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The MAP Moogfest Art Installation Competition


The past month I’ve been working with an all-star team on a proposal for the Moogfest Art Installation Competition that is being facilitated by the local organization The Media Arts Project.  I’m thrilled by the opportunity to work with this interdisciplinary team of Asheville techies and artists. I recently found out about the capabilities of Augmented Reality, and couldn’t be more excited to integrate it into an art project.  If selected, Don Bowman, Augmented Reality Specialist at BP Solutions Group, will be an integral part in bring art and technology together for the Moogfest attendees.

Asheville Tech Start Up: LoLo

I was fortunate to collaborate with Pollinate Collaborations on the design and build out of the marketing website and launch campaign for LoLo. LoLo is the digital loyalty program for locals that works like a credit card rewards program. Membership is free and members earn 5% in rewards on every dollar spent. LoLo essentially turns any account-connected credit or debit card into a rewards card, by tracking spending when those cards are used with Asheville participating businesses.


Building a strong brand presence for a startup

The original logo design was evolved to create a circular brand that could be stamped and hung on everything. This modification made the brand flexible for web badges and window clings, while also serving as a strong focal point on posters. The circle itself contains the tagline and the call to action. This is critical information for potential users who might encounter the brand on a window cling or bumper sticker.


LoLo Asheville Web Design

An image is worth a thousand words. When landing on the LoLo website you see a colorful photograph that is full of personality created by the distressed wood striped table. The photograph is memorable and inline with the locally grown style of LoLo, but what is more important is it communicates that the Loyalty

Program is tech savvy and for mobile devices.

Responsive Website with Parallax Scrolling

The rest of the site uses the latest web trends, including parallax scrolling, and a responsive framework. Designing a responsive website for this tech startup was key.

Backgrounds that are static in position give the words a feeling that they are floating over the imagery. The backgrounds of different sections on the homepage were a great canvas to build in branding and colorful imagery. You might have seen this technology in use on the website for Spotify.

Pollinate Collaborations provided guidance and content for the messaging, and this parallax website is the perfect compliment for bringing the content to life. When one scrolls down the page, the LoLo comes to life with small morsels of information that are attractive and easy to read.



Dena Snyder is officially now Dena Rutter

It’s official. After multiple visits to the Social Security office and the DMV, an updated passport and business cards, my name has changed to Dena Rutter.

Millennials face new battles when sticking to an old tradition.

With how connected we are to technology, Millennials face new battles when sticking to the tradition of taking your husbands name. Last August I married Derek Rutter and was excited to take his name. Little did I know all of the challenges you face when taking your husband’s name. I decided to change my business name from Dena Snyder Design to Dena Rutter Design. One trip to the register of deeds and some paperwork took care of that.

As a graphic designer, I jumped at the chance to update my business card. A fresh look in print, no problem. The next step was a bit daunting, I needed to get my name changed in cyber space. I needed to have my website show up under my new business name. I didn’t want to confuse new clients, so I needed to send them to the new we address: I’ve been building SEO for a few years with, and I decided to keep my site on that page so I wouldn’t lose my ranking. I set up a few forwarding addresses to this domain, that way when people type in the new address into the browser bar, it sends them to the existing site. I also needed to set up  an email alias with gmail, I wanted all of my correspondence to be from  I made a few graphic updates to my site and viola, I’m in business.

I think the most effective tool of this rebrand is the graphic email signature  pictured below. I decided to use this signature graphic to communicate what was happening with my name, knowing it would be on all of my correspondences.

Keep following the blog as I start to rework my personal branding.

Dena Snyder Graphic Design Asheville


Building a Brand for Emily Nichols

Last month I had the opportunity to work with Asheville photographer Emily Nichols on her brand design. She needed a brand that could mark her work and elevate her business. She has many passions, and she is able to incorporate her photography into many of them. This brand need to reflect her multi faceted talent.

A logo was formed by finding a fluid connecting line between her initials. This creates a dynamic focal point that is reinforced by the bold background. Overlapping circles blend to create a beautiful harmony of colors. Similar to a way that an enveloped would be sealed by way, the mark is reversed out, leaving a playful edge.

What’s the perfect logo for watermarking your photography?

This mark’s circular shape can be branded in multiple ways. The background can also be removed for a subtle and simplistic mark. Emily is out photographing in the community often, it was crucial that she be able to mark this work to build her brand awareness.

