Recently I had the privilege of working with George, Elma and Lindsay of Highline Design. Not only did they help me with some rebranding (so exciting!), I also created some portraits and a custom taxonomy for them.
Before we embarked on this creative adventure, I was excitedly looking forward to the outcome. I'm VERY fond of their work, and you probably are too. If there is a branding design that you like in the Flathead Valley, they probably designed it. As predicted, I was thrilled with how the entire process went on my end. I spent an afternoon with them chatting about my design inspirations and why I do what I do. From that they were able to create a logo for Field Guide Designs that truly matches my vision. They even picked the perfect colors! They might be mind readers!
It was also a fun experience bringing them into my studio. I must admit, it was a little intimidating making a tidy arrangement for graphic designers (no pressure!). Nevertheless, I feel like we created something really lovely.
So sit back, enjoy yourself, and meet the creative geniuses from Highline Design.
Tell us about your company. How many designers, where are you located, what do you do....
Highline is a full service design agency in Kalispell. We’ve been going strong since 2012, at first as George & Elma Graphic Design. With our new name and growth this year, we now have two additional graphic designers and a marketing guru (Lindsay!). We also work with various writers, photographers, fabricators and other creatives in the Valley if the project calls for it.
Our new office is currently being gutted and remodeled, but we should be all moved in by summer 2017. It’s a small historic building in downtown Kalispell that was built in the 20’s and has been a cobbler’s workshop for the last half century. As of this interview the space is a bit rough around the edges, but we see great potential. Come visit us once we’re open! If you were familiar with Glenn’s Shoe Repair, you’ll almost certainly be impressed! We’re at 136 2nd street West.
You recently changed your name from George & Elma to Highline Design. Talk about the catalyst for this change, and how you decided on your new branding?
The shift to Highline Design Company has been in the works for a while. We moved to the Flathead 5 years ago and were almost immediately drawn in by the welcoming community. In no time we were doing design work for nonprofits, then small businesses, and soon we were George & Elma, the graphic design studio. We outgrew our identity pretty quickly as we took on bigger projects and more staff. In order to better represent our national and global standards, and represent those who create work for us and with us, we decided to rename and rebrand to Highline.
What does a typical day look like for you guys : what goes on behind the scenes?
Unless we’re running off to meetings, doing press-checks, taking photos, or chatting with each other, we’re probably ticking away on our computers… Our days are filled with designing, researching, looking at paper samples, selecting color swatches, printing proofs, and wishing there were more minutes in the day. George also makes a mean latte, and keeps us thoroughly caffeinated all day.
You’ll often find us arguing over which shade of orangey-red or grayish-blue to use for a project… Or whether the typefaces we selected for a brand has strong enough serifs and flattering descenders. The devil’s in the details.
What is your favorite part of the design process?
When we start a project with a new client we get to immerse ourselves into their worlds. We get to see behind the scenes of a completely foreign industry (to us) and get to know it intimately. This is usually the first thing we do and we LOVE it.
What are you most known for- what is your specialty?
Martinis, espresso, and a few decent dance moves.
Apart from those important skills, we can whip out some pretty impressive logo and branding projects; and we very much hope to be known as some of the best designers in the region.
What has been the biggest learning experience / takeaway for you?
As designers, we get to see the inside workings of many businesses and organizations. Some clients are running big establishments with thousands of employees, shiny new office buildings and great haircuts. Others are starting their life’s dream in a one-room office with nothing but a grin on their face. We’ve learned that at the end of the day, we’re all essentially the same. We all have to start somewhere. No one knows whether their idea is a good one until you put some blood, sweat and tears into it and give it a try.
We’re continuously inspired by the energy folks have to go after their dreams!
What are your future goals?
To be a part of the growth and community development we’re seeing in Kalispell and the Flathead Valley.
And to take more vacations.
What do you prefer - color or black and white?
Black and white photography has a wonderful sincerity about it. But in the graphic design world, we love color. Every color has a story to tell and can add personality and energy to any topic.
What's your favorite symbol?
This is a tough one.
Ampersands are nice (&). But if we were going to talk about typography (I’m changing the topic to get a better grasp on things), I would say Q’s and Z’s are definitely up there. Though a nicely crafted E can be a treat.
If you could sum yourself up with historical or fictional characters- who would they be?
Nikola Tesla. We’re like mad scientists, working (often) late at night with crazed hair, coming up with ideas that you will probably think are nuts until you realize they are brilliant.
What's your favorite song to listen to while working?
There seems to be a discrepancy in music tastes in the studio. Elma likes blues (aka; dad rock), electronic and bad Euro dance music, George listens to whatever Elma’s listening to and Lindsay tends to break out into random R&B songs. We’re working on it.
GREAT NEWS! Highline Design interviewed me for a blog post! If you're interested to know a little bit more about me, the work that I do, and why - click here!
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