Your brand image means everything to us. Our extensive background in the association/nonprofit and financial sectors matches our ongoing commitment to provide you with a more cohesive and enhanced identity and reputation across all web and print media.
When you partner with us we become an extension of your association. We’ll work closely with you to better understand your business and marketing objectives, resulting in the consistent quality of imagery and messaging that will help build your brand. We’ve worked with associations on organizational rebrands, Journal rebrands, logo and website redesigns, event collateral, ads, sales materials, e-communications, social media strategy, and PowerPoint and Word templates, among other things. View our process See our work Meet our team
We love working in the not-for-profit world. Your passion for offering quality information, programs, and help to others is contagious. At Bending Design, Inc., we strive to match your passion by treating each project as one of many significant brand statements you make to your key stakeholders. This “Big Picture” thinking ensures your marketing materials will have the cohesive look and feel so critical to establishing and sustaining a great reputation. Learn about Bending Back, where we donate design for one year to a local 501(c)(3). View our process See our work Meet our team
Our extensive background in the banking, insurance and financial services industries has helped us develop an ever-deepening knowledge base to more efficiently and effectively serve our clients. We’ve worked with these organizations on rebrands, logo and website redesigns, event collateral, ads, billboards, sales collateral, electronic and print holiday greetings, presentations, e-communications, and PowerPoint and Word templates, among other things. View our process See our work Meet our team
We’ve had the pleasure to partner with...
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Architectural Manufacturers Association
- American Dental Association
- American Diabetes Association
- American Optometric Association
- American Senior Benefits Association
- CCIM Institue
- Illinois Association of REALTORS®
- Illinois Bankers Association
- The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
- National Sports Car Drivers Association
- National Volunteer Fire Council
- Society of Gynecologic Oncology
- The Children’s Advocacy Center
- National Safety Council
- Rebuilding Together
- Clark Consulting
- CNB Bank
- GE Capital
- Matrix Direct Insurance Services
- Pearl Meyer & Partners
- RLI Corp.
Who We are
It’s common knowledge that to succeed in any business you first need an idea and a plan. We agree. But in our line of work one intangible drives everything elsepassion. Passion for our ideas, passion for our work, passion for the relationships we build, and, of course, passion for the clients we serve. That passion carries through to everything we do and we are grateful for it. It is, after all, who we are.
Passion remains the driving force behind the origins of Bending Design. We opened our doors as a small, fluid, flexible and responsive agency built to serve clients just like you. Our full array of design servicesincluding strategy, graphic design, web design, multimedia, copywriting and moreare built around a promise to be ready when you need us.
At Bending Design, we believe in creating, cultivating and strengthening long-standing partnerships with our clients. We simply cannot exist without them. While some clients choose to work with us on a project-to-project basis, many of our clients opt to keep us on retainer, simply because it’s a great way to get down to the business of design, saving you precious time and money. Either way, you’ll receive the same high-level of quality and effort no matter the scope of the project.
Research: In order to fully understand the problem to be solved we work to gather as much information as possible, and understand the project’s goals and desired outcomes. We create a design brief and discover strategies for solving the problems effectively and memorably.
Exploration: The best ideas don’t pop into our minds—the obvious ones do. In order to flex our creative muscles we need to help the creative process along by brainstorming possible solutions. The best ideas are taken further and critiqued before they are ready for your review.
Production: Upon design approval we work with you to create and/or gather text and imagery. The details are worked out, final revisions are made, the design is proofed, tested and launched. We ensure that your finished product meets our collective standards of excellence.
Analysis: Our work isn’t done after the project delivers. We want to check target audience responsiveness and if we’re meeting the stated objectives. Always looking to improve our own processes, we follow up on your experience working with us. We welcome any and all feedback.
While a project basis is typical, many of our clients choose to work on retainer because they: save time, manage the workload, have ongoing access to expertise, have less heartache and more cost control. For more detail on the benefits of a retainer partnership read our recent e-newlsetter article on the topic.
Our talent and expertise runs deep.
Our team consists of experts in areas from strategy and design to programming and writing.
- President/Creative Director
- Cherylyn Gnadt
- Senior Designer
- Christina Naselli
- Office Manager
- Lindsay Grace
- Junior Designer
- Joe Liu
- Web Developer
- Jackie O'Reilly
- Ryan M. Ross
- Digital Media Specialist
- Peter Savio
- Writer/Content Developer
An 18 year veteran in the graphic design field and a lifelong artist, Cherylyn has developed concepts, designs and strategic marketing campaigns for a variety of clients. At prior positions including Leo Burnett Technology Group, Deforest Creative and ABS Graphics, she has worked alongside and learned from many talented people.
