North Vancouver is a very eccentric, multi-cultural, and fun community with the best of big-city living, outdoor nature access, and hospitality amenities. This brings people together from around the world, many of whom are creative professionals who do graphic and logo design. Bringing your business concept from an idea into reality takes careful consideration with both the tangible and intangible parts of the brand end-user experience. A delicate mix of the two. In this article, we get to chat with Lou Meggiato who is the founder and operator of Bl3nd Design based in Lower Lonsdale. She’s looking forward to you learning about her local business in the interview feature below and how she can support you with your business goals through creatively designed business assets.
What is Bl3nd Design, how did it get started and what do you like about operating in North Vancouver?
Bl3nd Design is a creative graphic design agency based in North Vancouver serving all of Vancouver, the lower mainland, Canada and beyond. The name, Bl3nd (Blend) represents the collective of design experience that each member of our team has. Our team is a blend of many design backgrounds, journeys and experiences that make us as unique as our clients. The number 3 in our name has significance because it speaks to our core. Three has many meanings in general but for us its greatest meaning is centered around that of numerology which defines that 3 represents the paths of creativity, communication, and expression.
Our belief is that we all have creativity and if we choose to harness it as our passion and career, then it all leads to design in whatever context it might be. If you are a creative, any form of design can be studied, learned, and executed. Design is simply the result of creative inspiration and expression. The focus at Bl3nd design is getting to know our clients and listening so that we can understand and identify their needs. Through communication we can express creativity.
Our agency got started firstly because design is something we have always done in one form or another, but we also saw an opportunity to support companies to move beyond their limitations. North Vancouver is a vibrant friendly community and although it is a part of Vancouver, it feels just like its own little hub. We love the abundance of ideas and businesses, both large and small. It’s particularly lovely to see so many folks following their dreams with their local family-owned companies. There is a comradery that befits those who choose to follow their passion and create a life and business with that as their goal.
What are all of the services and consulting areas that you offer at your North Vancouver graphic design agency?
We offer branding packages tailored to our clients. Each client and their business are a unique entity; therefore, each package is often different. A great place to start if you are a new business or rebranding is a full branding kit with branding bible which gives a business all the tools, they need to successfully use their brand across all mediums. There is also a plethora of design options for those with existing brands who need a design agency to support their growth and customer reach.
Some of the graphic design, branding and creative services that we offer are listed below in no particular order…
• Logo design
• Brand kits
• Brand bibles
• Business card design
• Packaging design
• Label design
• Stationery design
• Letterhead design
• Signage design
• Billboard design
• Car/van wraps and decals
• Credit card/debit card design
• Tradeshow booths
• Tradeshow banners
• Website and app icons
• Website graphics
• Email newsletter graphics and headers
• Email signatures
• Slideshow Presentations
• Canva templates
• Social media graphics, templates and profile icons
• Image and photo sourcing
• E-book covers
• Powerpoint templates
• Word templates
• Podcast covers
• Book covers
• Album covers
• Event materials
• Restaurant/Bar Menus
• Newspaper advertisements
Unlike many graphic design agencies, we also offer apparel design, not just promotional product design – although we do that as well. We have over two decades of experience in the fashion and sportswear industries globally under our belt including technical sportswear, kidswear, women’s and menswear design. This means if you have a small collection or big, or even just an idea of apparel that you want to launch/create/sell we can create that for you. We are also here for all your workwear and promotional product design needs.
What kind of design software and apps do you use and how are they different?
Our main design software is the Adobe Suite with Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign being our core applications which allow us to create everything from package mock-ups to logos to magazine layouts. Illustrator allows for high-quality, scalable design work that retains its image quality at any resolution. Photoshop is great for editing images or photos and creating 3D product mock-ups.
InDesign is publishing and typesetting software, so it is great for brochures, eBooks, flyers, and other digital creative content. More recently we have integrated Canva into our workflow and offerings as several clients have this platform for their teams. It allows them to be a part of the creative process and take ownership back on self-learning and creating. They can easily use the branding kits we have created to share with their remote teams and brainstorm together. We supplement their needs with the creation of templates, presentations, and other editable design assets on this platform for ongoing use by the clients who want to create alongside us.
