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February 27, 2020 - No Comments!

Better together: Meet Tracey Ranta

When I took the leap from employee to owner of my own firm 24 years ago, I had no idea what roads and twists EnZed had in store for me. Like Dorothy, I followed a promising path hoping to find a home in the design and marketing industry. Along the way, I’ve met many faithful companions (e.g. Carla, the good witch) and have enjoyed rich experiences and collaborations. One character who has been in and out of EnZed’s world for two decades is Tracey Ranta. Today, I’m happy to say that she’s here to stay.

I met Tracey through volunteering with AIGA—the professional association for design. I was communications director of AIGA Colorado and she was a recent graduate from DU. We sat around the table with her classmate, Jason Wedekind (owner of Genghis Kern and Furniture Creative Coworking, where we are officed), stamping and addressing the member newsletter. She started her design career working in several small agencies. When she went freelance, EnZed was one of her clients for many years. Her design aesthetic, sense of fun and delight, work ethic and dedication matched mine. My favorite memory from that time was during the final stages of a catalog. She was wrapping up production and writing files to CDs, while going into labor. “No, it’s ok, I can finish the job. It’s taking my mind off the contractions!” True to her word, she delivered the files... and a baby! Her beautiful daughter now has her driver’s permit. 

When Tracey returned to full-time work at an agency in the late 2000s, our collaborations turned to personal projects. We designed and crafted a wearable, red-ruffled  paper dress for the Paper Fashion Show in 2008, an event we’ve attended together for more than a decade. Then last year, the road took another turn when Tracey was ready for a leap of her own, leaving the agency for new ambitions. 

Tracey joined EnZed officially in February 2020 as Senior Designer and Art Director, putting her talents to work as creative lead on existing and new projects. A beautiful example: the owners of Elle.b Academy wanted a brand refresh and expansion for their stylist-training programs and to communicate their status as a leading academy for the application of hair extensions. Tracey created original brand elements to distinguish them in the industry and tell their story across course workbooks, Instagram and a new website. Tracey, Carla and I collaborated with Sean at Studio Nomad on the website design assets and content development.

The brand expansion moodboards show color, texture, pattern and photography styles
Brand elements applied to print and digital media—course workbooks and Instagram
Patterns and large photography distinguish the brand on ellebacademy.com

With a portfolio spanning 25 years of successful branding, print, digital and environmental design for real estate development, recreation, retail, restaurants and the arts, Tracey excels at creating special spaces, from a brand moodboard to a new-community greeting house to a website. The following projects illustrate her brand concept design, art direction and digital marketing expertise that are now enhancing EnZed’s print design and content development offerings

Tracey designed this "greeting house" interior environment while at Strada Advertising
Art directing and styling photo shoots is one of Tracey's passions
Credit: Duston Todd for Strada Advertising
Tracey designed the front-end of custom websites, like these lifestyle pages, while at Strada

I’m particularly excited to have Tracey join me on my next design journey—to bring our creative minds together to take us new places and create new spaces. It’s been fun to see how her work has evolved in the 2010s, and I’m so glad to see her sparkly shoes back on my path in 2020.

We look forward to collaborating with you on your next venture. Up, up and away!

February 7, 2018 - No Comments!

A Distinctive Start to 2018

FCC Services Calendar 2018

For the third year running, we’ve had the honor of designing a custom desk calendar for FCC Services. Each calendar combines inspiring imagery with practical pieces – conference and program schedules – to create a valuable addition to their clients’ desks. The goal is to provide a beautiful, useful tool and keep the FCCS brand visible the full year.

For the 2018 calendar, we took cues from their theme, “Your Year of Distinction.” Teaming up with copywriter Carla Carwile, we gathered fascinating facts, thought-provoking quotes and prompts for self-reflection and problem solving for each month. For example, a “wink” is one revolution of a lighthouse’s lamp. And did you know the U.S. produces some 2,500 varieties of apples?

FCC Services Calendar 2018

These items were complemented by illustrations, photographs, or graphics. A special interactive section, “The Stretch,” encourages recipients to contemplate how to distinguish themselves in the new year. Resource pages included lists of FCCS conferences, programs and events, plus room for thinking and strategizing their approach to work challenges. Complete with a ToDoodle page, this practical tool with an interactive flair is a popular piece with FCCS clients.

August 8, 2017 - No Comments!

A Scroll Down Marian Lane

It was 2011 and I was showing pictures of rubylith and T-squares to a tittering crowd at the MCA, recounting the many acts of Marian Halliday. This everlasting pillar of Colorado’s creative community was about to receive the coveted AIGA Fellow award, and I had the honor of introducing her to the audience. Highlighting her achievements was easy; the difficult part was doing justice to her shining personality. So I opened with her signature “helloooooo” and the rest took care of itself.

