Chapa Recognition

TUE., MAR 25, 2008 - 9:54 AM - Copyright © 2008 Wisconsin State Journal

What I Do: Creative Director: I design logos and Internet sites for corporate clients

Name: Gerardo Chapa
Age: 31
Occupation: Creative director, Chapa Design, 700 Rayovac Drive
Web site:

I design corporate identities for businesses and organizations. Sometimes a startup company needs a new look for their public face, so I design a logo, stationery and brochures. Existing companies might need a facelift on their old logo, so I help give it a new look. While growing up in Orange Cove, Calif., I enjoyed drawing and painting. When I was in junior high, a local business owner asked me to re-create a blown-up
version of his business card for the back wall of a baseball diamond. I also created murals for my high school. Just before I graduated from high school in 1995, someone asked what I was going to do and I replied "art.

"I attended San Jose State University and studied pictorial arts and graphic design. While in school, I was hired as a freelance designer by Silicon Valley corporations. This was during the dot-com boom and there were a lot of companies that needed design work. I also worked for the city of San Jose parks division while in college and designed newsletters, brochures and invitations.

I moved to Madison in 2001 after I met my wife, Brie, a Wisconsin native in Colorado. I started Chapa Design in 2003 and have clients in the Midwest and in California. In addition to design work, I also design Web sites that the client can update themselves. My clients like to have this ability because they have control over the look of their site and can make updates as needed. When creating a new brand identity for a company, I first meet with the client in what I call "the big interview. " I enjoy hearing the passion that the business owner has for their business. I ask about the background of the company. I ask to see their marketing plan and we talk about who their competition is. I visit the local library in the town in which the business is located to research the history of the community and the company because I like to incorporate history into the logos that I design. I create three diverse concepts that I present to the client. Once the client decides on which concept to use, I begin the creative design. I enjoy the process of learning about what the client is thinking, getting to know them and the visual problem-solving.

What I Do invites people to tell in their own words what they do to make a living. The column runs every Tuesday. To suggest someone to feature, contact Jill Carlson at

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