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Artown 2015: One poster commemorating two decades

We here at Stan Can Design™ consider ourselves incredibly lucky to be chosen year after year to design the official Artown poster. We feel especially lucky to be doing it in 2015, twenty years after the very first festival took place here in Reno, then named Uptown Downtown Artown.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 2.59.56 PMWe know a little something about celebrating Artown anniversaries. When we designed our first poster with the festival in 2010, Artown was celebrating its 15th year. Our strategy then was the same as it is now: do something special that separates from prior years’ posters.

What was already special? Artist Franz Szony’s amazing rendition of Mnemosyne, the personification of memory in Greek mythology that will represent Artown 2015:

As in all my photographs, my goal is to depict a message or theme as a personified character. In a sense, think of her as “Lady Artown”… she is a showgirl, a goddess, and she represents the divine feminine (which is at the core of all the arts). – Franz Szony

Franz also incorporated the starburst atop the Reno Arch to represent Lady Artown’s headdress, another tasteful nod to the city resulting in an incredibly well thought out piece that was a joy to design for.

Besides the spectacular art, there were a few other special additions to this year’s poster to commemorate the 20th anniversary. The first is a limited edition 20th Anniversary Artown logo that will be in effect for this year only. The second is a commemorative grip of copy that briefly explains the humble beginnings of what is now a yearly staple in The Biggest Little City.

Of course, you can always see the full list of this year’s events by heading over to

Here’s to July!

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Welcome Maren Rush, Art Director and Senior Designer!

Maren-StanCan-headshot-cleanedWe have a new hire at Stan Can Design™! Maren Rush has come on as the team’s new Art Director and Senior Designer. Maren brings over 15 years of design experience in the northern Nevada area.

“Maren has experience at every level of design,” said principal and creative director, Stan Byers. “She brings a ton of energy and enthusiasm for good creative and she’s an awesome fit for what we do.”

Maren brings a diverse background of both agency and in-house design experience. Her portfolio features work for Skagen Designs, Oxygenics, Magnolia Companies, and a long list of both local and national clients from her time as a freelance designer, including the San Francisco 49ers. She most recently was Senior Art Director at Estipona Group.

“What impressed me most with Maren was her experience not as only a designer, but as someone who really understands clients and their needs,” said Stan.

Well said, Stan! Maren has already gracefully adjusted to life at Stan Can Design™ and our agency is ready to continue creating powerful, intelligent, and timeless design with her skills.

Behind the Scenes: Reno Tahoe is Positively Electric

Another year, another campaign for the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. Each spring marks the start of a new effort to let consumers outside of Reno Tahoe know what everyone who’s been here already knows: no matter what time of year, Reno Tahoe USA offers a world class destination experience.

This year, with the help of local visual studs, Jeff Dow Photography and FLF Films, we used the campaign as an opportunity to celebrate Reno’s revived nightlife. Starting at the award-winning St. James Brasserie and finishing in front of local favorite Midtown Eats, the campaign showcases the feeling of a night out in Midtown, twinkly lights and all.

Take a look through some of our behind the scenes shots, some photo selects, and the final version of the first ad in the campaign.






In-depth: Clark/Sullivan becomes “The partner to build with.”

No construction company has left quite the stamp on our area as Clark/Sullivan Construction has. After building the Nevada Museum of Art, the Reno Ballroom, the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, the Renown Tower, and dozens of University of Nevada, Reno campus buildings, the Clark/Sullivan portfolio is brimming with over 3 decades of city landmarks. Since expanding to Sacramento and Laramie, Clark/Sullivan Construction has begun a careful process of remodeling the way they do business.

Clark/Sullivan has been steadily moving from hard-bid methods that helped them survive the recession to a collaborative industry model known as construction management at risk (CMAR), where they focus on working together with owners, architects, and developers to exceed building expectations. Now, they just needed an image overhaul to reflect that.

Clark/Sullivan Logo

“The big ‘aha!’ moment for us was discovering people were more important than the facilities they build,” said Stan Byers. “People are a much bigger part of the equation than the artifacts they leave behind.”

Through our brand discovery meetings, we realized the people that make up Clark/Sullivan Construction were competitive, collaborative individuals who loved coming to work every day. They consistently mentioned making a positive impact with their work, so we sought to create a logo that reflected those qualities.

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The logo works on separate planes to form both a building block and an upward facing arrow to show progress through construction. It was done in a vibrant “Sparks” green to identify with their headquartered city and Museo typeface to add the human element of the people behind it.

Clark/Sullivan Exterior

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The “C/S” in the logo was a conscious decision towards the future, as the sole owner of the company, B.J. Sullivan hopes to soon transfer ownership of the company to his employees. This gives them less of a name and more of an identity to rally behind.

The final aspect of the project was a brand new website that puts their people front and center. The site also features a clean, photo-centric portfolio of work that the C/S staff can display with pride.

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Clark/Sullivan Portfolio



In-depth: Rebranding Red Line Design, LLC.

How do we rebrand Red Line Design, LLC, what started as a boutique interior design firm, into a brand synonymous with intimate events, creative exploration, and personal art by Sarah G. Stevenson? After initial attempts to try revising the current redlinedesign® logo, the look just felt too corporate. It didn’t speak to those familiar with her work as Sarah G. Stevenson and didn’t communicate what was special about the brand.

We worked to craft a visual identity that spoke on a personal level. We explored using handwriting instead of established type faces to tell people that this brand was about one person’s art. Our senior designer, Kelly Wallis, lent her steady hand in developing a wonderful cursive foundation for the logo. “When people see handwriting, it feels much more inviting and humble to them,” Kelly said. “People immediately recognize that this is not some big-box corporation.”

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Sticking to Sarah’s pillars of personal exploration and creativity, we gave life to the “line” of redlinedesign®, allowing it to explore and roam freely across her new packaging and stationery. Along with a web and social update that put her art in the spotlight, Sarah now has a complete brand identity to carry her business into what looks to be a promising year: this is the first year her Create.Explore.Discover Art Retreat will feature multiple dates.


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What seems like a two step process on paper was actually a lengthy, but highly rewarding strategic challenge in business rebrand. Whenever we work with clients we know personally, we want the result of our work to speak of that client the same way we would. In this case, our goal was a logo that reads “Redline Design” but says “Meet my good friend, Sarah.”

Check out the redlinedesign® website, where you can view Sarah’s photo and illustration collections and follow her blog for daily creative inspiration.