designthis! A Napa Valley Print and Web graphic design studio. Identity. Print. Packaging. Web.

phone 707 / 252 / 9425


Year Archive

dt news Archive


Unified Wine & Grape Symposium
January 29, 2013 – January 31, 2013

designthis! will be exhibiting this year at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento. This is the largest event of its kind in the western hemisphere. Serving as a clearinghouse for practical information important to wine and grape industry professionals, the Unified Symposium also hosts a trade show with over 650 suppliers displaying their products and services to the more than 12,200 people who attend annually.  Please come by our booth (No. 26 on the third floor) to learn more about how we can help you in your next print or web design project.

Inspired by Napa’s Open Studios, yount street glass develops hand-crafted original jewelry out of recycled wine bottles. It’s all Napa Valley local; from the bottles, to the kilns, to the great women behind the beautiful pieces of jewelry.

designthis! photographed the products, created the new catalog, and designed and built the new website (with super easy ordering). Our ongoing work with yount street glass will help expand their reach and get more people accessorized!

designthis! is proud to be the logo designer (and one of the many sponsors) for the First Annual Napa Valley Coffin Races, sponsored by the Napa City Firefighters Association. This uniquely fun, family festival will benefit the Napa County Library Literacy Campaign.

The Napa City Firefighters Association (NCFA) was formed in 1960, with the purpose of promoting charitable, educational, recreational and social activities within the fire department and community. This year’s primary beneficiary will be the Napa County Library literacy campaign.

The event happens Saturday, October 27, 2012 in downtown Napa. Visit their website for more information on the event and sponsorship.

Move Your Paws for the Cause!
We’re one of the many sponsors (and design team) of Napa Humane’s Inaugural Walk for Animals event. It happens Sunday morning, August 5, 2012 in downtown Napa at Veterans Memorial Park. Join us as we walk to raise money for Napa Valley pets and their people. Register before the day of the event for $25 and start an online fundraising page to bring in more support for the Napa Humane organization, and the animals they help.

If you’ve ever been to one of napa humane’s events, you know it’s full of amazing people helping amazing animals in need. Come and show your support, we look forward to seeing you.

Ready. Set. Register!

If you can’t make the event, please consider contributing on our designthis! fundraising page. We’re fundraising in honor of our beloved office boy, Macintosh, who passed this May. We miss you Mac!

We’re pleased to be honored with 3 American Graphic Design Web Design Awards for our design and development of two websites and one animated invitation for the web.

The websites were for wine producer, Turnbull Wine Cellars, based in Oakville, CA, and the local non-profit, A Voice Found, based in Yountville, CA. For Turnbull, we created a new website design that also set the tone for rebranding all of Turnbull’s marketing materials. The website allows the client to update content in-house, and integrates an online shopping cart for simple maintenance and customer ordering. For A Voice Found, we created a professional website to support ongoing communication and fundraising efforts to assist teenagers and young adults. The site also gives the client the ability to update content in house – a big plus for non-profits!

The animated invitation was a dream project – a once-in-a-lifetime 125th anniversary event where we were asked to create an unforgettable online invitation for long time client, Far Niente, based in Oakville, CA. We also created all print materials for the exclusive event.

We are proud of the quality of work from everyone at designthis! and applaud their efforts. The work is not only great a example of solid design, but core expressions of the brand for each of these organizations. Thanks to our amazing, visionary clients who put their trust in our capabilities and creativity.

See the winning designs posted on the GDUSA website.

Turnbull Wine Cellars crafts their award-winning wine using fruit sourced from five stellar estate vineyards in Oakville and Calistoga. This diversity of fruit sourcing and exemplary viticultural work allows the winemaking team the ability to create wines with distinctive flavors that capture the personality of each vineyard site.

Turnbull Wine Cellars

designthis! recently visited Turnbull’s branding. After a quick polish to the logo, we set out to give a full makeover to Turnbull’s marketing materials and website to be more in line with their labels, artful winery style and high end wine. The result was a rich experience with textures and a bold, yet elegant color palette.

On the print side, we created wine club brochures and newsletters, advertisements, wine notes, direct mail pieces and concierge cards.  For the web, a user friendly (and mobile friendly) website that not only represents the brand at a glance, but provides details on the winery, wines and events in an interface that is easy to navigate. For maximum client functionality, the website uses a content management system (cms) so the client can add new events, edit product details and participate in overall management of their online presence.

