Clark Patterson Lee | Blog Clark Patterson Lee Blog en Copyright 2017 2017-10-22T11:29:01-04:00 <![CDATA[BUZZ: Clark Patterson Lee Acquires Greensboro, NC Firm]]> Moser Mayer Phoenix Associates will join the ever-growing Clark Patterson Lee team on Nov. 1. Read the full story featured in the Rochester Business Journal.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: How the Moser Mayer Phoenix Acquisition Came Together]]> How did Moser Mayer Phoenix Associates Partner, Ken Mayer, get involved with Clark Patterson Lee? Go behind the deal and discover how the two firms came together in the Triad Business Journal.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: East Coast Firm Acquires One of Triad's Largest Architecture Firms ]]> Moser Mayer Pheonix announces its acquisition by Clark Patterson Lee. Read the full story featured in the Triad Business Journal.

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: Clark Patterson Lee Welcomes Moser Mayer Phoenix Associates to the Team]]> Contact: Vince Press, Director of Communications
Clark Patterson Lee

Greensboro, NC - October 10, 2017 - Clark Patterson Lee (CPL), has expanded its footprint in the southeastern United States by adding an office in Greensboro, NC. CPL has expanded their growing team with the addition of Moser Mayer Phoenix Associates (MMPA). Principals William D. Moser, Jr., AIA, Kenneth C. Mayer, Jr., FAIA, Thomas H. Phoenix, PE, J. Alan Cox, AIA, and Cheryl S. Graeub, IIDA and their team of twenty design professionals will join CPL on November 1, 2017. MMPA, Greensboro’s largest A/E firm, was established in 1986 as a full-service design firm and serves clients primarily in North Carolina and Virginia. CPL was founded in 1975 in Rochester, NY and, with the new Greensboro location, is a 330-person full-service design firm with 13 offices including Rochester, NY; Buffalo, NY; Albany, NY; Jamestown, NY; Olean, NY; Newburgh, NY; Binghamton, NY; Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC, Greenville, SC; and two in Atlanta, GA.

The two firms’ service offerings are complementary with notable project portfolios featuring award winning designs. In addition to the expertise MMPA provides to its clients in North Carolina and Virginia, expanded design expertise will include Healthcare, K-12 Schools, Transportation Engineering, Civil/Municipal Engineering and Landscape Architecture. The MMPA team will immediately be integrated into project work in mutual overlapping markets. Both firms have an outstanding reputation in the design of Education, Corporate, Municipal, Transportation and Recreation/Athletic Facilities. Some of CPL’s signature projects in the southeast include the Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC), South Carolina State Museum (Columbia, SC), Mercedes-Benz Stadium Pedestrian Bridge (Atlanta, GA), Dalton State College-Wright School of Business, Atlanta Motorsports Park-Trackside Business Center (Atlanta, GA) and the Pratt & Whitney Training Facility at Columbus Technical College (Columbus, GA).

In the northeastern US, CPL is designing the new $253 million Sands-Constellation Critical Care Center addition for the Rochester Regional Health System (Rochester, NY), the $57 million Seneca Park Zoo Expansion (Rochester, NY) and the $80 million renovation/expansion of the Orange County Government Center (Goshen, NY).

MMPA’s signature projects include First National Bank Field (Greensboro, NC), the J. Douglas Galyon Multimodal Center (Greensboro, NC), Lab Corp Corporate Headquarters (Burlington, NC), Greensboro Science Center SciQuarium, Duke University’s American Tobacco Complex and Cameron Indoor Stadium improvements (Durham, NC) and the Bridgwater College’s Nininger Hall Athletics Center (Bridgewater, VA). MMPA has served local government, non-profit organizations, corporate, higher education and recreation clients throughout North Carolina and Virginia.

It is anticipated that the Greensboro office will grow by ~15% over the next 18 months dependent on backlog and new business initiatives.


