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Keeping the Creative “Wheels” Turning

Here at LMG, we encourage and ensure a work/life balance for our team because it’s just plain healthy as parents, spouses, creatives, and humans who are dedicated to additional responsibilities and passions outside of LMG. A few ways we maintain this balance are by wrapping up early for a pop-up summer Friday here and there, and taking a week off between Christmas and the New Year. Another way that personally benefits me as a senior designer at LMG is the opportunity to infuse my personal interests and hobbies into my work.

Three years ago I took a letterpress workshop after having my personal business cards letterpressed and instantly fell in love with the craft. So much so that not long after I was driving down I-71 through downtown Columbus in a pickup with my very own ¾-ton letterpress machine with fixin’s in tow. With the help of my grandpa, a worker in the print industry for 40 years, I began spending my weekends in our shop testing, trying, and learning the craft.

I took a break from it until recently when the opportunity arose to create several print and digital pieces—as well as letterpress coasters—for a client that was holding their debut open house as part of a housing tour: cue Wheelhouse Lofts.

This apartment complex is located in the historic, 150-year-old Weustoff and Getz Co. building on Wayne Avenue in Dayton, and is centrally located to several restaurants, shops, and breweries in the Oregon District. The space has been renovated with modern charm while maintaining as much of the original character as possible. These were all unique aspects of the Wheelhouse brand that we were challenged to promote to prospective residents.

The project was on a tight turn, and we managed to quickly yet effectively craft a logo, a website, signage, brochures and other pieces for the client, including just shy of 400 coasters using a borrowed tabletop letterpress. It was great sharing the craft with my team and letting them print a few as we created a handcrafted batch together for our client.

As a designer, I find it refreshing to step away from the computer, away from the screen, to craft something with my hands. Letterpress has been invaluable; it has taught me the use of minimal design, paper, and typesetting. Similar to a snowflake, each coaster is different than the one before with a pass of ink that makes it truly unique. The machines require engineering and man power, yet they print such delicate, beautiful creations. That’s one of my favorite things about letterpress.

Each member of our team brings a unique personality, talent, background, and lifestyle to our culture, and I love that we’re not required to leave them at the door, but rather encouraged to use them to inspire and elevate our work.

Check out the process!

Video by: Dallas Christman
Wheelhouse Design team: Derick Meyers, Brad Dunham, Laura Wagner, Dallas Christman
Wheelhouse Digital team: Billy Peake, Leah Henderson, Megan Wynett
Wheelhouse Client Services team: Danielle Phillips, Emily Denka

Laura Wagner +