Transitions are Hell. Change is Good.

Phil’s Song — Time to Fly

We’ve been lucky at Marketing By Design. In nearly 25 years of Joel’s and my partnership, we’ve had incredibly small employee turnover. Usually a move or a life change caused our parting, and we’ve always remained friends. Life is too short for the alternative.

Hats off to Phil Tretheway, with MbD since 2002 as a young pup. He’s become an accomplished designer, a husband, a father of two, a social media practitioner; all while remaining a solid human being.

We offer our congratulations and deep wishes for success as you, Phil, move to your new position as Director of Marketing and Communications at the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

It’s been a wonderful nine+ years, with growth, challenges, new territory that you led us into; and we appreciate it all.

Don’t be a stranger…

And we know you won’t be, because we’ll be asking you to come back and remind us how to manage the CMS!


Our Green English Alien

Isla Waite in a light-colored parka, standing inside and poking her head out from behind the door of a red telephone booth in England.MbD would like to announce that it is the proud owner of a little green alien. A very green, very English alien, named Isla Waite. Isla has been an intern for the last few months and has been working on improving her production skills under our wing.

Isla met Della while she was still in school, and took an instant fancy to MbD. Through (self-described) pestering and bribes she managed to secure an internship straight out of school, and since we would miss her out-of-tune covers of Pandora, we decided to keep her on for a little longer. Isla has been working on projects for CSPC, and the Sacramento Tree Foundation. (Check out the STF “lazy days grow here” billboard below, which will grace the city skyline in July).

Isla arrived armed with a BA Dual Major in International Relations and Media Studies, and an Associates degree in Graphic Design. Her previous life involved ordering pilots around in the skies of Europe as an Air Traffic Control Officer in the British military. A two year stint as the Operations Manager of a retail store was all she needed to convince herself to follow a brand new path, with a life-long passion…in design. We’re really happy to have her around and it’s so much fun watching our green alien grow!

Billboard with the headline, 'lazy days grow here'.

Prepping for Sandia

Lucky us. After several rounds of submitting resumes, cost sheets, and forms, were invited to make a presentation of our work to Sandia National Labs in Livermore. I love science as much as I love design, and this could be a great opportunity to work on making nerdy projects accessible. But with short notice, my loathing at making anything look good in Powerpoint, and the idea that we’d be compared with megashops in the bay area, it was a fun soul-searching process to think about who we are… just the right amount of: creative, smart, nimble, and fun.

Especially considering the notion that most in-house creative staff have to crank things out and sometimes forget when to stretch the boundaries to create a more effective result, the fact that we can stretch ‘just the right amount’ while still being fast and service-minded is a nice quality to bring to the relationship. I also realized that with them having designers on staff, our bringing ‘a vision’ and ‘art direction’ might be welcomed as a unique piece of the puzzle, beyond the regular design, production and project management.

If all goes well, we’ll be designing brochures, report covers and exhibit panels for some new smart transportation technology and other cool things that scientists are researching; things that need to be explained to policymakers, funders and the public. Wish us luck!