Spotlight on Excellence: Behind the Scences
This month’s spotlight is an inside look at the extraordinary graphic designer who steers the design projects for marketing at Club Auto Sport with a unique flair ─ leading all roads to success!
Dave Graff of Copyland/Zip2Print is the man who prefers working behind the scenes churning out fabulous design work and producing his creative magic on marketing projects.
Tell me the story of your love of Art? Art was always my thing. Grandma was a painter and helped foster my love of art. As a young man, I was a doodler; abstract drawing and sketching everywhere. In high school; I helped make banners and signs for all the school activities.
When did your career start? I graduated from Masters Institute for print based graphics. I then worked in Tahoe as graphic designer for a little while, however after a season of continual huge snow storms, I moved back to the bay area and began working as a freelance graphic designer. I met Frank Ettefagh, the founder of Copyland and told him “he had to hire me” and he did!
Who are your typical clients? I work with companies that need a wide range of marketing tools. I’ve had long relationships with Marie Calendar’s retail products for over 20 years, Air Systems Foundation for 15 years, Una Mas for 10 years, Boy Scouts of America and Santa Clara Swim Club for 8 years and Club Auto Sport for 5 years. “Real customers” are part of what I am and what I do. I like becoming a part of the company and I consider them a part of my family. Family is everything.
What would you say is a distinguishing feature of the work you churn out? Most designers have a look. I don’t have a look. I form my work around the personality of the client. For example, two of my customers entered two different pieces of my work into a contest under different identities. I won 1st and 2nd prize in the same contest. The judges didn’t know the work was done by the same designer.
Do you have any designers that you would say influenced your work/style? I worked with George Coakley, founder of CoakleyHeagerty when I was just starting out and he pulled me into projects that were way over my head. He pushed me to do jobs that I had never done before. I learned fast and was really lucky.
Tell me what is the favorite part of your work with Club Auto Sport? Being part of the family; the diversity; definitely the people and the unique history of Club Auto Sport. The variety of businesses they have and working daily with Christine Davis (marketing director and co-owner) pushes me in all areas. I feel we have created some of the most amazing pieces of my career in working with Club Auto Sport.
To sum it up, tell me Dave’s principal rule of design? You have 0.3 seconds to grab the customer’s attention or they never see your products. I use this rule for ALL the work I do.
Club Auto Sport chose Dave Graff and Copyland/Zip2Print as a must for a business that places a big importance on marketing and creating a name for themselves. He quickly became our go-to guy who could take our raw ideas and make them into show stopping exciting pieces ─ often called by many ─ works of art!
Yes Dave, you are indeed a big part of our family. Thank you for making us shine and being a part of “The Wheel” in the Club Auto Sport community!
(Spotlight on Excellence: Behind the Scenes :: By Debbie Simoni, General Manager)
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