In terms of formal education, what do you have for training that started you on the path of being a creative consultant?
Every person who works with our agency has a different and beautiful journey that makes them who they are. Design and creativity have been in my blood since I was a child. I have always loved to draw, paint, and create. I loved to sew, craft, photograph, cook and sketch. Anything that enabled me to play. As adults, many of us have forgotten the art of play. Design allows me to play because each new project is a chance for a new adventure.
Nature and the world around me have always felt like my influence and inspiration. I started my formal design education in the UK through a diploma in arts at the University of Birmingham, where I embraced all facets of design including 3D art, fine art, photography, ceramics, fashion, and graphic design. I followed this with a 4-year degree in Fashion Design and later a Masters’s Degree in Performance Sportswear Design at the University of Derby. Both degrees allowed me to get a variety of hands-on experience within the fashion and technical sportswear industries. After graduating this led me to a decade working in the apparel industry as a lead designer from the UK to Europe, and finally North America.
Fashion design introduced me to graphic design which led me to where I am today. I realized that the design skills I took for granted in supporting my previous business ventures would be my tool kit for supporting others when I started my agency.
If someone wants a logo, brand, and creative concept guideline developed, what does that process look like?
The process begins with a ‘meet up’ either in person or on zoom to make sure it’s a good fit for both parties. This is offered free of charge because we believe that creating a good relationship should be as natural and pressure-free as possible.
Designing a new brand or understanding an established brand takes time because it is a two-way street. It’s an investment of time and resources for everyone involved as participation happens on both sides. Following our ‘meet up’ we then move through an intake process to better understand your business, goals, desires for your brand and needs, so that we can create a brief for your project with the desired outcome and results.
Our clients are part of the whole process, and this is very important to us. We will advise you and help you strategize but ultimately you need to love what we create. This means we keep you in the loop every step of the way. A happy client, who loves their brand or design assets, is the best form of advertising. Plus, we are about long-term connections not short-term gains.
Just an FYI for those who may be new to working with an agency – revisions are normal – unless you find yourself an agency who is also practicing mindreading – they are part of the process. We also know that it can feel a little daunting handing over the reigns to someone else so we will do as much hand-holding as you need through this process. Communication is what branding is all about and a core component of our journey together.
What are some of the core differences between doing graphic design for online needs versus print media?
The main elements that differ between online and print media are color, fonts, texture, resolution, lifespan, accessibility, and interactivity. Each of these areas needs to be considered because what is seen and experienced on a screen is not the same as what will be experienced on paper, card, wood, or another physical medium.
Graphics online are much easier and less costly to change in comparison to print media. Fonts can be more varied in print media than online and colors are required in different formats for each. Texture will either be tactile or simulated depending on final delivery and resolution is also measured differently, dpi for print and ppi for the web.
This is why the work we do before we even get started designing (research and strategy) is as important as the design.
Outside of operating your North Vancouver-based graphic design company, what do you get up to for hobbies in your personal time?
I love being outside and exploring so the North Shore is the perfect place to live for me and my family. I get to enjoy hiking, trail running and watersports in the spring and summer and snowshoeing in the winter. I also enjoy yoga, travel, meeting new people, the gym, and activities with my kids.
Lastly, is there anything else you would like the community to know about yourself or your design agency?
We adore our community and strive to support all businesses no matter their size. No design request is too small or too large. We love and live to problem solve, strategize, and play so I encourage you to let us lighten your load. As entrepreneurs (we know we’ve all been there) you often try to take on too many roles within your organization. Creating your message visually and getting your brand out into your community and beyond, is a task that should be given the time, attention, and care it deserves. A brand speaks to your customer before you do, and we want to help you leave a lasting first impression by helping you to tell your story visually and with impact.
For more info or to ask questions use the email below: