Select Page

Cat Herder. Velvet Sledgehammer. Studio Sensei. Our team has grown!

We’re proud to welcome David McIntosh, our new Studio Manager!

First, shame on us for not having any news posts all year. It make it seem as though our year has been uneventful, or (gasp) boring. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s been a very full year with lots of fun work for great clients. Who knows, one day we may even update our portfolio. No promises.

But this isn’t a post about portfolios, or clients or our inability to update the website. No, this is a post celebrating and introducing our new Studio Manager, David McIntosh. He’s likely to be a familiar face to many Richmond-area creatives. He’s a staple of the local design scene, serving on the Richmond AIGA Board as, well, just about everything from Membership and Programming to Vice President and President.

We’re incredibly excited to have David join us and look forward to improving service to our clients with more work, better work and faster work. We decided to pick David’s brain to help introduce him to everybody.


How did you get your start in design?
My first design job was at a small environmental graphic and signage firm, primarily working with way finding systems in large corporate and federal campuses. After that, I started with an established and growing brand and design firm, where I learned in the creative trenches and in front of the client. It was a tremendous opportunity to participate in the process of creation and in the process of presenting. That’s one thing in school they don’t teach you; effectively communicating your ideas is just as important as the ideas themselves.

Are there any design styles that resonate more with you?
There’s not a particular style, but I am drawn to bold things, whether that be an unexpected use of type or color that pops off the page or a twisty, elaborate illustration. In the visually frenetic world, the simplicity of using one item as your hero is a classic approach that never goes away.


What do you consider essential to the creative process?
I think understanding is critical to the process. In communication design, a challenge is presented and a solution is recommended. The designer must investigate all aspects of the challenge: the landscape and players in the situation, the intended goals and desired outcome of the client, and the implications of their recommendations.

Who are some of your heroes (doesn’t have to be limited to the design industry)?
In terms of design heroes, I admire the work of Saul Bass, Alfred Hitchcock, Milton Glaser, Doyald Young, Paul Rand. But I like to follow modern artists too, like Sean Adams, Sagmeister and Walsh, and Design Army, and companies who are using design thinking to solve problems, like IBM, Tesla, and Google.

I think heroism can go beyond accomplishments, though. I like to watch for those little things people do every day that are heroic, like sticking up for someone taken advantage of or helping a stranger who just spilled their coffee. Sounds ridiculous, but a little human kindness is always heroic.


You’ve been a staple of the Richmond design community for some time. What are your thoughts on the city’s creative potential and output? How has it changed?
The creative talent has always been in Richmond, but design and creativity are much more in the spotlight, from both communal and business perspectives. When you have as many people making things as we do in Richmond, there are countless options to explore. The perpetual supply of creativity fuels itself, and continues to form this expansive maker community. That shift in energy, less about preserving the old and more about building the new, is uplifting.

What’s your ideal way to pass the time outside of the studio?
I enjoy running, tennis, movies, and exploring new food and drink options in Richmond. It may sound crazy, but I get a strange satisfaction from picking weeds. Yardwork can be very therapeutic. I like gardening in general, but this quiet little act of violence in the name of protecting the other more desired plants, makes me feel like a horticultural hero.


You’re coming onboard to grease the wheels of the 903 design machine. What should we expect from the new & improved 903?
My goal is that clients won’t see a change in the quality of work or the thoughtfulness put into each project, that the work produced not only continues, but grows. And grows in depth and scope of projects. In the iconic words of French music duo Daft Punk, 903 will now be harder, better, faster, stronger.


Do you have a logo, print, or web design project that could benefit from a few pair of trained eyes? Get in touch to see how we can help. Or, give us a call at (804) 829-0903 and help us welcome David to the team.