Our people are our company; with a depth and range of experience many competitors are missing. People who are talented and perceptive, but more important, people you enjoy working with, even if harried to meet a critical deadline.
We are driven by the recognition that our success is our client’s success. We have a passionate focus on quality and take pride in our work — doing it on time and on budget. The development of long–term client relationships is priority; short–term projects are of little interest. We want our clients to be satisfied for years into the future.
I’ve been in business for myself for 30 (mostly) exciting years in graphic design and marketing. I’ve got two bachelor’s degrees (which is odd, I know) in advertising and design from the University of Utah. Prior to forming modern8 in 2001, I was a principal in Smith Sligting Partners, a traditional and interactive design firm. Before that I did my own thing at Randall Smith Associates, a graphic design firm formed in 1989. Previous to that I was in a partnership and senior designer for a multinational corporation.
I was the founding President of the Salt Lake chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design. I’ve had the benefit of over 20 years of teaching as an adjunct instructor in Graphic Design at the University of Utah and have taught classes at Brigham Young University and lectured at others. I belong to SMPS, AAF and AIGA.
My design or the work of my team has been recognized in national publications and exhibitions, including Communication Arts, New York Art Directors Annual, the AIGA Communications Graphics Annual, the New York Type Directors Annual, Print magazine, the Addy’s and local organizations.
Kids today have a tough time with the 1st iPod. "2001? I think dinosaurs were alive then." http://t.co/60Ds12c014(about 2 days ago)
(about 7 days ago)
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Kent had a fondness for graphic art at an early age, being more eager to illustrate books in elementary school than he was to read them. Relying almost completely on Sharpies and his knack for drawing, Kent grew up designing logos, posters and T-shirts for his high school and other local events. By the time he started work on his biology degree at Brigham Young University–Hawaii, Kent had learned his way around photo shop and illustrator well enough to trade in his Sharpies for a mac, which landed him a job at the University magazine.
With a degree in biology, a failed dental school application and a continued passion for art, Kent decided to free-lance his way into the graphic design industry. Opportunities to work with start-ups, musicians, and other entrepreneurs provided the much-needed experience that ultimately lead him to Modern 8.
In addition to his formal education on Oahu, Kent picked up distance running, weight lifting, Polynesian dancing, surfing and traditional Maori woodcarving. Kent divides his time primarily between his mac, the gym, and his amazing wife (whose baking skills ensure he always has a cheat meal when he needs one).
Since I never skied or snowboarded while growing up in Utah’s frigid and snowy winters, I would often retreat to the comfort of my room where I refined my drawing, typography, and problem solving skills. These interests eventually guided me to study graphic design at the University of Utah.
The time I spent interning at welikesmall and Struck only increased my passion for and skill in motion design and illustration, respectively. Throw in some advertising experience working at Jibe Media and I was finally able to convince my mom to stop telling me to become a radiologic technologist or an engineer.
For several years I have been active in the AIGA Salt Lake City chapter — first as a student, then a board member. A year after graduation I had the opportunity to work on a motion project for modern8 in collaboration with the local AIGA chapter. After few short months, I landed at modern8. After a couple of years here, I’ve grown into a jack-of-all trades and continue striving to improve my skill in all of my modern8 responsibilities.
As for what I do in my free time, I enjoy rock climbing, wrestling with my dog, watching countless movies with fiancée, and enduring the occasional summer music festival with my friends.
Alysha has always had a love of design, people, and business. Her first two loves were carried out in her early years when she climbed the ladder at Gap Inc, becoming one of the most recognized, well dressed, and loved store managers in the company (self proclaimed!).
After earning a degree in Communications at Brigham Young University, wanting to broaden her knowledge of the world and business, Alysha moved to New York City. It was here that she managed several stores, perfected her business and interpersonal skills, and simultaneously refined her design tastes in furniture, typography, and style.
Fast forward eight years, and Alysha is happy to use her skills to help build relationships with customers, manage projects from start to finish, keep track of those debits and credits, and to have her weekends free.
