Designing a Dream Studio Into a Reality
May 28, 2019 05:21PM
By Sean Robinson
Some people begin their work day with a cup of coffee. Others need a run or iron-pumped workout to jump-start the morning. Hanscom Park Studio’s founder, Quentin Lueninghoener, however, only needs some tunage to tune in.
“When I first get to the office, I put a record on. However long that given record is, that’s how long I take to plan my day,” Lueninghoener says.
There is usually a lot to plan. Sitting at the helm of a pint-sized graphic design shop while also serving as the studio’s lead designer and illustrator, Lueninghoener is working with 25 to 30 clients at any given time. From logo creation to branding to magazine design, he does it all while still managing the business—and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We’re a small two-person shop, and there are times when it seems like every client needs something today,” Lueninghoener says. “I consider myself lucky though because our client base has been pretty steady in growth. Somehow there’s always an equilibrium that allows us to do a good job, meet deadlines, and then get some sleep.”
Lueninghoener says that from the moment he graduated the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2002 with a journalism degree, he knew he wanted to be his own boss while working on visual creative problem solving. However, it would take a little time and a lot of experience—a full decade’s worth to be exact—before he founded Hanscom Park.
He started his career working as an illustrator for newspapers, first the Omaha World-Herald and then The Oregonian in Portland, but it was his job in the marketing department of his alma mater that proved to be most helpful.
“Working in newspapers, I never had any client services experience, so I spent a year and a half developing those skills creating marketing materials and building a portfolio around campus,” Lueninghoener says.
When his first client, Aaron Babcock, approached him to design the new magazine Hail Varsity, Lueninghoener knew it was time to take the leap and get the shop he always envisioned off the ground.
“Quentin helped provide a vision that shaped our magazine covers and thousands of editorial pages, but his creativity extended far beyond just the print product. It bled over into our social media voice, apparel, and events,” Babcock says. “While Quentin’s business was new, he was incredibly experienced. He had already worn a number of hats in previous jobs, and that versatility was incredibly valuable to me.”
Lueninghoener’s current clients range from the Aksarben Curling Club to Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob. Lean and mean, the studio is comprised of only him and web developer Ben Vankat, who he hired about a year ago. Lueninghoener believes his small staff only helps to make a big impact on clients.
“We don’t have project managers, so if a client wants something they just email us directly,” Lueninghoener says. “There’s no middle man. There’s nothing lost in translation.”
He hopes to eventually double the staff, capping it at four team members so his focus remains on the work and not people management. After all, the studio’s tagline is “Constantly Creative,” and there’s no way he wants to miss out on that.
“A lot of the work that we do is editorial or skews towards storytelling,” says Lueninghoener. “I believe that’s what branding and marketing is—it’s just storytelling with a plan.”
And Lueninghoener is proof that the best plans are just a record away.
Visit hanscompark.com for more information.This article was printed in the June 2019 edition of B2B. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.