Our NewsPOSTED: February 15th, 2013
As with many people, Scott Jones’s journey to Vision Design Studio was not linear. Before he put down roots in southern Cali, Scott lived all over the US, logging a lot of time in the Jersey Shore (before the infamous TV show and people like The Situation tainted the area).
After obtaining a business degree from the University of Delaware, Scott began his career in sales, but after some convincing from a creative friend, Scott found his passion lies with words—not business. He took several writing and creative classes in both New York and LA, and ended up at Vision Design Studio as our copywriter.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Several places. I was born in northern New Jersey before moving to Louisiana near New Orleans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Fairfax County, Virginia outside DC. But no matter where we lived, I spent my summers at the Jersey Shore.
So, what brought you into this field of work? What brought you to Vision? When I was at one of the many sales jobs I’ve held over the years, one of my roommates, who was an art director at the time, suggested I look into copywriting/advertising because he thought I might have a knack for it. I took his advice and after many years and false starts, here I am. I got this gig on a temporary basis through a recruiter. They hired me permanently because I’m so fresh and so clean. At least that’s what I like to think.
What are some lessons you’ve learned while working at VDS? Don’t hold on to your ideas too tightly, because they will be changed, and that’s ok. Also, to take deep breaths.
What do you like most about working at VDS? The people are great. It’s a fun environment—hectic at times, but fun.
Tell about some of your interests/hobbies outside VDS? I love playing and watching sports. I should probably do more of the former and less of the latter. I surf and snowboard and I enjoy eating at expensive restaurants. I also enjoy cheap restaurants. Feed me!
What’s something most people don’t know about you? I rarely wear underwear, and when I do, it’s usually something unusual.
What would you most love to be doing in 10 years? Anything above ground is fine with me.
POSTED: February 8th, 2013
Keri MacDonald has been a part of the Vision Design Studio family for eight years. She came to us after graduating from The Art Institute of California — Orange County with a B.A. in Graphic Design (as did many of our designers). As the Creative Manager, it is her job to make sure that our clients are presented with designs that are professional, follow brand guidelines and are aesthetically beautiful.
Although Keri’s title may be “Creative Manager”, she is much more. She is a mother, a designer and a failed dental assistant (to our benefit). We hope that we get the pleasure of working with Keri for years in the future, so tell me “straight up now Keri do you really want to work here forever…oh, oh, oh” (wink, wink).
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? I am 31 years old. I grew up in Yorba Linda, CA. I am married and we have a baby girl. I work from home now and get to juggle work and baby — day in and day out.
What is your title at VDS? My official title is Creative Manager. I do both graphic design and production design, but my main role is pretty much “design editor”, which basically means I design-proof all projects that go out of our studio. I make sure that our projects look as professional and flawless as possible and that grid systems are used properly and colors are used correctly, as well as using the proper fonts, logos, images, etc. I am the last set of eyes before it goes to print. I have been dubbed “Eagle-Eye Keri” by some. I seem to catch the most random errors that I even surprise myself sometimes!
So, what brought you into this field of work? What brought you to VDS? Funny story. I was training to become a dental hygienist. I was doing some dental assisting while in school and I passed out during a tooth extraction. That was the moment I knew cleaning teeth wasn’t in my future. So that night, I went online and started taking a bunch of aptitude tests — desperate for direction. All the tests concluded I was to be an artist. (I should have known since I have loved art all my life.) So I looked into graphic design and immediately I knew that was what I was supposed to do. I inquired at The Art Institute of California — Orange County, took a tour, and filled out an application right then and there!
At the Graduation Portfolio Show, Carl Dene liked my work and hired me. I started out working with one other designer in an office in Carl’s house. Now we are in a large studio with more than 30 employees. I have been working here for 8 years and have loved being a part of this growing family.
What are some lessons you’ve learned while working at VDS?
- The client doesn’t always pick your favorite design. Get over it.
- Don’t overthink your work.
- Work fast and meet deadlines.
- Be honest and dependable.