“Not only do our two firms complement each other in terms of practice disciplines, but there are also amazing synergies in our market segments and company cultures as well - with a focus on work-life balance, client success and community involvement. We recognized the fit from the very beginning.” – Todd Liebert, AIA, CEO Clark Patterson Lee

“My company joined CPL in 2011 as part of a merger and I can personally attest to the thoughtful approach we take in each of our strategic acquisitions. We focus a lot of energy on our talent recruitment, our client-centered care and maintaining a fun, productive company culture. We warmly welcome the MMPA team and clients to the family.” – Tim Knapp, AIA, LEED AP, Sr. VP Clark Patterson Lee

“We view this as a great opportunity for both our employees and clients alike. CPL already has a strong reputation and portfolio in the Carolinas, so expanding into the Triad region makes a great deal of business sense.” – Bill Moser, AIA, MMPA founder

“We look forward to continuing, and in many cases enhancing, our work and involvement in the Greensboro community; while also bringing additional resources to our clients throughout North Carolina, Virginia and elsewhere.” – Ken Mayer, FAIA, who will lead CPL’s Greensboro office

“The blending of MMPA’s 31 years of signature work in our community with the resources and experience of CPL’s east coast footprint, along with the resulting growth of the combined firms, will provide exciting opportunities for Greensboro and the greater Triad.” – Nancy Vaughan, Greensboro Mayor

“MMPA has been a strong partner to Greensboro College and other higher education institutions in Greensboro and beyond. It is exciting that, with the addition of Clark Patterson Lee’s resources and experience, these partnerships will continue to strengthen!” – Dr. Lawrence Czarda, President Greensboro College

“For 31 years, MMPA has been a leader in the physical design of our community; and their partners and other firm members have also played key leadership roles in many community initiatives. MMPA’s influence has made our community a better place. It is exciting that with the addition of Clark Patterson Lee’s resources, this high level of community engagement will continue.” – Walker Sanders, President, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro

<![CDATA[BUZZ: West Seneca's First-of-its-Kind Community Center, Library On Track For May Opening]]> The Town of West Seneca is building a community center/library next to its Town Hall on Union Road in West Seneca. The Buffalo News is reporting that this first-of-its-kind facility is currently in its construction phase, and is on track to open in May 2018!

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Introducing This Year's 40 Under 40 Honorees]]> We're thrilled to congratulate Clark Patterson Lee Senior Associate and Williamsville Mayor, Brian Kulpa, AIA, for being selected as one of this year's 40 Under Forty recipients. Buffalo Business First has been presenting the annual "40 Under Forty" awards since 1992, and the honorees are all recognized for their records of professional success and community involvement.

<![CDATA[BLOG: Why Community Engagement Matters]]> Working with local communities isn’t just business—it’s pleasure. That’s because in addition to working here, we live here, too. When it comes to making changes to our natural and built surroundings, we realize that our client is not just the municipality, but rather every citizen living, working and traveling in that community. At Clark Patterson Lee (CPL), we desire to deliver smart solutions that help build better communities.

Recently, CPL’s team members in Georgia participated in the Chamblee Mid-City Stroll, an event created to gather feedback from the community on a new project designed by our own Joe Powell.

The City of Chamblee is working on a project to develop the Peachtree Road Streetscape design that will determine the best solutions for roadway, sidewalk and other amenities along the Peachtree Road corridor in the heart of downtown Chamblee, along with the extensions of the Chamblee Rail Trail.

Participants in the stroll visited vendors along the path to learn about how the proposed changes would affect their community.

“When you’re proposing changes to someone’s street, you’d expect people to be upset about it. We got the opposite response,” said Matt Dickison, Development Director with the City of Chamblee, as well as an Urban Planner at CPL. “Everybody wanted to participate and give their feedback on all the changes.”

At each of the seven stops along the stroll, there was an opportunity to give feedback through various activities with play money, before-and-after photographs, survey responses and by selecting favorite features from the plan.

Rebecca Keefer, Development Deputy Director with the City of Chamblee, and CPL Urban Planner, said the games opened their eyes on what the community is really looking for.

“We had planned on adding a fitness park, but found that it scored very low. We can now eliminate this feature and allocate that funding to a different part of the project,” Keefer said.

Dickison and Keefer agreed that they’re essentially working for the citizens of Chamblee, so those opinions should certainly be considered. Meanwhile, designers beg the questions: can it happen, is it feasible, and is it safe?

“There should be a balance between the engineer’s expert views on ground rules and technical realities, and realizing that what looks good on a map doesn’t necessarily look good in person,” Keefer said.

CPL focuses on a client-centered approach, making plans a bit more flexible to accommodate the needs and wants of the majority.

Dickison credits much of the success of the event to the use of tactical urbanism: temporary, low-cost changes to the environment, used to improve local neighborhoods or city gathering places. The Chamblee event featured makeshift benches, bike trails, crosswalks, a temporary park with artificial grass, and more. This allowed event goers to see and feel what some of the changes would be like in real life.

