week. But, seriously, I’m the one overseeing what all these creative folks do here, and making sure everything lives up to my high expectations. Generally, my day consists of talking to clients, working on their projects—and coordinating and developing branding for small businesses.
As a teenager, I started out hand lettering trucks and pinstriping cars. I was always fascinated with typography, so I went to college to study advertising and graphic design. A lot of this firm’s original work was rooted in vehicle advertising. And of course, logos and branding have been a passion of mine since my younger days. It still remains my favorite type of work. Show me a logo, and chances are I’ll be able to show you ten things wrong with it. None of ours, of course, have anything wrong with them. :)
After building the brands of over 500 small businesses, that’s really hard to say. But I will say that branding small businesses, and making them look big, reputable and professional, still remains my favorite part of my work. We’ve taken small lawn care companies and made them look like a national chain. That’s fun – and at the same time, very rewarding when our efforts yield them substantial results.
I’m very proud of building this firm from the ground up, and of the work we do here and how it helps our clients grow their business. I’m also proud of this super-creative team I’ve assembled. And the two logo design books that I wrote are a professional accomplishment that is very significant for me. There’s also a tremendous amount of satisfaction in knowing that we’ve helped over 500 small businesses market and grow. Nothing makes me happier than to hear about how our work has helped them close a sale. And the recent pro bono work we’ve been able to do is also quite rewarding. And on a personal note, last year, I caught a 38-pound striped bass, and I placed well in a few bicycle races.
I love spending time with my wife and my three daughters – twin 12 year olds, and a toddler. You may have already surmised that I love saltwater fishing. I also love road biking and racing (I’m a Cat IV road racer). I race on a team with a great bunch of guys from Liberty Cycle in Basking Ridge, NJ, but I think they just let me race with them to feel better about themselves!
A little bit of everything. That’s what I love about working here. I work on everything from logo design, stationery design, web sites and print ads. I’m also responsible for coordinating and managing the creative people here, as well as design and project management.
I have always had an interest in art, specifically drawing. It wasn’t until college that I started to incorporate computers into my creativity. I attended RIT and received a BFA in Graphic Design. After graduating, I relocated to NJ and began my career here. I haven’t been able to find any better jobs, so I’ve stayed since then. (Kidding, of course!)
My favorite portfolio piece so far is A. Bonadio & Sons Landscaping. They are a Massachusetts-based landscape contractor that came to us to get a new brand identity for the business, including logo design, pocket folders, stationery pieces and web site. I designed their stationery and pocket folder, and worked with Sarah on the web site design. Their whole package is very impressive.
When I’m not working, I’m spending time with my husband and son dreaming up our next big home renovation plans. I also like to ski, cook, and work on my golf game.
I wear a few hats. I spearhead the strategic forefront to align the client’s objectives and challenges so that the we can bring tactical creative solutions to the table. Every client is unique. As such, I devise calculated plans that leverage their specific budget in the most effective and appropriate channels so that their advertising dollars can work harder for them, and not the other way around. I also manage the day-to-day responsibilities of the accounts to ensure seamless delivery from ideation to production.
I’ve always had a passion for people, creativity and problem solving; so naturally the world of advertising seemed appropriate. I get great satisfaction from helping my clients prevail over challenges through inventive and strategic initiatives. But I get even more gratification when these efforts help my clients’ businesses thrive in their respective industries. I’ve worked for some of NYC’s largest advertising agencies, and now I’ve put my experience and expertise to the test to help the clients here.
Strawberry Blossom embodies the type of project that I find tremendous enjoyment in, because it is a perfect case study on how building a unique identity for a small business has a huge impact on their bottom line. I get joy from providing tactical and budget-efficient planning for a client that not only serves them in the short run, but also helps them to succeed in the long run. Their success is my success.
I am very proud of receiving accolades as a Division 1 Field Hockey player at Quinnipiac University. Playing at this caliber has taught me a lot about hard work, discipline and ethics; all of which have enabled me to succeed in my professional life. This strong foundation has been a catalyst to my success in the highly competitive NYC advertising industry, and has given me the great opportunity to work at Young & Rubicam and mcgarrybowen, two of the most prestigious agencies worldwide.
I enjoy spending my time in the great outdoors known as Northern NJ. I feel very blessed to live in an area where the possibilities are endless and everything is within an arm’s reach: lakes, hiking and camping. I am game for any challenge and anything that fits the bill of adventure and spontaneity. I will try anything at least once.
I make our websites pretty. Basically that means using Photoshop, Flash (the animation technology that you seen in our sites), and whatever other ingredients are necessary to design an amazing website. Once the design concept is complete and approved by the client, I chop them up and put Flash into them so that the rest of the team can move forward and make the sites do what they’re supposed to! I am also, on occasion, the resident photographer.
I was first exposed to a primitive web design program in my Canadian high school–and although it had serious limitations, I fell in love with the process. Since the web didn’t progress to having a lot of rich content at that point, I found that none of the college programs I looked into fit what I wanted to do. After finishing a desktop publishing program, I got into a Web Developer program that focused on the end application of sites while neglecting the design side. As luck would have it, though, a classmate lent me a copy of Photoshop and I immediately began to see how this powerful program could make all the ideas in my head happen.
