Summer of Photos

Well it was not the “Summer of George” it was indeed the Summer of Photos. Hannes Design worked on lots of photography work this Summer. 

We started with shooting 21 locations for the new merged Lake Ridge Bank. After Monona Bank and State Bank of Cross Plains joined forces – they became Lake Ridge Bank and with new signage comes new photos. Shooting that many locations over two counties poses quite a few challenges. Add in a little smog from Canada and it was definitely tricky business. We first took the time to try to figure out which direction each building faced, in order to determine if it would be best to shoot in morning light or afternoon light. From there we planned routes and groups of offices that were close to each other. Then we watched the smog and the sky for the best conditions and lighting to shoot. Dealing with cars, people, homeless (long story) and other curious people was an added challenge, but in the end I think it turned out well.

Next we had the pleasure of working with the Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation and shooting photos inside and out of the newly remodeled building serving as “The Collective”. Listed as an “…innovation center, piloting best practices for childcare business sustainability” this creative workspace offers many different working opportunities – as well as a YMCA and childcare all in the same building. Overlooking the Rock River, it not only offers pleasing workspace but nice views and a central location as well. We were blessed with pretty good weather the day I came out and the staff at The Collective was amazing to work with. The renovations were done to an old building, but you wouldn’t have known it as the inside looked brand new. An amazing space that will be around for years to come helping the different business of Watertown and the nearby communities.

It was a nice change to have an uptick of photography work this Summer and good to get out and about and see more of this part of Wisconsin while doing it. I think it really shows the importance of having good photography showing off your building or product. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words and hopefully more. If you or someone you know is in need of photography, be it a headshot or a new office shot – let us know. We would love to help you out.

You Designed What?

Over the years I’ve been asked to Design – or create – many different things. Once I put the head of a companies boss on to an Oscar statue so the image could be printed out and mounted on foam core to be handed out at a annual meeting. Another time I was asked to photoshop a person in a photo who looked a bit scruffy. My clients asked if I could “Give him a shave”. So I did. Sometimes Graphic Design are regular requests and sometimes they can be a bit unusual. But it is all FUN! From billboards, to can coozies to trade show graphics to packaging labels.

My latest ‘unusual’ request was a couple of tattoo designs! I thought “sure, I can help design a tattoo!” Often people have an idea that is unique but can’t quite communicate it to the tattoo artist and are at the mercy of their interpretation. My client and good friend Rick (hey buddy!) asked me to design him not one – but TWO tattoos! Both were uniquely personal to him and in both cases he had a concept and wanted the idea refined and perfected before going into the tattoo artist.

Just goes to show – if you have an idea and just can’t visualize it – maybe a designer can take your ideas and your input and take the concept to the next level. Give me a call or shoot me an email if you have an idea, a concept, a new business or something that you are having trouble pulling into focus. I’d love to hear about it and try to help create something to give your concept a new direction.

Stay Frosty

A new year is upon us and although its given us lots of crazy weather – it has also reminded us to look for beauty and new opportunities everywhere. We are doing well and surviving the Wisconsin winter and are ready to help you with any of your design needs.

We have a few new projects in the work and invite you to check out our updated Portfolio and the fun new examples of our work — like tattoo design!

Be sure to contact us if there is anything creative or visual that we can help you design. From small to big – we work on it all.


Hello everyone. Happy Summer! As we all keep trying to balance work with the craziness of Summer, this is a simple reminder to “Stop and Smell the Flowers”.

It’s so easy to get caught up in work or the news or even in business. But too often we forget to take time to have some fun and go out into the great outdoors and enjoy the warm weather. Before we know it Fall will be here and then the snow will be flying. Time goes fast and everything changes constantly.

Here at Hannes Design, we are moving forward with new clients, new designs and new technology. But we try hard to refresh by taking some time to enjoy the outdoors too. I hope you all enjoy the season – and give us a call if we can help you with your next design project.

Photo by Tom Hannes, Hannes Design – Goodman Pool, Madison Wisconsin

New Location

As some of my clients have already heard, starting on January 1st, 2022 our office will be moving to a new location at 609 Engelhart Drive.