“There is a lot of embodied knowledge in the community that you just can’t get from models and spec books that gives us a real-world view of any local strengths or constraints to incorporate into work,” added Justin Steinbach, Associate at CPL.

“Engaging with the community is an important part of the overall design process,” said Steinbach. “When we design or build a project, we just have a small part in the lifecycle; the community is a regular user, so their input is important to making sure we deliver something that accommodates their needs.”

CPL is aware that a project is a success only if the citizens are able to interact with their community more effectively than they were before. This stretches from park design, to crosswalks, to transportation.

“During the heyday of transportation design, everything was centered around one user – the driver. Whether cars, trucks or buses, the focus was getting vehicles from point A to point B as quickly as possible,” said Jennifer Michniewicz, Principal Associate at CPL.

“Over time, engineers and planners realized that this was the wrong approach and we should also consider other users like pedestrians and bicycles. We now engage the public collectively to find solutions that still get people from point A to point B, but do so in a way that brings people together,” she said.

The Chamblee Mid-City Stroll was the first event of its kind, combining several different types of feedback into a branded event where restaurants and businesses were able to join in as well. CPL hopes to host many similar events in the future.

<![CDATA[BROADCAST: CPL Suwanee Office Tour]]>

Located about 30 miles north of Atlanta, Clark Patterson Lee’s (CPL) Suwanee, GA office is the home base for some of our most creative, talented and innovative team members. Collaborating across disciplines and market sectors, this dynamic team is comprised of architects, engineers, designers, planners, building inspectors and code enforcement staff, all working together to make lasting connections with the people and places we serve.

After relocating to the Suwanee Gateway One Building last year, the professionals managed from our Suwanee office branch have continued to grow and take on projects that impact the heart of the community.

Recent work includes the Suwanee Town Center West project, which is part of a unanimously approved long-term master plan to develop a 25-acre sister park to the award-winning Suwanee Town Center. With the project featuring a mixture of urban and rural environments as well as improvements to the safety and traffic flow on Suwanee Dam, strong coordination between various disciplines has been a key component for success.

Our team is also busy working with cities like Chamblee and Johns Creek to renovate and/or design new city hall buildings as well as the City of Sugar Hill to provide program management for the local EpiCenter project.

“The projects we work on and the clients we work with are very diverse,” said HR Coordinator, Stephanie Douglas. “We’re fortunate to have equally diverse professionals who truly care about providing sustainable growth and innovation throughout the community.”

Douglas emphasized that part of her role with the firm is to foster a company culture that attracts and retains these talented individuals.

“From an HR perspective, it’s important to recognize that great people deserve a great place to work,” Douglas explained. “We make it a priority to identify and create initiatives that support an empowering workplace culture.”

Each member of our Suwanee office thinks, works, creates and achieves a little differently.

“And that’s the way we like it,” said Douglas. “From a former cross-country motorbike racer to a painter to a ballroom dancer, the Suwanee team is comprised of many different talents and personalities. The diversity helps us maintain a positive, fun work environment and stay at the forefront of creative design.”

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: Windows to New Worlds Expansion Project Wins AIA NC Tower Award]]> Contact: Vince Press, Director of Communications
Clark Patterson Lee

Michelle Draghi, Communications Coordinator
Clark Patterson Lee

Columbia, SC - September 9, 2017 - A Clark Patterson Lee (CPL) design has captured a Tower Award for the South Carolina State Museum’s Windows to New Worlds expansion project in Columbia, South Carolina. CPL, in association with Watson Tate Savory, served as the Design Architect and Architect of Record on the project.

The AIA North Carolina Design Awards program recognizes architects regionally and nationally for exceptional design expertise. The Tower Award acknowledges well-designed projects that exemplify historic preservation and adaptive reuse in renovation, restoration or rehabilitation of a historic structure.

Founded in 1988, the 225,000 square foot South Carolina State Museum is the state’s largest and most comprehensive museum. Located along the banks of the gorgeous Congaree River, the museum offers a unique, entertaining and educational experience to visitors through interactive and engaging exhibitions.

Guests can explore outer space in one of the largest planetariums in the Southeast, look through a vintage 1926 Alvin Clark refracting telescope (acquired from Columbia University) in a 2,500 square foot observatory, and enjoy a 3D movie with real-life sensations in the only permanent 4D theater in the state.

CPL Principal Consultant, Don Lee, said recognition from the AIANC members reinforces that this project was thoughtfully designed.