What do you like most about working at VDS? The people. Without them, this job would suck. Kidding. But really, they do make the tough days so much easier to deal with. We support each other, which is something I think is very rare. Usually, there can be a lot of competition when you put talented designers together. But not here. We work together as a team on most projects and help each other out as much as possible.
Tell about some of your interests/hobbies outside VDS. I love to do collage art, DIY projects, cooking, and hiking. I am starting a veggie garden this year and am really excited to get my hands in mother earth!
What’s something most people don’t know about you? I loved loved LOVED Paula Abdul as a child. I had a watch with her on it, a wall clock, framed posters from Teen Beat magazines all up in my room (yes, I framed them), I was in her fan club, had all of her VHS and tapes… I could go on. I probably worried my parents a little. But I was 8. Don’t judge.
What would you most love to be doing in 10 years? I would love to be selling my own art in some way, shape or form. I also would love to open up an arts & crafts studio for kids. I know a lot of the arts and music programs are cut from schools because of funding and that’s just sad. Children need to cultivate their creativity as much as possible. Creativity is the foundation of success and happiness… in my opinion.
POSTED: February 1st, 2013
With a B.A. in Business Economics from UCLA, you may think that Stephanie Fung is the buttoned-up, business type – but don’t be fooled. Stephanie is one of our talented graphic designers and is trusted with designing for some of our biggest clients such as South University. Shortly after graduating from UCLA, Stephanie realized she wanted to do something in the creative realm and received her B.F.A in Digital Media from Otis College of Art & Design.
Stephanie may not be the most verbose employee at VDS, but that doesn’t mean she has nothing to say. As a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist, Stephanie is more than equipped to express herself creatively. With so many musicians in the VDS family, let’s hope we get to see a Visionary band in the near future with Stephanie at the forefront.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Los Angeles, CA.
So, what brought you into this field of work? What brought you to VDS? I started getting into art in high school, but after undergrad at UCLA, I realized I wasn’t the business-woman type. So, I went back to school and rediscovered a passion for art and design at Otis.
What are some lessons you’ve learned while working at VDS? Command Z is your friend, Fridays are Journey Fridays, and, besides being a kickass design studio, VDS has all the makings of a pretty gnarly band.
What do you like most about working at VDS? Awesome chance to explore and experiment, awesome people, and awesome coffee.
Tell about some of your interests/hobbies outside VDS? Singing, songwriting, going to shows, fashion, handmade stuffs.
What would you most love to be in 10 years? Rockstar.
POSTED: January 25th, 2013
Some of us may fear a robot apocalypse, but not Serei Sieng. By studying their habits and working on his cardio to be physically capable of surpassing that type of machinery, Serei has thought of it all. He’s even going to resurrect the good ol’ days of robot movies with his own screenplay – coming to a theater near you in 2023. You may be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with working at Vision?” – but that’s just Serei.
Serei comes from a background of lead generation and PR, but that is quite different from what he does as the Account Manager for South University. Serei is personable, a hard worker, and has an uncanny ability to reassure the clients in times of uncertainty. Maybe that’s why he’s been at Vision since 2009 – a healthy combination of customer service and robot movies.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? You can rate the quality of one’s upbringing by the programming they remember watching as a kid. And luckily for me, there probably isn’t a better decade to grow up in than the 1980s in the LBC. It was the golden age of children’s broadcasting, with wholesome cartoons like “Muppet Babies,” “Duck Tails,” and “The Smurfs,” to animated self-defense shows like “Transformers,” “GI-Joe,” “Thundercats,” and “Voltron,” and even educational programs like “3-2-1 Contact!” and “Yan Can Cook.” As a child, I was in a perpetual state of viewing ecstasy.
What’s your educational background? It’s surprising how far you can get with an upbringing based on cartoons and public broadcasting. Well, actually, looking at where I am now, that probably explains it. Before life, bills, and a career that deflated my dreams, I did eventually graduate with a BS in Marketing from Cal State Long Beach in 2004.
