how we started
Sarah Steil started Be That Design in 2011 with a few small design projects from local small businesses including salons, a law firm and a few organizations at the University of Minnesota. Later in 2011, Lisa Reed helped out with a new large client. Sarah and Lisa continued working together on various projects and in 2013 they partnered together to incorporate the business.
Sarah and Lisa continue to run the business with empathy towards clients, high design standards, and a collaborative attitude. We now employ a full-time designer and continuously offer paid internships to students and recent grads looking for hands-on, client-focused design experience.
The mission of Be That Design was, and still is, to deliver high quality design and branding services at an affordable cost through low overhead and budget-conscious decisions.
who we are
Born with keen observational skills, immense focus, and a tendency to be highly sensitive to the needs of others, I spent much of my early free time exploring and interacting with countless “visually complex stuff” found in my nearby grandparents’ home just a few blocks away. My regular activities included polishing the silver, trimming Grandpa’s hair while he watched the golf game, decorating petit fors with Grandma and making family greeting cards from ‘left over’ materials. All of these fed my curiosity and sense of purpose (not to mention keeping me at a reasonably low irritant level for aging individuals), while building a lifetime bond with these immensely important people.
EDUCATION: B.A. Studio Art, University of Northern Iowa; M.A. Interactive Design, University of Minnesota
Being self-employed in the service industry for much of my childhood, I filled my days designing countless menus, creating seating charts, taking customer orders, providing crayons to the the kiddos, preparing and serving plastic food (sometimes hibachi-style), and attending to my ‘real’ and ‘stuffed’ customers’ every need. On my days off, I rearranged my retail boutique (conveniently located in my room) or went out into the big world to check out the competition, compare prices, and hunt for the best deals. My favorite shopping days continue to be after Christmas because getting premium-quality goods at a price that feels comfortable creates a deep sense of value.
EDUCATION: B.S. Graphic Design / Retail Merchandising, University of Minnesota; Minor: Business Management, Carlson School of Management
A Wisconsin native, who has always had a passion for creating things and solving problems. Growing up, my childhood was filled with creativity and curiosity which still remains the same today. I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between people and design and how it can influence their lives. Having chosen design as a career gives me the opportunity to do that – impact people.
EDUCATION: B.F.A. in Graphic Design and Interactive Media, University of Wisconsin-Stout
who we work with
Our egos never burn the midnight oil, but our eyes will light up when we’ve hit the mark for your branded communications. Whether we’re designing a logo, website, HTML email, brochure, business card, office signage, client appreciation gift, conference/tradeshow or other marketing materials, your creative aspirations will always come first.
We work to earn your trust and to exceed your expectations for each and every project.
We believe that the most effective way to create value with our clients is to use their expertise and ours in tandem. Our fingers, ears, and eyes are always ready to talk, email, Skype, text, or meet with you, making you valuable members of our team. From the project definition onward, your opinions, ideas, and involvement is not only welcome, but critical to the work’s strategic and financial value.
While creativity is what makes our world go round, we live and die by our budget just like you, so we always have one eye in the sky and one fist around the pocketbook. When creating, evaluating, or producing your project we are always on the lookout to maximize your marketing budget, minimize surprises, and get you the best results possible.
Effective communications are the ones that are affordable to produce — period.
To serve you best, we keep our team smartly small, sourcing nimble partners to serve you where we can’t—a handful of trusted skinflints like ourselves who thrive on delivering value, value, value. We keep overhead low and our ‘wants’ in check so that our expenses stay in line and we can pass this savings onto our clients who we know are watching every penny.