“The initial vision for this renovation project was to position the museum on the cutting edge of science education,” said Lee. “It’s nice to see that vision transform into a facility that not only impacts education, but also reflects the essence and history of South Carolina.”

<![CDATA[BLOG: Newburgh City Schools - Becoming Future Ready Now]]> The world as we know it is constantly changing, and education is no different. Whether today’s students are busy browsing the internet or asking Siri for the answers to their homework, there’s no doubt they are growing up in a time where technology is continually evolving and information is readily accessible.

To thrive in this age of information abundance and rapid innovation, we as architects, parents, teachers and administrators must beg the question: How are we preparing our students for the future? More specifically, how can schools today help students meet the challenges of tomorrow?

In an effort to answer these questions, Clark Patterson Lee (CPL) is working with the Newburgh Enlarged City School District to finalize a wide-ranging construction and renovation proposal for a referendum that will come before voters. More than simply fixing facilities, this bold building program re-invents how we educate our students.

Situated at the “crossroads” of the Northeast on the west bank of the Hudson River, the Newburgh City School District educates over 11,000 students annually and has 19 buildings totaling over 1.7 million square feet. The potential capital project is set to touch every facility and use innovative, high-quality design to optimize student learning and encourage community ownership.

Chris Colby, Principal Architect for the project, says making a positive impact on student learning is the mission. In fact, it’s required.

“If we have not helped to improve their education and become better students, then we failed,” said Colby.

Colby also emphasizes the undeniable effect that design has on student learning.

“The correlation between well-designed classrooms and learning development is something we as architects cannot ignore,” Colby explained. “Design considerations such as lighting, air quality, furniture selection and wall color, all have a direct influence on a student’s ability and willingness to learn.”

Should district voters approve the proposal, students will eventually walk into buildings with light shelves to spread natural light throughout classrooms; flexible furniture and desks to encourage collaborative learning; colored accent walls and acoustic ceiling panels to improve mood and productivity levels; and digital screens/pin up boards displaying student work to encourage pride and ownership among the student body.

In addition to these strategic renovations, Colby is eager to push the envelope and incorporate educational spaces that don’t formally exist in today’s school buildings.

“We have an opportunity here to do more than simply ‘fix’ things,” Colby explained. “As the educational landscape continues to evolve, it’s time to think outside the box and create unique learning environments that keep students engaged and motivated.”

Colby envisions outdoor learning spaces with terraced seating, a state-of-the-art planetarium, artificial intelligence labs and special areas dedicated to CTE programs such as cosmetology or barbering, physical therapy, automotive technology, fashion design and culinary arts.

“The idea of a commercial kitchen that serves meals at a student-run restaurant is also very exciting,” Colby mentioned. “From dish washing to management, students would learn valuable communication and entrepreneurial skills. They would even be exposed to important administrative tasks like bills, payroll and taxes.”

The potential learning opportunities for Newburgh students are endless. And in this rapidly changing world, the timing of a project of this magnitude is perfect.

“The students of today and the future will be glad we took these leaps in K-12 design,” said Colby. “We all will.”

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Clark Patterson Lee in Growth Mode in Buffalo Market]]> Click here to learn about Clark Patterson Lee's growth in Western New York covered by Jim Fink in the Buffalo Business First!

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Extraordinary People - Man Aiming to Transform Healthcare Options in Honduras]]> CPL Architectural Designer, Christian Perry, is pushing for quality healthcare in a nearby country. Read more.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Renovations in Newburgh Schools Would Link Learning with Attractive Design]]> Newburgh City School District's Superintendent, Roberto Padilla, and Clark Patterson Lee Principal Architect, Chris Colby, are explaining how new state-of-the-art facilities will combine with elements like improved lighting, window walls and indoor and outdoor common areas to improve student learning. Read more.

<![CDATA[BLOG: CPL Welcomes to our Suwanee Office, Landscape Architect, Mack Cain, RLA, LEED AP]]> We are pleased to welcome Mack Cain, RLA, LEED AP to our growing team in Suwanee, GA. An accomplished landscape architect with more than 40 years of experience in urban planning, streetscapes and site design, Mack brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in site-sensitive, low-impact design as well as green infrastructure. His competence in quality landscape design is matched by his multicultural portfolio of projects, which span across the US and in countries such as China, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Turkey, the Caribbean, and many more.

During his five years at the University of Georgia (UGA) where he earned his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree, Mack excelled academically and completed his landscape architecture internship at W.J. Cairns in Edinburgh, Scotland. After graduation, he became involved with a wide variety of local, state, and national award-winning projects that set new precedents in land design, two of which won awards that were personally presented by the first lady at the White House.