I built a small portfolio of sites for friends and neighbors – which bought me a graphic design position straight out of college with a prominent Ottawa agency. A year later I resigned to become a freelancer, and was self-employed for four years before signing on here–where I have spent the past 5 years. The team really complements what I do and makes my sites be as functional as they are “pretty.”
It is really hard to pick one. A couple that I like are David Ash Landscape Contractors, and Strawberry Blossom. Mainly I love the sites that make people feel like they’ve had an “experience.” The web is capable of a lot more than a brochure – so why not stretch it to it’s limits?
In life? Having children. I guess as far as work goes, I’m most proud of how the clients respond to my work. I think it’s a big accomplishment to have a client throw vague ideas at you and be able to come back with something that they love. I’m also proud of having mastered quite a few different styles on the web. I think I’ve covered everything from clean to grunge, modern to retro, traditional to quirky. Stay tuned though – there are lots of other things I want to accomplish. Philippians 4:13!
Entertain my children, who are the most lovable characters in the world so luckily it’s more like fun than work! I love the outdoors, preferably if I’m in it with my husband, daughter and son, and my camera. I love camping, hiking, canoeing, exploring: pretty much anything that involves fresh air and a reasonable amount of sanity (no – I’m not into the extreme stuff). I also love traveling – the farther away the better. Photography has been my recreational distraction for as long as I can remember. I shoot pretty much anything and everything. I also love listening to and playing play piano and guitar, occasionally acting as my church’s pianist. Other than that… eating a home cooked meal with my family. I LOVE good food.
I take care of slicing and dicing our creative layouts into standards compliant semantic structures. This helps ensure our clients have the most user-friendly and search engine-friendly sites they possibly can. I live and breath CSS. I’m also our go-to person for implementing search engine strategy, adwords management, and all things search engine related. Me and Google are pretty tight.
I have always been interested in web design and development since the mid 90’s when all of this craziness first started. I spend the majority of my time keeping up with the trends and styles of today’s leading sites, and went to school for Graphic Design and Animation.
Of course, web-related projects. I enjoy taking complex layouts and making them functional and optimized for the big search engines. I love seeing the results of my search engine work for our clients, and helping their businesses achieve online success.
An accomplishment that I am proud of is the perseverance I kept throughout my journey into the design world. So many people have attempted to discourage me by warning me of the competitiveness. Working here will certainly lead me to many more great accomplishments, and I feel blessed to be part of such a creative team here. We all feed off of each, and it’s a great environment to be around.
There is such a thing as no work? If it is baseball season I will be in NYC at the Yankee games watching the best team win, or spending my time with my girl friend and friends traveling around having a good time.
Mostly I deal with designing (or re-designing) logos. I create custom illustrations, lettering, and icons, and basically try to do my part to make our clients look better than the competition. I’m also responsible for a lot of the logos that use custom typography, or hand-drawn scripts.
I also get a lot of redesign and rebranding jobs. We like to joke about how often these logos are developed by the nephews and nieces of our clients ‘who are really good at drawing’ – but in reality, it doesn’t happen too frequently. Although we’re regularly surprised about the branding choices some clients have made prior to hiring us!
Too often, existing fonts are limited – so it’s great to be able to offer our clients that service as part of many the logos we create. I also do some stationery designs, and designs for vehicles.
I grew up in the industry and basically started at an early age hanging around (and later working at) my dad’s graphics business, where I learned first how to draw. Then, I learned the skills necessary to put my designs in digital form. What started as designing logos for fictitious companies, just for fun, has since evolved into creating award-winning logo designs for real clients. With over 1000 logos under my belt, there probably isn’t a business type that I haven’t designed a logo for.
I would have to say the Royal Crown Dairy logo is the one I’m most proud of at this point. I’m a sucker for nostalgia and design styles from the past, and the amount of work involved in taking the piece from a rough pencil sketch to a finished design really paid off–especially when I got to see the finished product on everything from brochures to vehicle graphics to magazine pages.
So far it has really thrilled me whenever a project I have been involved in is recognized by awards or publication, which I hope thrills our clients as well. I also feel privileged to work with designers of the caliber found at GDS who go the extra mile to create truly unique and outstanding designs for their clients, and who continue to inspire me with their talents.
Let’s see … right now I enjoy learning Spanish, oil painting, playing keyboards in a band, geeking out about tech stuff (mostly stuff from Apple), and spending quality time with my wife and two dogs.
I compose the words that go with the GDS team’s amazing designs. Basically, that means I write taglines, web content, brochures, sales copy, newsletters and social media content that communicate the essentials of your business: who you are, what you do—and why customers should trust you to get the job done. I love working as a consultant with GDS, because I’ve seen firsthand how compelling copy, strategic branding and award-winning design combine to make a big impression on target audiences.