So, what brought you into this field of work? What brought you to VDS? I came from a lead generation background – doing media buys, national advertising, and all other things marketing for a mid-sized engineering firm in Rancho Dominguez. I also did some PR for a small company in Hollywood. Transitioning from that background to database marketing was actually shocking when I first started at VDS in 2009.
What are some lessons you’ve learned while working at VDS? I learned that one’s expertise and experience gained by working at Vision Design Studio does not transfer to the kickball field no matter how many years you’ve been here.
What do you like most about working at VDS? There are 3 things I love most about VDS: Great people (well, mostly), Great coffee (actually stopped drinking coffee in March 2012), and great Herman Miller seats (stylishly modern with lumbar support).
Tell about some of your interests/hobbies outside VDS? I enjoy discussing robot-inspired movies with anyone willing to listen, with “Terminator 2,” “Robocop,” and “Iron Giant” as my favorites and “Bicentennial Man” as my least favorite. I’ve also been working on my cardio for the last year and a half in preparation for the potential apocalypse – ya know, just in case shit goes down.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? My mom forced me to wear an assortment of corduroy pants and checkered vests while I was in elementary school.
What would you most love to be doing in 10 years? Though the quantity of robot movies have increased in recent years, the quality of these movies simply do not compare to the movies I grew up watching. There isn’t as much depth as there should be. In 10 years, I want to write my first robot movie screenplay.
POSTED: January 18th, 2013
Everyone at Vision knows that if you need something proofed, you better be nice to Starr Balmer. As our Senior Editor, almost every eBlast, website and mailer has to go to Starr before we can consider it a job well done. Her relationship with words is well deserved – she got her B.A. in Journalism from Cal State Long Beach and has a plethora of writing certificates from Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Growing up and currently living in Carson, Starr is a true SoCal native. She loves the laid-back and inviting atmosphere of the beach (and of VDS) – and she dances and cooks whenever the time allows. Also in Starr’s repertoire of achievements is a custom greeting card and candle business that she owns and operates called Bird’s Love. Let’s get to it!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? I’m 29 years old. I grew up in Carson, California. I am also the owner of a start-up greeting card/candle business called Bird’s Love (www.Birds-Love.com), which is based in Carson.
So, what brought you into this field of work? What brought you to VDS? I always had a love for writing and editing, and the location was ideal.
What are some lessons you’ve learned while working at VDS? I’ve learned that there’s never a dull moment at Vision and to embrace surprises.
What do you like most about working at VDS? THE PEOPLE and the laid-back vibe!
Tell about some of your interests/hobbies outside VDS? I love to DANCE! I also enjoy going to the beach (but I almost never get in the water; it’s too dirty); I just love the atmosphere. Soul food and Italian are my favorite types of food. I enjoy listening to old-school R&B, old-school Hip Hop, and neo-soul music. I’ve also developed a joy for cooking; my favorite meal to make is roasted lamb chops with homemade red-skinned mashed potatoes and asparagus.
What would you most love to be doing in 10 years? I would love to be traveling and running my business successfully.
POSTED: January 11th, 2013
As the Director of Client Services, Nycole Rochford is one of the original Visionaries. After getting her master’s degree in English Literature from Chapman University, Nycole was brought on at Vision Design Studio in 2006 and helped it grow from a boutique-agency to one that is now getting its footing nationally.
As a master of the English language, it is easy to see why Nycole is the go-to team member for our clients. But don’t pigeonhole her as just a baron of words; she’ll outrun you and maybe autograph your Disney book (just keep on reading, it’ll make sense).
What do you like most about working at Vision Design Studio? I’ve enjoyed watching Vision grow from a small studio (with only six of us) to a large, creative agency that is finding its place nationally. Also, Carl has hired some incredibly gifted and generous people—and I have the pleasure of working with them. I’ve made some lifelong friendships here at Vision. I will always treasure that.
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work? I’m a distance runner. I’ve completed 9 marathons and numerous triathlons and half marathons. My goal for 2013 is to run 6 half marathons. I also teach literature classes at Santiago Canyon College. I love teaching; I love literature.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? I used to work in the character department at Disneyland. I was Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pinocchio, and Alice (depending on the day of the week).