Throughout his career, Mack had the opportunity to work on three Olympic venues as well as several other national and international resort and residential projects. Additional accomplishments include starting a new landscape architecture group under the umbrella of Travis Pruitt and Associates, and founding/leading JJG/Jacobs, an award-winning design group in Atlanta, GA, for 17 years. Most recently, Mack received the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Medal from the UGA School of Environmental Design, which is the highest honor of the College of Environment and Design Alumni Association (CEDAA).

When it comes to Mack’s philosophy of design, he believes in a “tread lightly on the land” approach. He consistently aims to fit the built environment harmoniously onto the existing conditions of the land to create a natural design that is more sustainable, and preserves more of the organic character and aesthetics of the land.

Mack’s approach blends well with that of CPL’s growing landscape architectural group. Our landscape architects have a well-rounded knowledge of built and natural environments, and they deliver context sensitive designs focusing on the human experience of each place. Each design reflects the client and end user’s needs, while establishing linkages to the overall environment in which it is located.

Whether your projects require comprehensive master planning, park restoration, garden/courtyard design, streetscaping or all of the above, Mack and our team of landscape architects can help navigate your specific needs and deliver cost effective solutions. A truly talented designer with a clear passion for land design, Mack is an outstanding addition to our team.

<![CDATA[BLOG: A Sense for Interior Design - The Design Story of the Levine Autism Clinic]]> When you visit a doctor’s office, what do your senses notice? Unfamiliar sights and smells? Unusual sounds and even surfaces? The experience can be uncomfortable for many of us, but for kids faced with disabilities, it can undoubtedly be intimidating and overwhelming.

Clark Patterson Lee (CPL) is often challenged to design inviting, bright, interactive spaces that support state-of-the-art healthcare practices. The Levine Autism Clinic at the University of Rochester embraces the positive stimulation of one’s senses to provide a unique patient care experience.

Intended to specially treat patients with autism, mental illness and neurological diseases, the building was designed with a sensory experience in mind. Bright, vibrant colors, specialized lighting, and a tree top theme carry throughout the space, allowing patients a chance to become more comfortable with their surroundings, and less stressed about seeing the doctor.

“Designing for the patient is paramount,” said Susan Clark, CPL’s Senior Interior Designer. “But when focused on a group of children with special needs and particularly the sensory considerations associated with autism, every detail becomes exponentially important,” added Clark.

With such a detailed design comes in-depth research.

“Through research and personal experiences, we tried to design a space that was comfortable, safe and intriguing to a child,” said Carly Owczarczak, Interior Designer.

CPL worked closely with an autism expert provided by the University of Rochester, who emphasized the importance of sensory impact on leading patients throughout the visit with minimal disruption or overload.

Details included an open and welcoming lobby, windows or images at the end of every corridor, placement of materials and equipment in exam rooms, and a noise-reducing, circular corridor design. Also included is the tree top design, which was selected because of its inherent natural, calming familiarity, and safety representation.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are, from an infant to an older person, everyone has a connection with nature,” said Michelle Trott, Principal Architect.

Upon entering the space through the stairwell or elevators, visitors are surrounded with digital graphics of trees on the walls and leaves in the floor design.

“The wayfinding of the leaf floor patterning lead you to the front registration desk. The desk is a conceptual sun with radial rays acting as panels to divide the registration windows. The waiting room has a variety of green acoustical clouds and rain drop pendant lights that create the feeling of waiting in the tree canopy. The leaves at the desk light up to first, visually show that the registration window is open, and second, to keep a child’s interest while their parent is signing in,” Owczarczak described.

“While researching, we discovered that a patient might need goals to get to their destination,” said Owczarczak. “There are alcoves along a couple of the corridors for a patient to use if they need a quiet cubby to feel safe in. We tried to incorporate several key points in the floor patterns, ceiling design, wall graphics and artwork to help the patient, family and staff move easily through the space,” she said.

Thoughtful and innovative design has the ability to transform brick and concrete blocks of buildings into functional, welcoming, helpful places where patients in our community can go to thrive.

There is an incredible sense of reward and accomplishment felt by our healthcare designers in knowing they helped make the doctor visits for kids and their families just a little easier.

The Levine Autism Clinic had a grand opening spring 2017, and continues to successfully serve our community.

