About Us

Maybe it’s because we used to be clients ourselves, but we understand that it’s not only the results that matter, but how you get there, too. Creating deeper, more meaningful experiences for our clients’ brands starts with building trust and having great relationships with our clients.

The leadership team

craig-franke-portrait

Craig Franke

Principal / Creative Director

Craig oversees the creative solutions developed by the design team, ensuring that the approach is visually compelling and effective in achieving the clients’ business objectives. He is passionate about the positive impact design can have. Craig’s career path includes several years of packaging and identity design at a Minneapolis design firm prior to forming his partnership with Deb Fiorella. Some of the larger identity projects Craig has led include the redesign of the Cargill logo and identity, the design of the logo and identity for The Mosaic Company, the design and development of 3M’s Brand Identity System and the Valspar Brand Identity System. Craig is an active member of AIGA Minnesota and Design Management Institute. His design work has been honored by many industry organizations and publications including American Corporate Identity, AIGA, Creativity, Graphic Design USA and Print. The firm’s work has also been featured in the book Logos: Making a Strong Mark, 150 Strategies for Logos That Last, among others. Born in North Dakota and raised in Minneapolis, Craig chose the University of Minnesota to pursue his BFA, and Minneapolis College of Art and Design for additional studies. Today, when he’s not reviewing designs or developing concepts, Craig cherishes spending time with his wife, daughter and dog Ginger. He mountain bikes, and enjoys hiking and traveling when schedules allow. He's working on a series of children's books with his wife, Deb Fiorella. He is also working on a suite of fine art prints.

deb-fiorella

Deb Fiorella

Principal / Strategy Director

Thanks to living in various parts of the United States and Europe, Deb brings a global perspective to building and managing client relationships and brands. She oversees the development of all brand and marketing strategy behind the team’s design solutions for Fortune 1000 organizations and nonprofits. Having worked on the client side for a Fortune 500 organization in the beginning of her career, Deb understands the day-to-day challenges our clients face and ensures that the rest of the team does, too. Deb’s natural leadership abilities, experience and insights help the team deliver brand strategy and design solutions that often exceed expectations. No wonder clients seek her guidance and expertise time and again! Born in New York, Deb has called home to many places—including Brussels, Belgium—until settling in Minneapolis after earning a BA in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Minnesota. Her ongoing education in marketing and brand management includes the Yale School of Management AIGA “Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders.” She is a member of and financial advisor to AIGA, the professional association for design, and belongs to Design Management Institute. Deb speaks to industry peers on the national and local level, and regularly educates business leaders in many industries about the benefits of design as a strategic business tool. In her spare time, Deb enjoys painting, skiing, biking, cooking, reading, traveling and doing fun kid stuff with her husband Craig and their daughter.

Todd Monge

Design Director

With a quick wit, sharp sensibilities and 20+ years in the industry, Todd has led the design development of a number of high-visibility corporate identity systems, publications and extensive print campaigns in addition to comprehensive logo and visual identity systems for 3M, ASV, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, The Mosaic Company and The Valspar Corporation. Todd’s work has been honored by American Graphic Design, American Corporate Identity, Public Relations Society of America and Logo Lounge. With a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Minnesota and a BS in Visual Communications-Graphic Design from Brown College, Todd’s passion for design and life comes through in all that he does. After his design day is done, we can find Todd hanging out with his family, playing in the band, painting or on the golf course.

How we're different

Our clients like working with us. They tell us that we listen in a way that is truly different. To our clients and their audiences. We call it listening between the lines.

It’s this dialog and collaborative spirit that fuels new ways of seeing and thinking about your brand. It’s where the magic happens and creative insight becomes real. It’s where our clients know they have been heard.

Working with us means you are assured that we’ll lead you through the process, avoiding common pitfalls that can delay or derail a project. We’ll make sure you get to where you want to go.

An effective process

We have a proven process, but we’re flexible in how we use it. When you work with us, you get what you need, when you need it.

The f+f
branding
process

We always begin with the end in mind and a brand audit – competitive, peer benchmarking or internal. You’ll benefit from our 25+ years of experience along with our fresh perspective and reputation for stellar project management.

Whether reviewing existing research, conducting our own or hiring the right research team, we know what type of research will help us understand what resonates with your customers and key stakeholders.

When strategic development, naming and messaging are needed, we’ll deliver effective solutions that work.

This is where everything becomes real. We use an iterative process that includes you, your team and your decision makers at just the right times.

Once the concepts are finalized, we move. Fast.

Whether a new brand or rebrand, we’ll train everyone. Strong brands are built from the inside, out.

The most unique and relevant brand won’t succeed if it isn’t launched properly. We can do it for you. Or guide you. You choose.

Understanding whether you’ve achieved (or exceeded) your goals is key to continued investment. This is one of the most important steps.

  • 1Audit & Planning
  • We always begin with the end in mind and a brand audit – competitive, peer benchmarking or internal. You’ll benefit from our 25+ years of experience along with our fresh perspective and reputation for stellar project management.

  • 2Research
  • Whether reviewing existing research, conducting our own or hiring the right research team, we know what type of research will help us understand what resonates with your customers and key stakeholders.

  • 3Strategy, naming & messaging
  • When strategic development, naming and messaging are needed, we’ll deliver effective solutions that work.

  • 4Design development
  • This is where everything becomes real. We use an iterative process that includes you, your team and your decision makers at just the right times.

  • 5Implementation
  • Once the concepts are finalized, we move. Fast.

  • 6Training
  • Whether a new brand or rebrand, we’ll train everyone. Strong brands are built from the inside, out.

  • 7Launch
  • The most unique and relevant brand won’t succeed if it isn’t launched properly. We can do it for you. Or guide you. You choose.

  • 8Measuring results
  • Understanding whether you’ve achieved (or exceeded) your goals is key to continued investment. This is one of the most important steps.

What we believe

We believe that the best ideas come from a culture where opinions are shared freely and all people are respected. Our team members are the key to our success. We believe we all need a balance of work and family. We feel it is our duty to use our collective talents for good. We believe good always wins, relationships matter and all people are created equal. We absolutely stand strong against racism and prejudice of any form. And, we understand that the good we do comes in both big gestures as well as small acts of kindness we do everyday.

Giving back

Creating a better world for future generations is – and always has been – important to us. We are a small but mighty team giving back through gifts of time, talent and charitable contributions. We believe in raising our voices on issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion and supporting organizations that are working to create a better, more equitable and just world. And we’re deeply grateful to our clients who’ve helped make it possible.

For more than 26 years, we’ve donated through volunteerism, in-kind and monetary gifts to organizations such as:

  • AIGA Minnesota
  • American Red Cross
  • Children’s Cancer Research Fund
  • Children’s Minnesota
  • Children’s Shelter of Cebu
  • Feed My Starving Children
  • Hope Haven
  • Humane Society
  • Kids for a Cause
  • Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly
  • MacPhail Center for Music
  • MADD
  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Minnesota Public Radio
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Second Harvest Heartland
  • Sharing and Caring Hands
  • Special Olympics
  • The Cookie Cart
  • Wingspan Life Resources
  • YWCA

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