Fast forward six years to the lobby of Gensler. I’d convened the Advisory Board for their first meeting of the new year and we were gathering at Amy Siegel’s office. I was excited to spend time with Amy as I’d always admired her for being a founding member and great mentor in our community. Marian was there, being a valuable fixture of the chapter, always the “doer”, the helper and connector. That was when she draped an arm around each of our shoulders and said, “Guess who are the newest AIGA Fellows?”

It was now May 19th, a snowy, cold spring day turning to dusk. I was sitting in Room and Board, wearing the dress Karl and I found in Rome on my 49th birthday six months before. Rotating delightfully in a half-round, chartreuse chair, I surveyed the setting. Marty had the microphone talking about 1985, incoming president Victoria and outgoing president Jess beamed in the background, and past president Elysia was running the laptop. My posse was poised in front of the screen — the EnZedders, treasured collaborators, clients, friends and college roomies coming from out of state. Alexis was live streaming it all for my family in New Zealand to see on Facebook. To the other side, a swash of Fellows were seated with familiar and new board members, volunteers peppered in amongst them. I could see my 27-year-old-self in some of their faces, full of anticipation of what might come next with party lights in their eyes. AIGA had brought the lifers, the newbies and the mentors together in one room.

Amy’s video rolled. Her path was different than mine, discovering commonalities and friendships through swimming, developing talents and mentorship programs through working. But our roads were now converging. After a heartfelt tribute from her boss and an elegant acceptance from Amy, my video rolled and Marian took the floor. She had a scroll with a large red ribbon. She untied it and, like Santa’s good-girls-and-boys list, it unfurled dramatically and dropped down to the top of her toes. And so began my introduction. Marian asked. I said yes. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat... A yes is what plunges you into all sorts of interesting things.

The AIGA National Fellow award program is a means of recognizing seasoned designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local or regional design community as well as in their local AIGA chapter. The areas of education, writing, leadership and reputation as well as the practice of design are given equal consideration in measuring significant contribution. AIGA is the professional association for design with more than 25,000 nationwide organized in 72 chapters. Colorado’s chapter was established in 1990.

AIGA can act like a mirror. If your career is stagnant, it will present those who are doing what you aspire to, sometimes providing inspiration, other times frustration. If you’re in a place of change, it can provide the springboard to inspire new thoughts, approaches and collaborations. If you’re feeling your power, it offers you a way to give back or reconnect. It’s all about your view of your situation and how you choose to engage with those opportunities around you. I’ve gone through all those stages and I expect I’ll do so again. Thankfully, I can’t say no to you, Marian … ahem … AIGA. But I can say, no regrets.


Photos by  Jim Darling Photography and Hashtagitude

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June 20, 2017 - No Comments!

Tennis, Anyone?

With Colorado’s tennis league season in full swing and Wimbledon approaching on July 3, there’s no better time to celebrate our favorite sport here at EnZed Design.

We’re hard at work on a brand refresh for the 2017 Colorado State Open, our state’s most prestigious and well-attended tennis tournament. (We had the pleasure of rebranding the tournament entirely in 2016, which you can see here.) Adding animation to our repertoire, we’ve created a video teaser to bring the dynamic motion of tennis to the tournament’s vibrant brand. Watch the video below.

Mark your calendar for September 15–24, 2017 to catch the action and see our work on display. In the meantime, check out another tennis branding project, TennisAdvisor, whose logo represents the converging of coaching, the game, and the junior player.

June 1, 2017 - No Comments!

Catching the Conversation

Strike up a casual conversation with a stranger and you may well find you share a good friend or favorite experience. Kismet? Coincidence? We’re not sure, but we do know that same, wonderful connection often happens in design. Gather a team of designers, writers and clients for a brainstorming session and they naturally bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to the table. The result is a far richer journey into the communication challenge.

Last summer EnZed Design welcomed a new talent to our team. Peter Williams was a recent design school graduate with a keen eye for iconography and a keen ear for syncopation. Adding his skills to our bag of tricks, we initiated an in-house project to experiment with audio and animation media. Some of you have met Peter in person or via email, but for those who haven’t yet, here’s your opportunity.

We sat down together to chat about design, our other interests and life experiences and how they intersect. Take a listen.

Tracking Thoughts Episode 1: Match & Mix was produced by EnZed Design with music and animation by Peter Williams. View Peter's video described in the interview.

Where do your passions intersect? Please comment below. We’d love to hear your story.

May 11, 2017 - No Comments!

Birds of a Feather

Blackbird General Store logo

We were fortunate to meet Sharon Repass, a creative mind looking to realize her dream of owning a retail store. She’d just found the perfect spot for Blackbird General Store in Calabasas, California, when she found us. We created the logo, packaging, gift boxes, and signage for her fall launch. The project caught the eye of Sabine Lenz, Paper Queen and Founder of PaperSpecs.com. We were all aflutter when she chose to feature it in her Inspiration column. View the PaperSpecs video and check out the full project in our Branding portfolio.