<![CDATA[BLOG: Town of West Seneca Library and Community Center]]>

The Town of West Seneca’s Town Center is a nucleus of residential, commercial and municipal facilities clustered around a 2 mile stretch of Union Road. In an effort to update the Town’s local library and make the campus fully accessible to Union Road Pedestrians, the Town needed a design team to offer solutions that would better equip the library for future digital platforms.

Clark Patterson Lee (CPL) stepped up to the plate and quickly identified the opportunity to combine two facilities under one roof. A new building that functions as both a library and community center would ultimately present the Town the opportunity to stretch its built infrastructure toward Union Road and give the campus its first walk up facility, setting the stage for future investment. A civic center such as this would also allow the public to utilize a space for various youth activities, business functions, senior services and perhaps even a casual cup of coffee.

This project is intertwined in the Town’s recent efforts to redefine Union Road through town-wide master planning. The proposed facility is an important component in the master plan as it will play a role in making the community more walkable and useful.

The Library: The proposed addition and remodeling conceptually consists of adding approximately 18,000 s.f. of program space including areas for a possible café, meeting rooms and a community/youth center. Given that the library is located in “Veteran’s Park”, the design incorporates the Town’s proud veteran heritage.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Community Center/Library expansion project was held on January 19, 2017.Project completion is scheduled for 2018.

<![CDATA[BLOG: Graphic Designer, Brand Ambassador, Life Saver]]> Andrew Schmitz’s average day does not exist. As the only graphic designer for Clark Patterson Lee (CPL), Schmitz conquers an ever-changing and ever-growing list of job duties daily, all while exemplifying what the CPL brand really is. He’s collaborative, inspiring, ingenious, and a whole lot of fun. But perhaps more than any of these, he is an expert project juggler.

Schmitz has been in CPL's Rochester office for a year and a half and boasts 21 years in the graphic design industry. Originally an oil painting major, Schmitz was pulled into graphic design classes when he realized he didn’t want to be a starving artist.

But, he credits his art background for his design success.

“A good graphic designer has an eye for quality,” he said. Part of conveying quality is not confusing the message, and not giving too much stimuli to your audience—ie, anyone who will be viewing the design.

His taste is clean, elegant, functional and understated. He likes to work with shapes and relies on their natural presence to lead his design.

That taste came in handy with his first project at CPL, the firm’s 2016 rebranding efforts. He, along with the marketing crew, wanted the new design to illustrate everything CPL portrays as a brand: strength, integrity, elegance and balance.

Since then, he is always looking for ways to improve the brand’s image, from slight mark tweaking or eye-catching newspaper ads; to parallelism between proposal layouts, folders, banners and trifolds; to giant wall art in newly renovated offices. And as if these efforts didn’t keep him busy enough, he still graciously helps with any project planning throughout the firm, rarely turning down the opportunity to help a coworker with anything.

Most recently, Schmitz has taken on creating logos for our clients as an added benefit to working with CPL. To date, Schmitz has completed 15 client logos.

All logos are born in black and white, with a maximum of two colors added in later. It’s Schmitz’s belief that if a design works in a monochromatic world, it’s going to work in a color world as well.

For inspiration, Schmitz frequently looks toward nature. “There’s a reason it all works in nature,” he said. “It’s all balanced.” That’s why he incorporates balance, clean lines, and professional finishing touches into his work, every time.

The most difficult part of his job: “It’s all subjective!” he said. “I always respect what the client wants, but the challenge is translating an idea into a quality illustration.”

He said any piece of graphic design must convey that idea to the audience, or it hasn’t done its job.

Much like architecture, the first draft is rarely the final. After Schmitz provides an example or two, clients frequently have changes based on how they envisioned the project in their minds. Ultimately, he finds an equilibrium between a daydream and reality, and creates a tangible, functional, unique look that makes the whole process worth it.

Outside of work, Schmitz still enjoys painting from time to time, amateur woodworking, backyard beers, and spending time with his wife, Lisa, and boys, Niall and Dylan.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Millennial Stays Put and Thrives in Hometown]]> CPL's Jason Streb featured in RBJ's Fast Start column. Read the full article here.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Hot Jobs - Expect Strong Competition for Architects]]> Clark Patterson Lee’s Jen LaChance discusses the architecture & design profession in the D&C's Chronicle's Hot Jobs column. Read the full article here.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Celebrating the National Comedy Center]]> Daybreak was on the road in Jamestown, NY to celebrate the work being done to build a new National Comedy Center. The center is expected to open next year, and developers say it could make Jamestown a household name. Read more