Partners Kim Shaeffer and Amy Predmore started designthis! 15 years ago, and have grown it into an award-winning brand, print and web design agency with a wide array of clients and an impressive portfolio of work.

The agency began as a graphic design studio specializing in print materials (advertising, brochures, catalogs), and evolved early on to include website design services. Over the years, designthis! expanded its services to include complete creative and production services in branding, packaging, print, website, online marketing and search engine services.  Founders Kim Shaeffer and Amy Predmore are hands-on managers, with one serving as lead client contact on each account. Their in-house staff includes specialists in design, production and website coding, while their proven national network of contractors and vendors provide all support services an individual account may need.

What truly differentiates designthis! is the diversity of their client roster.  The agency works in wine, professional services, sporting goods and educational institutions, counting as its clients Vineyard 29, Far Niente and sister winery Nickel & Nickel, Turnbull Wine Cellars, Chiarello Family Vineyards, Portocork, Justin-Siena High School, Kaiser Permanente, Napa Valley Orthopaedics, Healthcare Management Systems, Sports & Leisure (including Everlast fitness products) , Grassi Construction, Napa River Inn, to name a few. The agency’s local non-profit work includes projects for Napa Humane, A Voice Found, Napa County Landmarks and Academy of Wine Communications.

A recent example of the scope of dt!’s work involves 10 year client Far Niente and their 125th anniversary celebration, which included a 2 minute animated movie invitation, e-marketing, specially-produced handout, and working with Grammy Award-winning violinist and Far Niente spokesperson Joshua Bell.  “The designthis! team has always provided us with an incredible level of creativity, professionalism and customer service, across a wide variety of projects in print and web.  We are very happy to have worked with designthis! as our primary design agency for over a decade,” says Mary Grace, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, Far Niente + Nickel & Nickel + Dolce + EnRoute of Far Niente.

Late last year, designthis! returned to their roots by moving from their Napa airport offices back in to downtown Napa.   Their new downtown studio has an urban loft feel, with plenty of space for free-flowing creative thinking.  “We started the agency with an office on 3rd St, then moved to 2nd street, spending seven years in downtown Napa. We loved being downtown but needed more space and moved to the Airport Park. What we gained in space, we lost in community – that sense of really being part of Napa,” says partner Kim Shaeffer.  “Our new location is perfect – convenient for clients, and easy access for us and our staff to enjoy the renewed energy of the downtown business community.”

“Doing business in Napa for 15 years has been truly rewarding. We’ve met incredible people along the way and I can’t imagine having our company anywhere else. Our passion for design, business and community keeps us engaged and motivated, and I feel proud of what we’ve accomplished,” says partner Amy Predmore, “I read that only 44% of businesses survive their first 4 years in business, so it seems our equal emphasis on creative, technology and client service is a winning combination.”

“When we decided to go into business for ourselves, we wanted a name that reflected the creativity, excitement and ‘out of box’ thinking that was in line with our design and business philosophies. “designthis!” is both our call-to-action and the desired response from clients,” comments partner Kim Shaeffer, “15 years in business has brought a world of experience and the opportunity to work with an array of clients. And the opportunity to build an amazing staff of designers that are equally passionate about what they do. Our passion for creative solutions, talent and excitement remain the same today. I attribute that to our staying power.”

Read Story in The Napa Register

That’s precise! For over 25 years, Tronex Technology has been manufacturing precise hand cutting tools in the USA. To date they manufacture over 60 unique cutter and plier models used used primarily by professionals engaged in electronics manufacturing (particularly in making printed circuit boards), wire and cable assembly, medical device manufacturing, scientific research, and jewelry making.

For over 10 years, Tronex has been a loyal designthis! client. We’ve been through sales sheets, ads, website design, tradeshow materials, promotional items… you name it. So, we were very proud to produce their very first bound catalog! Five months in the making, this very intricate catalog required design, content organization, and detail work as precise as the tools themselves. From photographing the factory and large tool library, through print management, four designthis! team members worked closely with each other and with the client to ensure every aspect was covered. We applaud Tronex for committing to such a large, but rewarding, project.

As business owners and managers, most of you know ‘branding’ is visual communication of your brand’s core message, essence and principles. The way your brand walks, talks and dresses can influence decisions your audience make and determine position in the market.