I’ve always been kind of a word-nerd, and that’s why I pursued journalism and communication in college. Writing is really a passion for me. I’m committed to convincing clients that what they say—on their web site, in their newsletter or on their blog—really does matter. Because when your business speaks well, it converts onlookers to loyal customers. It’s my job to create the words that make that happen.
It’s really hard to choose a favorite project type, because I enjoy them all. The cool thing about my job is that I’m always learning something new. In a given week, I write about dozens of topics—from landscaping to technology. If I had to choose a favorite type of writing, though, it would have to be web-related work. I love creating SEO-friendly content to go with GDS’s stellar designs, and I love communicating with business audiences through innovative social networking platforms like Twitter, Facebook and blogging.
I love my work, and am blessed to be at GDS. Outside of writing, family and faith are my anchors. I enjoy spending as much time as possible with my husband and two boys—from camping and hiking to attending church and playing board games. We especially love all-things outdoors, whether it’s sunny or snowing. I’m also an avid fitness fan. In my spare time, I teach Pilates, cardio and weight training classes. Heading to the gym is a great way to conquer writer’s block.
I work on developing and maintaining your brand with the entire creative team. You may catch me working on anything from a stationery sets and brochures to website development and planning. I also manage many projects as well as provide the overall art direction and brand implementation across different media.
After years of illustrating wildlife in watercolor and pen & ink, I became interested in sequential art during high school. This interest grew into a love of digital illustration through Photoshop, and then to higher pursuits in graphic design. I graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from Wayne State University in 2005, and an MA in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010. For the last several years, I have been managing print, web, product, and brand identities as an independent agent for a wide variety of local businesses and nonprofits. I look forward to realizing more exceptional concepts with Graphic D-Signs.
I enjoy a little of everything, but really enjoy managing a project from beginning to end.
If I am not at the keyboard, I may be found in any odd number of particulars: sketching in pen and painting in watercolor, hiking or hitting the gym, cycling (if I can figure out where to ride in NJ), reading and weaving a nonsense of words, playing the violin and flute–and could likely survive on listening to podcasts (NPR, HowStuffWorks, TypeRadio, the MacCast, MacBreak Weekly, MacGroup, PhotoshopUserTV, and many more).
I do a little bit of everything here, from working on logos to designing web sites. I’m also involved in the coding and programming of sites, and making beautiful CSS. In addition, I do a fair amount of print design, and work on giving our clients a seamless look on their web site as well as brochures and stationery.
Although I am an athlete at heart, my mother encouraged me to do something that would not require the hospital. It is not like six knee surgeries, one shoulder surgery, five concussions, and countless broken bones while in high school is that big of deal. Needless to say I was stuck in my room most of high school, which is when I found my love for graphic design.
After that, I decided to go to Vo-Tech in high school and further my education by going to college (Kutztown University). As a freshman in college I was designing packaging for Just Born Candy which produces Peeps, Mike & Ikes, Zours, Peanut Chews, and Hot Tamales. The last two years of college I interned for a Philadelphia agency and designed internally for the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers. Somewhere in there I also fell in love with designing and coding websites. Never did I think my mom yelling at me for always being hurt would take me so far.
My favorite project is when a new company gives me full creative freedom to do what I think is best for them. I love seeing my projects carried through from identity and branding to the web. A project with a happy client is always nice, too.
If I am not glued to my computer chair, blasting my music, designing, and spending endless hours on the web, I may be found: watching the Flyers, Eagles, and Phillies (not the Yankees), playing lacrosse, running, gym, mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, traveling, hanging out with friends, and watching the annoying little sister play soccer.
I am an all-around web developer tasked with making sites come alive. With my trusted sidekicks Danny and Craig, we take web development to a new level. I have yet to reach my peak and I will be looking forward to making some amazing sites for our clients.
Ever since I could use a computer, I would teach myself how to use media and graphic design software. I always felt a thrill in showing my friends what I could make. I grew up in the age of web advancements, so naturally I was drawn to web development. I went to the Art Institute of New York City where I studied web design and interactive media. During my time there, I learned SEO techniques, navigation and design styles and how to optimize sites for quick loading times. Now it’s time to show the world what I can do.
I like projects where I can take parts of sites and make them interactive. I enjoy implementing new technologies, into web sites – such as unique navigation styles, or content loading and formatting. I love CSS3 transformations, jQuery plugins, and hopefully a client will be in need of some HTML5 video tags or music players. The more media the better – that’s what I always say!
I am most proud of following my dreams of being a web developer. I know that I have far to go in mastering my craft, but I feel like I have accomplished a lot being a young developer. I plan to learn many more advanced programming languages and one day create the next big social media site. Watch out Zuckerberg!
When I’m not at work, I’m usually at home, which is just down the block – literally! I love music and enjoy producing music in my home studio. I also love snowboarding, jet skiing, and playing basketball. I recently got my motorcycle license and plan on doing a lot of road trips on the weekends. I also enjoy going on fun adventures with my girlfriend of 5 years (I know she would grill me if I didn’t mention her!)