Cherylyn acts as Bending Design’s print expert, thinking creatively about using different print techniques to solve the design problem, designing beautiful layouts and overseeing quality by handling press checks.
Cherylyn earned her degree from the American Academy of Art in Chicago with concentrations in Fine Art and Graphic Design. She continued her education at the College of DuPage where her focus was Marketing and Business.
After a 14 year career in the import custom brokerage/freight fowarding industry, and with a second child on the way, Christina decided to take a different path by working part-time in a completely new arenaher sister’s graphic design firm. Christina utilizes the skills she’s mastered in her previous life to maintain the books, help with proofing work, and keep the office running smoothly. Art and design is in her blood, so she’s excited to be a part of the Bending Design team.
A recent graduate of Stephens College with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design, Lindsay is our newest designer. Bending Design may be her first official design job post graduation, but she is not unfamiliar with the working world. She has experience in book publication, print design and has dabbled in website design.
At Stephens, Lindsay was Director of Visuals for the student newspaper, worked as an intern in the marketing department and was the sole designer for Stephens award-winning, student produced Harbinger literary magazine. She also worked her way from designer to Creative Director of Missouri’s only student-run marketing firm, Creative Ink. She co-managed a team of ten + designers and account managers, as well as the firm’s numerous clients, all while continuing to design alongside team members. Lindsay is full of drive and passion for this industry.
Joe Liu is the principal of Floodlight Design, a web development firm located in Elgin, IL. He is passionate about bringing design to life by creating customized coding solutions for a variety of web based applications. With his background in Electrical Engineering he approaches all projects from a system architecture standpoint first and an implementation standpoint second. Using this dual phase approach uniquely positions Floodlight to create solutions that meet the bigger picture needs of their clients. Joe has been working with Bending Design since 2008.
Jackie is the president of Plain English Communications, a marketing communications and public relations firm dedicated to the idea that the best message is a clear message. Jackie shuns unintelligible marketing lingo and buzz words, preferring instead to convey your message clearly and meaningfully. No jargon. No ambiguity. Plain English.
Jackie has worked in marketing and PR for over 15 years. She has written both internal and external marketing materials for organizations such as JPMorgan Chase, Protective Life Corporation, Gallagher Bassett Services, Product Action and the American Senior Benefits Association. Jackie began working with Bending Design in 2010.
Ryan M. Ross
Digital Media Specialist
Ryan got his first Commodore 64c while in high school, paving the way to his career as a Digital Media Specialist. Majoring in Computer Graphics & Multimedia, Ryan graduated from Columbia College Chicago with honors. He began this journey at Northeastern Illinois University where he was focusing on traditional art and later, computer graphics. 15 years later, Ryan still enjoys his career and the challenges that come with it. Ryan has been working with Bending Design since its inception in 2003.
Peter is a freelance writer and web content consultant with over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, having previously held writing, consulting and management positions at Allstate, Zurich Life, Bank One and Clark Consulting. He has worked with Bending Design since 2005.
The work we do goes far beyond the “job shop” approach of taking orders and fulfilling requests. We treat each project as a holistic brand statement to your audience, a clear and consistent message that’s part of a bigger world. We offer:
- Communications, website, language, competitive audits
- Strategy and positioning
- Logo and stationery design
- Identity standards
- Templates and guidelines
- Extending the brand
In Our Head
We’re big believers in the old adage, “You learn something new every day.” Not only do we love to learn, but we love to share our thoughts on relevant topics that matter. Our Ideabending blog and periodic email newsletters are great forums for us to provide counsel, insight and opinions on any number of top-of-mind issues.
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|Apr. 2013||Responsive Websites Are Picking Up Steam|
|Feb. 2013||Associative Thinking Generates Ideas|
|Jan. 2013||Design Brief Infographic|
|Oct. 2012||What Exactly is an Infographic?|
|Sep. 2012||Bending Back: Helping Those Helping Others|
|Jul. 2012||Why Design Briefs Work; Meet Lindsay Grace|
|Jun. 2012||Brainstorming Techniques and Inspiration|
|May 2012||Research Tactics|
|Apr. 2012||Reaching your mobile audience: mobile app or website?|
|Mar. 2012||How to Monitor and Manage Your Organization's Online Reputation|
|Feb. 2012||A New Look for bendingdesign.com|
|Jan. 2012||Is It Time For A Brand Refresh?|
|Dec. 2011||5 Reasons A Bending Design Retainer Is Good For You|
|Oct. 2011||Good Design for Mobile Websites; The New Rules of SEO|
|Aug. 2011||Hospital Pediactrics Branding and Design|
|Jun. 2011||My Tributes to Mom and Dad|