Next to brand differentiation, branding consistency has become a large component of a company’s success and sustainability. So maybe you’ve asked at one point in the life of your business or career…What is branding consistency and why is it so important?

designthis branding consistencyThe way to start defining branding consistency is when a business attempts to communicate messages in a manner that does not wander or deviate too far from the brand identity and core message. For example, a single logo is always used in a similar way on all marketing materials, a single typeface is used with particular guidelines on typography, consistent color ranges are applied and similar design styles utilized, so that everything visual is consistent and has a link back to that core brand message.

But consistency doesn’t stop at applying a logo in a consistent manner, and having the right Pantone colors. It’s ensuring that all messaging of communication materials pull in the same direction. That it not only looks, but also reads consistently. The way the copy is written, the quality of paper used in printed materials, the way your website is built and optimized, the language you use in social media and tone of your eblasts– all of it plays a part in consistency.

Why is it so important?

Inconsistency can be detrimental to your brand. It’s confusing for your audience which doesn’t instill a lot of confidence. If your own materials and message aren’t cohesive, how can they be assured of the quality of your product or service for themselves? And how will you get them to recognize and remember you?

Both Justin-Siena High School (l) and Far Niente Winery (r) have made a commitment to consistency in their branding. We carry their visual image and messaging across all materials they use to communicate.

Consistency hands down builds strong brand equity, which is invaluable recognition, confidence and trust from your audience. Recognition assures differentiation, confidence places value in your product or service, and trust leads to longevity. If done correctly, not only will you be visually recognized, but your audience will clearly hear, understand and believe your message.

Makes sense to the health of your business right? So who is managing your brand consistency? Managing consistency is a lot like being a general contractor – you have to be a skilled organizer, scheduler, manager, solution seeker, designer… all the while keeping the end goal front of mind.

At designthis!, we’re masterful GCs. Our skill sets go beyond designing a single piece for our clients. It’s building a website to managing an email campaign to printed brochures and event graphics – with the most important task accomplished – consistency. Make a commitment to your brand consistency, starting with an assessment of your marketing – both in print and online. If things aren’t what you thought, or you’re looking for a consistent path for your company, we’re happy to help.

MJNVS Website

Michael J. Neal Viticultural Services works with wineries and land owners in Napa and the North Bay to deliver a wide range of services from vineyard management, to organic farming, to pest control and landscaping.

designthis! worked with MJNVS and their filmmaker to create a site that communicates their messaging and services through targeted design and functionality. designthis! was there from concept to launch, even setting up search engine optimization and google analytics to measure results. The use of video as a primary communication tool is cutting edge for businesses and we were excited to contribute to the project. MJNVS was a joy to work with! Please visit the site and give them a call if your vineyard or land needs the best.

designthis! apples to apples
This topic has come up a lot recently as everyone becomes increasingly concerned about costs. You can certainly get anything cheaper, but we ask this:

• Is it apples to apples or apples to oranges?
• Do both companies provide the exact same quality and level of service?
• Are you confident putting such an important project, your company’s marketing materials, into their hands?
• Do you feel informed enough to know these differences?

We’ve seen this a lot. Saving costs by putting your detailed project into the wrong hands often means it costs more in the end, in both rebuilding your reputation and/or fixing a job gone wrong. Any studio that obtains a majority of its work as a result of offering the lowest price will rarely make anything impressive, interesting, and worthwhile – directly affecting your ROI.

You could say hiring the right design studio is similar to hiring the right insurance company, the right stylist, the right architect – it’s about experience and reputation. A business you hire should be around long enough to have a reputation. A business should have a team that’s been there, done that so they can take the most efficient path on your project. Collaboration makes a creative project successful and effective for clients. Multi-layered teams, working closely with a client’s team, enhance the project’s outcome.

Our work is detailed, coordinating all the elements so that there is harmony in the message. There should be no confusion as to what you’re offering. In addition to the creative work, production skills are just as important. You don’t want your wine label setup incorrectly, costing you additional money to fix on press. And when you need an eblast handled, or a website updated, you want a company you can count on to set it up technically correct and follow through with the delivery. And lastly, you want a company that is honest, fair and personable. That’s designthis! We make sure that if you say you want an apple, you get an apple. The best match of client and vendor happens not only when one can satisfy the other’s needs, but when both parties care equally about the end result. So, if you’ve been wondering whether to invest in marketing materials or online marketing but aren’t sure where to begin, give us a call. We’ll discuss your projects, help you define budgets, and guide you through the process.

