Talking shop with Travis LaDue, Principal at Studio Mast
Breweries, coffee roasters, tech companies, hotels, CBD oil producers, nonprofits, winter sports gear – Denver has just about all the quality work a design studio could ask for.
Among those studios doing big things is Studio Mast, a design studio modest in size but steadfast in its purpose statement: though the type of work may vary, its commitment to creating a strong brand identity is not.
What’s the Studio Mast ethos? What can clients expect from working with you?
Travis LaDue: When we started Studio Mast, we really wanted to focus on what we’re good at and be hard lined about that. Whether it be physical packaging, web, physical collateral, or space design, or signage, in a restaurant—everything stems for that inflection point of the identity. Allowing everything to have a holistic look and feel based on that identity component. Everything pushes out from that, making sure that the identity comes first and that’s what we really focus on.
For us, that’s where we really found our strong suit and we’ve really leaned into that and partnered with some great people that really appreciate that.
How do you determine which clients you will take on?
[A client’s enthusiasm] is kind of the starting point. If we work with somebody who’s really excited about what they’re doing, that excitement is infectious and allows us to really dive into their world and get excited about what they’re excited about.
We also try to be pretty devoid of a personal style. Rather, we try to use our skillset to better the work based on the research and the market of a specific client or project, and really situate them in the market correctly and give them the look and feel and thinking behind that brand to be successful.
The majority of our process is research and discovery and getting to know the client, getting to know their brand, figuring out what it ends to feel like before figuring out what it needs to look like. We’re firm believers in the fact that if you miss what it’s going to feel like you’re going to miss what it’s going to look like.
What are some of your other creative endeavors? Anything that keeps you fresh as a designer?
From a creative standpoint, before getting into design I’ve been into photography for a very long time, from a very young age. My mom taught yearbook in high school and I would always hang out with her after school and hang out in the yearbook room and that’s kind of where I got my first taste of design and I fell in love with photography.
How do you and Studio Mast hope to improve moving forward?
A lot of it comes down to making sure we have time for personal growth. I think having that work-life balance is really key to us and it’s key to being steadfast about that. From a creative standpoint, we really like building long-term relationships with clients. We’re working on stuff for clients that we’ve been working with for years.
Having that long-term relationship and friendship with clients is really great and something we strive for. Building those connections are really great for us. Anything we can do to make the world we live in a better place.