The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY)

Theo Fels, creative director of Feisty Brown

- Staff report

Theo and his wife, Julie Fels, founded the graphic design studio, Feisty Brown, in 2017 and they focus primarily on supporting and improving corporate communicat­ions. As the creative director, Theo is passionate about understand­ing his clients’ corporate culture and how it translates into impactful visual communicat­ions.

With more than 30 years of combined experience working with recognizab­le organizati­ons such as American Express, Capital One, Samsung, and The Internatio­nal Monetary Fund, Feisty Brown helps its clients achieve distinct brand personalit­ies and tell their stories in robust and engaging ways.

More informatio­n is available online at feistybrow­

1. Why did you and your partner start Feisty Brown?

Julie and I worked together in corporate communicat­ions before Feisty Brown and found that we complement­ed each other with her business and editorial expertise and my experience in translatin­g our clients’ needs into design. So, we started Feisty Brown based on the idea that our best client work came from the story behind the “ask” — experienci­ng the story in a visual way makes emotional connection­s that reverberat­e long after the viewer has moved on to other things.

2. How can businesses harness corporate communicat­ions to their advantage?

Building corporate communicat­ions begins with an equal commitment to the quality of both internal and external communicat­ions. There are opportunit­ies for good design in communicat­ions campaigns, stakeholde­r presentati­ons, annual reports, and even intranets.

Intranets are more than just private, secure networks that allow employers to share informatio­n with their employees, they’ve become almost social platforms that allow for peer-to-peer employee interactio­n. The goal of an intranet is to create a healthy working community, foster communicat­ion,

and encourage collaborat­ion. And your employees naturally become more connected and educated.

3. How does graphic design enhance corporate communicat­ions?

One of the most important aspects of corporate communicat­ions is consistenc­y in messaging and branding. Once you have that accomplish­ed it’s a matter of making communicat­ion effective and impactful enough that they stand out amongst everything else coming at you in a busy day. You

must be respectful of people’s time so communicat­ions must get to the point quickly and, hopefully, in an enjoyable and aesthetic manner.

4. If you could offer business owners just one piece of advice to make their communicat­ions have more impact, what would it be?

Be human. Be yourself.

5. What’s more important for a successful business — external communicat­ions like advertisin­g or internal communicat­ions with employees?

That’s like asking what’s

more important, feet or hands? They are similar in many respects but also have very different roles. A company may spend a lot of money in advertisin­g with the ultimate goal of creating brand loyalty. But company employees are already loyal to that brand – they prove that with the energy and creativity they bring to their jobs every day.

And in return, they deserve not just open and honest communicat­ions but also communicat­ions that are interestin­g and visually captivatin­g.

 ?? PHOTO PROVIDED ?? Theo Fels is the co-founder and creative director of graphic design studio Feisty Brown.
PHOTO PROVIDED Theo Fels is the co-founder and creative director of graphic design studio Feisty Brown.

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