Napa News


The revitalization of Napa began with the Napa River flood control project, implemented to combat the town’s historic flooding. Local visionaries understood Napa’s potential, and went to work. Among the first properties to be redeveloped was the historic Hatt Building as it was transformed in to Napa’s first luxury lodging, The Napa River Inn. designthis! envisioned the Inn’s historic, boutique positioning to attract a discerning clientele to the riverfront property.

With upscale tourism on the rise, Napa’s culinary elite got busy, adding to the downtown food scene. Many of these restaurateurs turned to Napa design studio, designthis!, to help carve their niche in the emerging local Napa scene. designthis! clients include The New York Times acclaimed, Ubuntu on Main Street; renowned rare wine and now food provisioner Bounty Hunter Rare Wine and Provisions on First Street; Silos wine and jazz bar in the Hatt Building; and the newly-opened Neela’s Indian Cooking on Clinton Street.

A short walk across Napa’s new pedestrian-friendly First Street bridge, the Oxbow Public Market opened. Seizing the opportunity to expand, Napa’s favorite chocolatier – Anette’s Chocolates on First Street – opened an outpost in the Oxbow and partnered with designthis! to re-position their brand messaging with a new website and fully functioning shopping cart

Be sure to check back and stop in next time you’re headed to the Valley!


Peirson Meyer Winery is positioned to reflect what wine lovers care about most: palate, heritage, craftsmanship and value. The Peirson Meyer website illustrates the earthy, honest and elevated nature of their wines.

Warm cabernet tones and lush color photography embody today’s Northern California wine country, against a screened backdrop of historical context. The site’s simple structure is user friendly and optimizes search engine placement, resulting in high (online) traffic for a relatively lesser-known wine brand.

For this discerning clientele, the Peirson Meyer Winery website brings the artisan wine experience out of the bottle and on to their table.

designthis! Gets A Fresh Look

logoThat’s right, the Cobbler’s children have new shoes! We have a brand new logo to reflect our dedication to 2009 and creativity in both Napa Valley and the Bay Area. We’ve been wanting to freshen things up for years but… well.. you know how that goes. Our new identity, website and communication materials are a chance to feel renewed and refocus the company as a leading provider of professional creative services in print and web for Napa, Sonoma and the North Bay Area.

anc-logo1We are proud to announce the recent addition of Anette’s Chocolate Factory of Napa Valley and Fantesca Estate and Winery of St. Helena to our list of clients.

For Anette’s Chocolate Factory we are redesigning their website and adding full ecommerce and editing functionality.

For Fantesca Estate and Winery we are creating a new line of wine labels, supporting print materials and promotional clothing.

Ask any business expert what really matters during times of economic instability and they will say that continuing to market your business is critical. Yet, in business, matters of creativity and design are often seen as something nice to have if you can afford it, but easily cut during uncertain financial times.

As you are competing with other companies selling the same service or product, there are many things which can set your business apart – but first you have to get the customer’s attention. On first impression, the only differentiation between you and your competition may be your branding and image. And that is achieved through professional graphic design of your company’s image through necessary print and web materials.

Professional design leads to communications consistency. Studies indicate that prospects must hear of or see your business numerous times before it will spring to mind unbidden. Having a consistent and memorable message and image can help accelerate recognition and speed up the branding process.

Imagine this: you are at a seminar listening to a dynamic speaker and you ask them to send you more information about their company. When the package arrives, you are surprised to discover the information is barely readable, the colors clash enough to make your eyes ache, and there is a good chance the charts were done by a five year old. You will probably overlook all this, because you met this person, and you already know they know their stuff. But if you received this marketing collateral before meeting and hearing them, it is likely you would question the consultant’s credibility and professionalism.

When you visit a business on the web, navigation and content on a website are extremely important, for it is the visual design which lends credibility and indicates the professionalism and quality of the business. Consumer Web Watch reportedly found that “Design Look” (46.1 percent) and “Information Design/Structure” (28.5 percent) were the top factors people used to determine credibility of the business they were visiting online.

Having a quality product or service is terrific, but it is not enough if no one knows you are there. What better time to let the world know that your business exists, than when your competition is hunkered down and not marketing? Perhaps they are marketing, but doing it themselves, on the cheap and poorly designed – this, too, presents an opportunity differentiate your business. A professional design partner can improve your business image and communications, and it is good for economics. A strategic and well designed brand offers increased, positive exposure and differentiation from the competition. Economically, professional design increases profit through increased acceptance and awareness of your products and services. Beat that!

Excerpts taken from Eileen Parzek article