What would you love to be doing in 10 years? Running more races, continuing to teach, traveling, serving at my church … and maybe getting another degree.
POSTED: December 13th, 2012
Our annual holiday extravaganza was a success this year! With the 21st rapidly approaching, many of you may want to re-create the magic that happened that fateful night. We don’t mind – just follow the simple steps below.
Step 1: Paint the walls with chalkboard paint (just make sure your boss isn’t there).
Step 2: Let the talented creative-types trick out the walls for a “doomsy” photo backdrop.
Step 3: You’ll need props – who takes photos without fake mustaches these days?
Step 4: Leave it to the developers to create a custom Instagram App that displays photos both on screen and online.
The rest is history (hopefully not short-lived since the end of humanity may be here in a matter of days)…
Click Here to see the amazing photos that took place that night. We definitely went down swinging and swigging.
POSTED: September 28th, 2012
This will be featured in the 2012 Print Magazine Regional Design Annual in December.
This is the second James Beard House project, done in conjunction with The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes. The menu is printed on a Pearl essence paper, laser cut / scored, and zig-zag folded to create different levels when in its folded state.
POSTED: September 28th, 2012
Bella Salon of Naples in Long Beach, California wanted to celebrate their 10 year anniversary with a brand new look. At the same time, they created a blow dry bar, which we lovingly called, Blown.
The services menu was created in a manner that as it opens, speaks to the customer. By rolling the menu open into a larger square, individually displaying one panel at a time allowed us to communicate effectively.
POSTED: September 28th, 2012
Our rebrand for kollin altomare architects was nominated for site of the day by Awwwards!
POSTED: July 12th, 2011
We recently worked with The Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) to create a series of posters that highlight the many goods, services, and experiences that the businesses of Downtown offer.
The campaign, coined “Get It Here,” is creating a buzz in the Downtown district. The rolling poster reveals mount anticipation and facilitate interaction with businesses and community members alike.
Here are some pics from the fourth poster reveal at Fingerprints Music.
POSTED: July 12th, 2011
We are back! After a rather long break, but with tons of news to share!
Here’s to summer, everyone!
POSTED: April 22nd, 2011
At Vision, we love showing our co-workers how much we care. That means no birthday, wedding, bank holiday, or Thursday goes without some sort of celebration. And by celebration, I mean free food and cheesy desk decor.
I crammed our last three celebrations into one album – just read the captions, it should all make sense.
POSTED: April 1st, 2011
Dean Anthony wanted to empower its employees with tools to attract new business. So, we created a series of ad-lib-style promotional pieces, requiring a level of participation from the stylist and/or the recipient to complete the offer.
We always have a great time working Dean Anthony projects. The brand’s edge gives us the freedom to play with innuendo and wit. This time around, everything from the “How-To-Present-This-To-Your-Lady-Friend” referral card to the self-mailing letterhead was designed to help the DA stylists and estheticians reach out to new clients.
Check ‘em out:
POSTED: March 28th, 2011
Up next: the district competition, then (fingers crossed) Nationals!
Want in? Make your mark on the world’s first user-generated digital art installation here.
POSTED: March 17th, 2011
Shoreline Treatment Center
Photo + Design + Print
The Vision Team was wonderful to work with. They kept to a tight deadline and delivered a final product the exceeded our expectations.
- Rachel Levi, Shoreline Executive Director & Founder
Shoreline came to us looking to work with a fellow Long Beach-based business to update to the look of their brochure. As their main informational piece, it was important that the brochure design embodied the heart and soul of the organization.
We took some photos and worked their existing logo and copy into a fresh, new multi-fold brochure.
POSTED: March 6th, 2011
Just as the paint dried over Banksy’s pre-Oscar work in LA, another Euro street artist hit the town.
This time, it was a little closer to home.
We caught the last day of French street artist, JR’s exhibit at Phantom Galleries in Downtown Long Beach.
POSTED: March 5th, 2011
The scene: Cool, drizzly night. Irish pub, packed house. Pitchers full, pencils drawn.
