Mark and Lisa Sylvester got to know each other and design simultaneously. The couple met in 1983, their freshman year at the Philadelphia College of Art [now uArts], in a graphic design elective class. They went through the graphic design program at PCA and graduated in 1987. A year after graduating they were married. In 1990 both Mark and Lisa were accepted into the MFA Design program at Cranbrook Academy of Art where they obtained their master’s degrees. They’ve worked together most of their careers, and wouldn’t have it any other way.
How does being married and working together work? Mark says, "We enjoy and respect each other, and love what we do. We’re both interested in solving problems for our clients, and pushing our own knowledge and skills. Working with someone you trust and who understands you allows that to happen on a daily basis. And anyone who’s met and worked with us knows that I married up…”
Mark and Lisa have worked with a broad variety of companies over the years, learning about how other people do business, helping them realize their goals, and building upon that success over long collaborations. Mark notes, “There are very few professions that allow you to learn so much about so many different businesses, markets or technologies. This gives us a great ‘backpack' of experiences and knowledge that we apply to other projects.”
Mark and Lisa’s experience, creativity, and innovative thinking help their clients solve complicated, long-term marketing challenges, break through sales barriers, turn whims into reality, and more. "We believe in what design can do. We enjoy sinking our teeth into challenging problems and discovering creative answers that help people move their businesses forward," says Lisa. "Our process is guided by a drive to create the best solution possible, with a high standard of design excellence.”
There’s no secret formula to how they achieve this, just a solid process. The Sylvesters take what they learn from their clients and their own research, and pair it with their knowledge of design and marketing. Mark says, "We sketch, make things, print them out, and put them up on the wall. We talk about the work, critique it, and revise and revise until it's right for the client's needs and goals. We don’t present anything that isn’t a viable solution to the client's problem, or that we wouldn’t be proud to have chosen.” A solid process that yields tangible results.
Mark and Lisa have taught design and typography, and have lectured on design history, typography, branding and print production at colleges, universities and professional organizations. The studio is located in a barn, adjacent to Mark and Lisa’s 1790’s farmhouse in Richmond, Vermont.
An interrobang is an obscure printer’s punctuation mark, designed in 1962, that combines a question mark and an exclamation point. Created for rhetorical exclamatory questions, the interrobang also describes our studio’s process. Interro means to question, an integral part of our process working with you. Bang [printer's slang for an exclamation point] describes our creative process – and the end result.
interro [ ? ] listen/question
bang [ ! ] excite/ignite
What we make is graphic design – your identity, packaging, print and web communications. What you receive is the bang! – the excitement, energy and confidence in knowing you have the tools that your business and brand need to move forward.