Connecting brands to people
A2Z Design focuses on marketing’s creative element
by Tim Froberg
A well-crafted logo may consist of only a few words, but it can say a million more about the virtues of an organization.
That’s the value of creative art design—something Jeff Amstutz has always had a knack for.
It’s what his company, A2Z Design, is all about. The Indiana native founded the innovative marketing design agency in 2007 and it is an amazing addition to the Appleton business community.
A2Z Design works with companies, organizations, industries, and education systems to improve visibility though a variety of contemporary marketing concepts. In addition to branding, A2Z helps to upgrade publications, offering cover-to-cover content and design development and art direction for magazines, annual reports, brochures, or direct marketing mailers. It also offers website design, print, and digital advertising services, working to create memorable messaging campaigns that connect clients to their target audience.
“We’re a little different from the traditional full-service agency because we focus on the creative element,” said Amstutz. “We focus on the design aspects, the art design—any creative aspect within the marketing realm, we will do it. We’re heavily grounded in print design. We still love print and still believe in it, but as things have evolved, we are doing a lot of digital design work and are moving quickly to become even more savvy in that area. That’s where a lot of growth potential is.
“Outside of design, we partner with others if we need photography or video, and we have some great partners and resources. We bring the best of the best to our client partners.”
Amstutz has more than 20 years of art and design experience after graduating from Ball State University in 1995 with a double major in business and journalism. He grew up on a farm near Fort Wayne, Indiana, and worked as art director for Journey Group, VoxCorp and Royal Magazine Corporation before relocating to the Fox Cities.
“I’ve always loved publications and actually started a magazine on campus,” said Amstutz. “After doing design work as an art director following college, I had this crazy notion that I should peel off and do my own thing.”
It wasn’t such a crazy notion. A2Z’s clientele is impressive. It includes the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Kohler Foundation, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, United Way Fox Cities, Ascension, Insight Publications, the Champion Center, Neuroscience Group, Appleton’s Octoberfest and Secura.
Branding has become a game-changer in the marketing industry and is a major part of A2Z’s business. A2Z helps companies brand and rebrand themselves through quality logo designs and messaging to illustrate what the company stands for and believes in.
“We live in an information-rich society where we can get information in a flash,” Amstutz said. “The problem is we’re time poor. Businesses are basically jockeying for attention. Having a strong logo and brand identity are so important because people connect and feel a certain way about them. When you see that logo, you know what it is. You know it’s trusted and will provide a service or product. It’s a great time saver and a shortcut to getting someone to make a very quick decision.
“What I’m really proud of is that when we develop a logo, it lasts. There are so many logos we developed well over a decade ago that are still in use. We’re not going to whip out a quick logo on the fly for a couple bucks. We go in-depth because we see it as a really important investment toward the future of that organization.”