Monday Morning Coffee With Tony Barmann, SJC Master of Design

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This week, grab your mug and read about our Master of Design, Tony Barmann. He brings serious creative flair, a discerning eye and a steady hand with the mouse to every task. From expert print pieces to outstanding logos, digital designs and creative brand concepts, Tony offers top-notch precision and truly professional insight to the SJC Marketing team. (He also knows a thing or two about chickens. Read on).

What is your experience as a designer?

I graduated in 2002 from Missouri Western State University (College at the time) with a BS in Commercial Art with emphasis studies in graphic design and illustration.

My first job as a graphic designer/art director was in 2002 with Intertec Publishing (now Penton Media) in Overland Park, KS. My title was Associate Art Director for the Directory and Book Division; I stayed eight years. From Penton, I landed a job at the University of Kansas as a graphic designer for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. I was with them for 10 months before moving forward to Kansas City Life Insurance Company, where I spent nearly four years as one of three graphic designers in the marketing and communications department.

Why do you enjoy design work?

I enjoy taking ideas and making them a visual reality. I also enjoy a happy client. Satisfied clients and a positive response from the market or the community is the icing on the cake.

What’s fun about the job?

Discovering a new font. I also enjoy software updates that make my life easier as a designer.

How do you come up with creative solutions for clients?

Collaboration. Sometimes the ideas are not mine. Through talking solutions out with the client and understanding the need, I can create visuals that, combined with great copywriting, can solve a problem. Listening and understanding the client’s market and their needs is really important.

In brief how does the process unfold?

Listening to the client and understanding the market is first. Then brainstorming ideas (often just in my mind, sometimes sketching, sometimes throwing around ideas on the computer). Then I create something rad.

What is exciting or changing about the design industry?

During the past 10 years, this industry has seen many changes. A lot is due to the shift in digital and web media as well as the design and development of apps for smartphones. Software is more robust to include solutions for these types of media, and there are many added features that require more education.

But with these changes print design is still alive. Companies still need essential marketing materials that people can feel and touch. So, therein lies the challenge for me. Taking the time to learn new technology, features, software, while still pouring myself into the work and creating things that are unique across traditional formats.

Why did you join SJC?

SJC and I have built a solid relationship over the past few years and the time was right to join a team that is growing and understands the value of good visual communication in the marketplace.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Well, I have four children, three boys and one girl… so naturally I really enjoy spending time with them and my wife.

Odd as it may sound, I also enjoy cultivating our farm and ranch. We have chickens and cattle that we are doing more and more with every year, trying to create healthy food for our family and others.

We’d love to learn more about you.