Take a peek at Emily’s site to see her branding and photography skills in action.




Hard Hats and High Fives

A few nights ago I partnered up with Big E, a local photographer and GO supporter, to get some shots for the 2013 annual report. We were able to get access to the Reid Center, which was the ideal backdrop for the shoot. Strong vertical exposed beams, distressed background textures, hard hats, topped off with some pretty handsome models. We couldn’t ask for more.

Curious about the new green jobs training center coming to Asheville? You can find out more about the restoration of the W.C. Reid Center on the Green Opportunities website.


GO Team

Show posters on the way

I started my love affair with Asheville Community Theatre a few years ago when I worked on the redesign of their website. This year, ACT was looking for a new graphic designer for the 2014 season. They had their eye on a few design firms in town and decided to have a design competition. I submitted the poster below for the play Cabaret, a play set in Nazi Germany in a seedy night club. I chose to use a cropped image of a dancers legs and a spotlight to create a subtle visual reference to the Nazi symbol. This striking poster was selected, and will soon be accompanied by six more posters for next season’s productions.

Eliada Home’s Ribbon Cutting

Eliada Home will be celebrating their new tennis courts with a ribbon cutting on Friday September 13. We worked together to design this colorful invite that will go out to area supporters. The courts are a beautiful addition to the campus.


Branding for Social Change

This year I have been teaming up with FullSteam Labs‘ Jason Johnson to create a new brand identity and campaign materials for the initiative launched by the coalition Wise Energy for Virginia (WEFV). WEFV is committed to securing a clean energy future for Virginia and is launching an initiative for clean energy in the state of Virginia later this year.

This coalition consists of several organizations including: Southern Appalachian Mountain StewardsAppalachian VoicesThe Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN)Sierra ClubSouthern Environmental Law CenterThe Natural Resources Defense Council’s , and Greater Washington .Interfaith Power and Light (GWIPL).

We were asked to create a striking visual brand and style for the release of this initiative that would be polished yet powerful. Knowing that there were a lot of players in this movement, we took a trip up to Richmond to lead a brainstorming session with workshop activities that were modeled after Smart Meme. We looked to build a story based strategy to tell WEFV’s story. Using a strong visual narrative would create a consistent voice while building out their website, brand, interactive presentation and brochure.

Several concepts were brought to the table while designing the brand for the initiative. Starting with the name Blueprint for Virginia and then deciding on New Power for the Old Dominion. Y

I’m excited to bring this design for social change to life. The next steps for Jason, Charles, and I will be to build out the website, brochure, and presentation for the road shows.

The Root Ball

Ashevile Greenworks


I was thrilled to get down and drity with Asheville Greenworks when designing their upcoming event poster. The Root Ball is a fundraising event for Asheville Greenworks. It’s being held at the new River Arts District venue, Boat House and will be featuring Live music from Lyric.

This Asheville Affiliates party will be held Thursday August 15, 2013, from 6:30-9:30pm at French Broad River at 318 Riverside Drive.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. The entry includes unlimited food and drink: beer from Catawba Brewing, great food and there will be a raffle with great prizes to raise additional money for Greenworks. Tickets available in advance on the Greenworks website.

Wedding Invitations are finished!

I’ve been busy getting crafty and spearheading the design of my very own wedding. I was a bit intimidated when tasked my own wedding invite design, the pressure to have the design stand out, the time spent agonizing over every little detail, but I survived!

I collected buds, ferns and forest flowers from a hike up to Looking Glass one day. I decided to use these found forest objects to create an arrangement for the front of the invite. I’ve been obsessed with wildflowers and have decided to grow my own for the wedding.

I also created this custom wedding website for the event. I went with a camp theme, and incorporated the  look and feel of a field guide.

Natural invite design

Green Opportunities Celebrates 5 years

Green Opportunities is a community-based development organization dedicated to improving lives, communities and the health of the planet through innovative green collar job training and placement programs here in Asheville. They also are spearheading the renovation of the Reid Center in my neighborhood, which will be a green jobs training center for our community.  I’ve been fortunate to enough to work with this great organization and helped them design their postcard for their big  5 year celebration.

Find out more about this in this video.

Costume Drama – Call for Designers

Attention Asheville creatives, the deadline for entries is June 1st. The Second Annual Costume Drama is coming up on July 8th, 2013. I had a great time designing this poster that showcases a dress that was created for the paper category in last year’s fashion show.



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