I know. We think he’s pretty cool, too.
This past Wednesday, Sam and his partner in quizzical crime, Kevin Prendergast, raised the bar for LB pub quizzes with “The Big One” (a SUPER QUIZ with a four-week qualifying period and $500 minimum pot).
The winning team, Beer and Present Danger, walked away all smiles – with the infamous traveling trophy and some cold, hard cash.
If you want to get in on the action (or the money), get on out to Gallagher’s on Wednesdays (show up a little before 8pm to register your team). Quiz starts at 8pm.
POSTED: February 22nd, 2011
There’s been a buzz about The Hive winning a 2011 Addy Award from the American Advertising Federation.
When we found out, we were flattered, excited, and a little confused.
So we won, but what’s our prize? If a Clio gets you a sexy little statuette, maybe an Addy gets the office new cars? scooters? Segways for all!
We’ll just have to wait and find out.
In the mean time, check out the site and download a Hivelicious desktop wallpaper.
POSTED: February 16th, 2011
We created this outreach piece for The Art Institute of California — Orange County – and we really like it.
Purposed to provide students who’ve expressed interest in the school with information about its degree programs and surrounding area, the 14-page booklet communicates effectively while guised as eye candy.The cover and inside pages are selectively spot UV’d to highlight images and add subtle visual interest to white space. It comes in a custom sleeve and is ships in a reflective static bag.
POSTED: February 8th, 2011
Our Director of Creative Strategy, Noah Taco-holic Pollock, was serenaded for his birthday by three lovely senoritas from Los Compadres Mexican Restaurant (see previous post).
We then, almost literally, set the roof on fire with a Pop Tart “cake” (Pop Tart box with trick candles poked into it).
All aside, we wish you a Happy Birthday, Noah! We love you!
POSTED: February 7th, 2011
Los Compadres del Vision
POSTED: February 4th, 2011
It’s Journey Friday…
POSTED: December 23rd, 2010
Pajamas! Pasta! Presents!
POSTED: December 16th, 2010
The CSULB graphic design graduates are showing their portfolios in the CSULB art gallery. We went to check it out.
Let’s just say, we liked what we saw.
POSTED: December 10th, 2010
We munched, we mingled, and maybe got a little too merry. But hey, ‘tis the season! Thanks to all who came out, you made it a great night!
POSTED: November 17th, 2010
Vision Design Studio is on location in Miami!
We are conducting and filming interviews for Miami International University of Art & Design’s new master’s degree program: Design and Media Management.
Check back to see the full reel!
POSTED: November 15th, 2010
Just finished stacking, tying, and shipping the Thanksgiving Dinner menus to the James Beard House in New York.
POSTED: November 11th, 2010
Vision Design Studio and KURO Interactive can die happy.
POSTED: November 4th, 2010
Baby’s Badass Burgers came to the ZaSo Commons for lunch, today.
Serei liked it. A lot.
POSTED: October 29th, 2010
Here are our latest observations from the Vision Design Studio Creative Behavioral Study: How Costumes in the Workplace Affect Productivity.
POSTED: August 8th, 2010
We workhorses here at Vision Design Studio find it hard to even fathom spending a moment of the workday away from the computer. But somehow, as sweat dripped off our brows and onto our keyboards, we reached a mental compromise. We stepped away from our desks and into the parking lot for some sweet relief from the heat.
What we learned: When it’s lie-naked-on-the-bed-with-three-fans-pointed-on-you hot, it’s important to take a moment to wade in the water, with a beer- and maybe a cigarette.
Ahhhh…. now that’s better.
POSTED: June 30th, 2010
There was partyin’ in the streets last night at THE LB SIZZLE.
We turned the Zafaria Creative District Commons into a mid-summer night’s (grown-up) playground, complete with a grass under foot (Astroturf) and stars in the sky (strands of twinkle lights). The Vizzi Truck served up delicious gourmet treats while DJ Almighty Nectar kept us dancing and the XZO Vodka never stopped flowing.
If you missed it, these pictures might bum you out. If you were there, I think someone just may find a new profile picture!