You’ll never hire a design firm upon making a brief visit to the web site. We know that. But while you’re here searching for a project that might inspire you to give us a call, here’s something you should know: our average current client relationship is about eight to ten years. Since 1996, we have relentlessly focused on establishing and maintaining the trust of our clients, always pursuing a mutual understanding of the goals and objectives. It takes experience to know how to listen carefully— to make something that is creative and unique, but also gets results.
Most of the jobs I had during the summer in high school and college were graphic design gigs of one kind or another, so I've been doing this sort of thing for quite a while. I spent my first two years in college studying architecture, but ended up with a BA in art history—both of which tended to help me understand what makes things work visually. I almost double-majored in English, so writing and literature have always been important to me, as well. I think I was probably the one and only male sophomore who thought Pride and Prejudice might be a more masterful study of human emotion than Star Wars or Apocalypse Now.
Seven years in New York working in the art department of a large printing company (functioning more or less as the art director for most of that time) helped me hone my skills as a designer, but also taught me about art production in the real world. After a couple of years in Los Angeles doing freelance for all kinds of companies (agencies, manufacturers, some corporate work), Ken and I ran into one another at a job in the City of Industry. From that meeting, Dog Ear was hatched.
We've been creating solid work for all kinds of clients for more than 15 (!) years now, so apparently things have worked out. Ken and I share a lot of the conceptual heavy lifting, but after that my tendencies lean a bit more toward the art direction and production management side of things. Throw in some writing and editing for good measure. Now that we've moved into a larger space with a bit more room to stretch out (old space: claustrophobic), I feel confident we’ll be able to add capacity while still delivering the high level of service our clients have come to expect.
My grandfather taught me the importance of art in the world. I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts and spent most of my free time with him. He was retired and lived about a mile from us, up a long gravel road. Here was a guy who spent 45 years working as an engineer, retires to the country, picks up a brush and starts painting landscapes and portraits of my grandmother around the house. But, at the same time -- true to the engineer within — he used to tell me stories about how rewarding it was to spend a life building things that had a purpose. Things that worked.
I developed a love for both fine art and building things. In high school I painted large abstract murals, but I also formed an interest in technical drawing and anything related to cars. My BA is in product design—that seemed like the perfect combination of art and engineering. Form and function.
After working as a furniture and car designer for three short years, I met Ross Waldorf in 1994. We had obvious mutual interests, got along immediately, and particularly enjoyed long lunches of cheap Chinese food. Sharing ideas about art, design, and life in general, it was clear we were kindred spirits. The lunches ultimately led to Dog Ear Design, and in 1996 we formed a partnership.
The thing about Dog Ear is, it’s still fun after all these years. The journey from a blank sheet of paper to the finished product is as rewarding and exciting as it was when we were just starting out. For 15 years we’ve been working closely with clients, forming many long-lasting partnerships. It’s the collaborative nature of these partnerships that has made Dog Ear a success. That, and remembering to have a few laughs along the way.
Web videos are popping up all over the Internet. All of a sudden everybody seems to be doing it. Organizations large and small are utilizing this on-demand resource to deliver attention getting, concise, clever and on-target messages to clients and potential clients the moment a need or a question arises. Sometimes they make you laugh, other times think or consider, but at their best, web videos can tap emotions and responses like few other focused communications tools.
As with all recent media changes, just thinking about a transition can bring on the paralysis of, “How do I do this?” Obviously, no one is going scrap their existing marketing and budget commitments to adopt the latest medium. But, how do you get your toe in the water of this new electronic pool with greatest effect?
Fear not. Dog Ear can help you leverage this medium through creative planning, audience analysis and message design. We can help you integrate web video with existing marketing pieces and budgets to stay ahead of the curve and the competition without overreaching. Just ask, we’ll show you how.
I’ve spent most of my professional life in the non-profit world – mostly with arts, cultural and educational institutions – for two important reasons: compelling stories and deep, abiding relationships. All businesses need to be able to tell their stories effectively, of course; and we know that relationship-building is important for any business to succeed. But there’s something so powerful about working with a group of people who are driven by their shared values, and the desire to leave the world just a little better in some way: a little more beautiful, a bit less impoverished, a lot better educated.
As a staff member (at South Coast Repertory, UCI School of Fine Arts, Marlborough School, Long Beach Museum of Art, and Vistamar School, among others) and now as a consultant, I’ve been privileged to help some extraordinary institutions engage their constituents more deeply and secure the resources to grow and evolve through capital campaigns ranging from $5 million to $35 million. I love helping staff and board members articulate and realize their visions with strategic planning, board and volunteer training, and effective story-telling that inspires constituents to action. When I met the guys at DogEar more than twelve years ago as their client, it quickly became clear that the work we did together transcended the work we were doing individually…and a terrific collaboration was born. It’s not just that we have complementary skills – though we do – it’s that we all love a good story, especially in service of a great organization, where we can see the results generated by our collaboration.
My printing background extends back 20 years, originally specializing in business forms and labeling. The industry itself has evolved and become much more exciting for me. No longer am I simply shipping printed products to an end-user—I’m now actively involved in the entire advertising process of creating printed pieces and guiding them to their final mail targets. Clients rely upon my strengths in availability and accountability. They know that they can count on me to get immediate updates and answer questions. My goal is to make everything as hassle-free as possible. My printing knowledge within the private and public school fundraising industry is extensive. Allow me to help you chose the best paper stocks and press runs to cost effectively balance your budgets. I can manage your mail lists for you and even find cost reductions in the form of postal discounts. I’ll help you find the right promotional product to showcase your school.
In 1986, just of high school, I launched the first of several companies, a graphic design studio. Ten years later marked a new beginning, the transition to retail software and the web at a time when the commercial Internet was still in its infancy. While at Nova Development (acquired by Avenquest® Software), I formed and managed one of the earliest web departments. I was later promoted to Creative Director, then Product Manager and eventually finished my career there as Director of Strategy & Planning. During my 6 years as a key strategist and planner, I launched over a dozen top-selling retail titles.
Sensing a shift in the marketplace, in 2002 I successfully moved from desktop software to full-time web development, founding my second company. Several years later we were considered a leader in emerging technologies with proven track record of delivering effective technology and content solutions to a wide audience. Our expertise extended across product cycle from concept, design, planning, programming, leadership to marketing. And our clients included Fortune 500 companies, health care, nonprofits, start-ups, and professional services. It was during this time that I was introduced to Ken and Ross and a strategic partnership was formed that continues to this day. Along with my ongoing work with Dog Ear Design, I currently serve as CTO/CIO at an LA-based pharmaceutical company.