In college, I realized I wasn’t like the other design students. They seemed to wait until the last minute to complete projects. They weren’t organized, they weren’t bothered by clutter, and they certainly didn’t edit and correct text as they worked on projects. And they all doodled. I read somewhere that people who doodle tend to be creative. I can’t doodle. I’ve tried. If I start to doodle something, I end up finessing and fixing it, (which automatically disqualifies it as a doodle). Sure I was different, but it didn’t stop me. I just incorporated these “rare” traits into my own design style. I decided that they make me really awesome at being consistent, detail-oriented, and well, less cluttered. My design solutions are classic, clean, and whenever I can get away with it, they use typography as a strong element. I’m a self-diagnosed font-freak. I have a wall of various M’s in my home office and I finally had to ban myself from buying any more wood block printing type from eBay.
I started working with Randall in the days of Bernoulli disks, and ordering film before going to press. If you don’t know what any of that means, well, it just means I’ve been working with Randall for a really long time. Some people might think the term “senior” in my job title means “old”, but it doesn’t. It means that even though I’m the shortest employee, I’m the cool “big sister.”
Randall Smith has spoken at professional organizations and educational institutions for many years, including the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), Associated Building Contractors (ABC), Partners in Business, AIGA, Utah State University, Utah Valley University, and his alma matter, the University of Utah. Randall and other team members are available for lectures and award judging.
Lecture topics include:
“Your Brand Is Not Your Logo”
“Dressing the Part of Your Core Values”
“Design as a Business Tool”.
Invite us to participate at your event.
In The Press
All published articles are available as PDFs for downloading and printing. For more information or request for copies of these articles please contact us.
The Dieline–October 2011
The Salt Lake Egotist–September 2011
Letterhead and Logo Design 12 book
Communication Arts—Sept. 2011
Lovely Package—Apr. 2011
Utah CEO—Aug. 2009
Connect Magazine—Oct. 2006
Concrete Construction—Oct. 2006
adnews Magazine—May 2006
Connect Magazine—Dec. 2004
Connect Magazine—Feb. 2004
Connect Magazine—Jun. 2003
News from the Office
Alysha ran three legs of Ragnar last week, 17 miles in 24 hours. / Mac just returned from a three week “semi-working” vacation in (of all places) Paraguay. / It takes 1 hour, 16 minutes and 28 seconds for Randall to cycle to the office from his home in Sandy (at least it did today). / Speaking of cycling, we went on a ride with our client FFKR last week. The architectural firm is well-known for their love of the sport. / And speaking of client events, we had a great time at the Jacobsen Construction’s annual breakfast two weeks ago. The entire, very well-attended event was built around the concept of Legos.
Ben Dougal, University of Utah graphic design major and winner of two awards at the annual AIGA100, has joined modern8 as an intern. / It’s vacation season. Mike just got back from mountain biking in the desert (without water). Mac is heading to South America. Alysha was recently in L.A. Randall is planning a major cycling adventure in California. Hopefully there’s someone here to do all the work. / modern8 won an award at the AIGA100 last month with our own promotional tee shirt design. / On the boards (as if we actually worked on boards): a strategy engagement for a new client in the financial services industry, a website for a major local construction company, and an annual brochure for another UofU college.
John Goldsberry, University of Utah graphic design major (and student in Randall’s Identity Systems and Branding class), has joined modern8 as an intern. We’re excited for his contribution. / Alysha just got back from an extended weekend trip to SoCal. / Our next door neighbor, the Shilo Inn, was voted this year as Salt Lake’s ugliest building—and we agree. Fortunately it’s going to be significantly remodeled and rebranded as a different entity. We can’t wait.
Spring has brought out a few bikes again at our offices, both motorized and pedalized. / Nearing completion of a ton of stuff for a web app introduction at an upcoming trade show. We’ve designed all the promo materials as well as the app itself. / Adobe buses keep rolling past our offices this week to Salt Palace Convention Center across the street. / We had a giant custom bag made by our client Sugar House Awning Industries, to house our d3 Brand Concept Boards. We’ve given up on projected presentations in favor of analog. / To the chagrin of our experienced designers, interns’ designs keep winning out in client preferences.
Jason Jiang, a senior in the graphic design program at the University of Utah, has joined modern8 as an intern. / One of the benefits of Pioneer Theatre Company as a client is the chance to regularly enjoy their productions. We recently saw Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Go see it / The Multi-Disciplinary Design program in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Utah is sponsoring a series of lectures together with School of Business on the subject of Design Thinking. The first three lectures have been terrific—there are still two more. Check them out.
