I have little doubt my creative spark began many years ago amid a scattering of Lego® bricks. Those colourful plastic blocks were not the only catalyst though. Creativity courses through my veins as the son of creatives. Dad was a Graphic Designer and a founding instructor and chair of the Visual Arts program at Sheridan College Oakville for over 25 years. Mom worked in photographic services with the University of Guelph and was a talented craft person in many disciplines.
My career in design and creativity started almost accidentally. While attending the University of Guelph, I created computer programs and also designed diagrams, charts, maps and conducted other desktop publishing services for my peers and church. I loved helping out, solving problems and was able to create in the process! After graduating I opened a visual communications company, Vertexxa, in my hometown of Guelph, Ontario.
Shortly afterward a new canvass presented itself – the World Wide Web. I soon found myself learning to design websites and loved this new digital medium. The in-house printing presses at Vertexxa were soon silenced in favour of a mouse and keyboard. By the end of 1996, digital design was my new love. For the years following and into the new millennium I piled on all the learning I could in the web design field through distance education and dedicated self-learning. I also began freelancing frequently with a small marketing agency on great projects including municipal work, small business and making websites for universities, including my alumnus.
By 2007 the now multi-year freelancing alliance with Brent Barr’s KIRE Company transformed into a full-service digital arts and marketing joint venture we called Falcon Innovation Group. For several more years we executed many great projects and my skills continued to evolve as a team leader and mentor to several Conestoga College cooperative students and also due to the rapidly evolving web and technology fronts.
When 2012 came to a close, our clutch of cooperative students had moved on and Brent opted to pursue teaching and other goals. I opted to carry on doing what I loved and become sole owner and operator of Falcon Innovation Group. In the following months I shifted the company back to the role of a web and print service provider and Insignis Design was born on August 1, 2013. Joined part-time by my awesome wife Laura, I run the studio from the same home where I once sat amid heaps of Lego bricks with our three hairy kids, Spike, Abby and Zoe.
My downtime consists of some Minecraft, binge watching a favourite TV show or indulging in a novel (while hopefully sitting on the deck of a cruise ship). It is rounded out reading to stay abreast of what’s new and growing professionally. I do what I can to volunteer and fight back against cancer which has played far too large a role in our family. Once in a while you may also hear the distant rustle of some Lego bricks wafting through the night air.
I love to create and I love to help other small- to medium-sized organizations put their best foot forward in print and web design. I love to help them look their best on paper and digitally. My belief is that solid design solutions in the form of websites, print and promotional materials that help build these smaller brands should not be out of reach, be restricted to do-it-yourself tools or cost an absolute fortune. I aim to be an agent of change for my clients and just happen to get to do what I love in the process.