Some of you have asked about this move – I will briefly explain. The office space we currently have is within the offices of Restaino & Associates Realtors on Madison’s westside. They currently have a very large office (two floors) with many offices. Due to the Covid pandemic, many agents are working from home and thus the larger office space isn’t used as much as in the past. They will be relocating as well at the end of the year. As a result, I am in the process of moving my business to the above address as well. I will still receive mail and can meet with clients at the 26 Schroeder Ct location through the end of 2021. In early 2022, I will let you know where the new office location for Restaino will be located and if I will move my offices there or remain at the 609 address. Thanks for your understanding during this transition.

Holding Strong

Looking back at my last blog – from 2018 – I couldn’t just leave that there being that its three years old. Ironic though, as the post said “Are Blogs Dead?” Maybe not, but in this case not well utilized. Anyways, the last few years have been difficult for all with Covid and a worldwide pandemic. We at Hannes Design are holding strong and doing our best. I have some plans for some upgrades and improvements and so far 2021 has been a better year than last. I’ve seen a number of clients lose their businesses, and I appreciate all my clients each and every day. Contact us today if there is something we can help you with.

Are Blogs Dead?

I assume most people think the same thing I did when I built my website – “Should I have a Blog?” I chose to do one but clearly looking back, I like others do not post often enough to create interest. Its been 1.5 years since my last post – that’s crazy. But as you all know time goes fast. We all make priorities and blogs just aren’t one of them. So are they dead? I think in some businesses and industries they are. If you are in a business where constant communication is key, they could be important. But I believe most have been replaced by a Facebook page. So much easier to keep up on.

So I’ll let you tell me. Do you read this? Do you think I should keep this page? I take no offense either way. I plan on doing some website updates soon. I’ll decide then whether or not to keep this page. Feel free to contact me with your opinion.

2017 is here!

I can’t believe the new year is upon us already. It definitely came here quickly. As like so many of my clients, I have not been the best at keeping up with my blog. You know what? That’s OK. I’ve been busy keeping my files and software up to date and delivering high quality design to my clients.

Speaking of clients – I have a few new ones that I think you should check out and watch for future changes with them during the year. First is Savvy Woman Secrets magazine. I started working with them last year and the holiday issue was my third issue that I was deeply involved with. This is a great Dane County area magazine featuring many wonderful businesses. The holiday issue even had a secret section that featured some amazing deals. Another new client is Jada’s Garden & Greenhouse. Jada has been doing personal gardening and landscaping for some time and does amazing work. She will be opening a new Greenhouse in the Mount Horeb area sometime this year. Watch for more information on her website which we were very proud to work on.

Lastly, I hope you all have a great 2017. I look forward to working with you all and hope it is a wonderful year!

Design All Around Us

Monona Terrace

I’m amazed sometimes by the different designs I find all around town – sometimes in the areas I least expect it. From a terrace chair to city banners up and down the street. Some amaze me and some just make me shake my head.

My wife likes to tease me when I critique menu design when we are out. I just can’t help it – its in my blood. But at the same time, how a menu reads, or looks to the restaurant’s customers is almost as important as the taste of the food. Both are part of the experience and leave an impression. That is the same with your businesses design. Whether its an advertisement, your letterhead – or even an invoice – you want your design to leave a good impression.

If you come across a design that you particularly like – or hate – let us know. Tell us what impression they left on you. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Website 3.0

Rabbit with magic gift box

Some of you know my background story – but for those of you who don’t, here is a brief summary of how I have come to this point in my career as a Graphic Designer.

In the early 90’s, I fell in love with Graphic Design while attending the school of Art at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. While in school, I worked for the University’s extension printing services as an LTE designer. We worked on many publications including text books, pamphlets and more. I was fortunate to work along side a few wonderful designers who’s experience I appreciated.

I then found myself working for a small pre-press house doing high-end photoshop work, along with trapping and editing layouts prior to outputting final press ready films. Any industry that doesn’t exist anymore – having gone all digital – I still appreciated the knowledge of how the prepress world worked.

I then went to work for an offset sheet fed printer in their in-house design department. Working on a huge variety of projects, I gained lots of experience as a designer, and an invaluable knowledge of the printing process.

Next came my time in advertising, working as Art Director for an In-House ad agency for a national franchise company. I was both designer, marketing manager, production manager and much more.

Finally, I decided to go freelance and take my experience in the many fields I worked in and start my own business. I have had the pleasure to work with a great deal of companies from small to large and continue to find new challenges each year.

Now in our 13th year of business, I am happy to be completing the third version of our website for Hannes Design. I know this is the best site to date and I hope it reflects the abilities that we can offer.