Our annual holiday T-shirt was designed by modern8 web designer Mac Galeano, using a phrase from the homepage of our website. Mac was clearly out to prove that he could design things that appeared somewhere other than on screens. We’re working on the modern8 online store, but until then, we’ve got a few for sale at the not-for-profit price of $10. / We’re posting right and left in our new Thought Library, written by everybody on staff (even Alysha). / Matt Thurman, a senior in the graphic design program at the UofU, is our newest intern. He comes prepared. He works at Saxton Horne Advertising and got an “A” in Randall’s Branding and Identity Systems class last semester. / Speaking of classes for Randall, this semester marks 33 years of teaching “History of Graphic Design.” You’d think he’d have it down by now.
Randall wraps up another semester teaching “Identity Systems and Branding” at the University of Utah this month. / Mac went on a marathon Thanksgiving weekend drive to Tijuana and surprisingly—arrived back safely and on schedule. / Last month marks an even dozen years since modern8 was formed. / Watch for the annual last-minute distribution of the modern8 holiday T-shirt.
modern8 was a big participant in Salt Lake Design Week this year. The firm sponsored and Randall Smith introduced former associate Jay Wilkinson for a presentation on “Design Thinking”. Mac Galeano taught a seminar on HTML for Designers. And the office was a popular destination for the annual Studio Tour, where we showed off our small, but nicely appointed facilities while we chatted up visitors. / Randall successfully finished LOTOJA, the 206-mile single day cycle ride. Thanks for the contributions to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. / Randall returned from the AIGA national conference in Minneapolis this month, with lots of inspiration and ideas. Minnesota is the home state of his wife Diane, who joined the trip for a chance to visit friends and family and sight seeing up the north shore of Lake Superior.
Erin Scardena has joined modern8 as an intern from the graphic design program at Brigham Young University. Fortunately Erin has Web site design experience and she is spending most of her time working on site maps, wire frames and site designs for multiple clients. / Once again, the bi-annual Outdoor Retail trade show is across the street at the convention center, so we have to fight for parking and lunch spots around here like outdoor scavengers.
Randall upped his cycling mileage last Saturday with the Huntsman 140, a ride from Delta Utah to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City. / Alysha returned from a week in New York City wishing she lived back there again. / Mac and Mike once again throw down the ping-pong challenge: lunch to anyone that can beat them. / At modern8, Thursdays have become truck lunch day at the Gallivan Center, where elaborately appointed food trucks show up downtown with surprisingly unique cuisine.
modern8 associates Mac and Mike are getting awfully good at ping pong on our downstairs table. They hereby throw down the challenge to any other design firms or ad agencies to a playoff. / Randall and Alysha played together with the Smith Bros. Dirt Band in performance for the Intermountain Acoustic Music Association last week. Mac and his friend even filmed it. We’ll let you know when the recording deal is finalized. / Randall is almost finished with final grades for the graphic design history class he teaches at the University of Utah—that is, until it’s time to field complaints from students who are upset about their grades.
Four divergent companies have engaged us for our Perception Branding d5 Process, our strategic consulting service: companies in engineering, insurance, event management/production and network marketing. / Spring has sprung and the bikes are coming out of hibernation, both the motorized (Mac) and the self-propelled (Randall). / Alysha, modern8 Office and Account Manager, reports she got 97% on her last accounting test. / Mike is in final preparation for the annual student portfolio review, the responsibility he shoulders for the local chapter of the AIGA, the professional association for design.
Raisa Kuddis, a senior in Graphic Design at the University of Utah, is now interning at modern8, helping with design and production tasks for multiple clients. / Randall Smith, modern8 Creative Director, spoke to the Art and Design Department at Utah State University on February 7th. The subject, “Design as a Business Tool”, generated students’ questions and comments, both in person and online. / modern8 was on the Studio Crawl during the second annual Salt Lake Design Week last fall (see above). A surprising number of visitors dropped by, including modern8’s newest employee, Mac Galeano. Clearly it was a success.
Mac Galeano has joined the modern8 team as an experienced Web designer and developer. Mac was most recently employed at Saxton Horne advertising and is a graduate of Utah State University (despite the allegiances mentioned above). / The new year has brought a bunch of new clients and we’re excited. / Randall Smith, modern8 Creative Director, was the first to teach a new class in the Graphic Design department at the U of U this past semester: Brand and Identity Systems.
Mike Harris has joined modern8 as the newest designer. Mike has had experience at Struck, Welikesmall and Jibe Media before hanging his hat with the eightman. He is contributing to projects for the University of Utah, NIC and Dunn Associates amongst others. / Randall participated with our former Bertolini Building tenants Blu Line Design, landscape architects, in the Cache Valley Century bicycle ride this month. It was fun until Randall had three flats and the Blu team tired of giving him spares. / Tara vacationed in sunny California while Bryan did the same in South Dakota.
Lorrin Freidkin, an advertising and communications major from the University of Oregon in Eugene, has joined modern8 for an internship. She is helping with strategy development for our clients as well as for modern8. / We’re all planning fall vacations. We think they’re going to bump into each other. / Our small color printer isn’t working and it’s driving Tara crazy because she can’t color code her Status Reports.
For four years now, we’ve been explaining to visitors that the big Howell’s Photo sign on the outside of the building no longer represents who’s inside. That’s about to change. The 120 year-old Bertolini Building will be getting its own tenant identification. / Besides winning at the AIGA100 Show, we also got awards at the district level of the American Advertising Federation. But frankly, someone needs to redesign the award. We’d never hang it up). / modern8 designer Derek Boman just got back from a 3-day trip to Denver, where he saw a lot of art and a lot of miles.
Drew Milton, a graphic design major from the Utah Valley University, began a summer internship with modern8 this week. / Working on new projects with Verisk Health, Rocketmade, School improvement Network and beginning a new year with Pioneer Theatre Company.
Bryan got back tanned and fit from an extended (10 days—count ‘em up) vacation in Hawaii last week. / Derek traded in apartment life for a mortgage and just in time, because his apartment burned down the week after he left. / Spring is just around the corner and bikes are getting tuned up for the Bertolini Building Cycling Team (yet to be organized).
Two weeks ago, Randall Smith, modern8 Creative Director, spoke at the University of Utah’s emerging program for multi-disciplinary design on “Design as a Business Tool”. / modern8 picked up two Gold Addys at the annual awards of the Utah Chapter of the American Advertising Federation. / Randall’s annual go-to-lunch-with-our-clients month is nearly over, as is his goal to eat healthy this year.
The modern8 Christmas party was a New Years Eve brunch this year instead of an evening event, due in part to late planning and Bryan and Marianne Wilson’s baby, who hasn’t yet figured out how to sleep in the evening hours. You can see photos on our Facebook page. / We’re excited we’ve been asked to design the graphics for the AIGA 100 show, the annual design competition in Salt Lake City. / Pretty soon, we’ll be able to show off what’s been keeping us busy the last few months. We’re excited about that too.
We’re very busy this fall, but can’t talk about it yet / Our clients often ask us to design custom greeting cards and this season is no exception. To be politically correct, we invariably have to express our holiday wishes non-religiously. We however don’t have the same compunction: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
The “boys” in the office marked the end of summer with a visit to the Miller Motor Sports Park for multiple go-kart races, trying to beat each other on a winding track without spinning out in the dirt. Derek claimed he had a bad machine on Round 2, but Bryan and Randall agree it was a weak excuse. / Our business neighbors in the 120-year-old Bertolini Building have moved out, leaving space available for another like-minded business (we’re all designers of some sort.)
Cyclists in the building joined together for the Cache Valley Century two weeks ago. If you’re going to ride a 100 miles on a bike with an unobstructed view, it’s nice to have the Cache Valley as a backdrop. / We decided we’d have the summer party when we kick off the new modern8 Web site. We’re hoping that doesn’t happen in February. / Working with a number of new clients lately. Watch for fun stuff to come soon.
We got a notice that our work for the Nucleus software launch for HealthCare Insight will appear in the design annual of Communication Arts magazine. That’s an exciting first. / Randall Smith spoke at the Society for Marketing Professional Services two weeks ago on the subject of this month’s eNews main feature.