What We Do

explore by project type or featured client


featured identity

type of work

identity, business cards, menus, coasters, to-go bags, giftcard package, ads, signage, wallpaper



Orchestrate Hospitality

the challenge

A restaurant whose name, Malo, literally translates to ‘bad’ is not often a desirable association. We set out to capture the essence of ‘bad,’ the naughty side that humans are drawn too. Featuring a bold, “rough-around the edges,” all-black logo the personality of this unique latin fare is reflected in the bright, colorful and gritty backgrounds.

From logo to menu system, wallpaper to signage, the brand boldly announces the attitude of the cuisine — renegade latin that refuses to be defined — it’s so bad, it’s good. 


Art Directors Association of Iowa – 2015 Design Awards:
Best of Show for Menu System and Supporting Collateral
Best of Category for Environmental Graphics
Best of Category for Identity System


logos / symbols / trademarks

“If you identify yourself, others will identify with you.”

Logos establish a visual identity for a company or organization. Often standing alone from other collateral, a logo should embody the companies purpose, mission and values at a glance – in other words logos should have everything and as little as possible. They are the cornerstone of a brand and deserve great technical and thought development.


featured restaurant

type of work
logo, business and menu system, giftcard package, website, pre-opening and permanent signage

Cynthia & Suman Hoque

the challenge
From logo to menu, tagline to signage, The Design Group worked with the owners to create the brand for their first-time restaurant venture, practically overnight (give or take a month).

Local Farms, Global Flavor describes the unique honest-to-goodness/simple-to-complex concept that Chef Suman Hoque brings to his culturally-diverse menu.

The restaurant collateral showcases his farm-to-table ethic by changing the menus with the seasons. Bright blocks of contemporary, globally-inspired color overlay age-old wood cut illustrations of featured local foodstuffs.

CREATE-Research Report

featured collateral

type of work
interactive blog graphics, printed 48-page report, ads

Principal Global Investors

the challenge
Working alongside Principal Global Investors and CREATE-Research, The Design Group was tasked with illustrating how investors are rethinking equities and defining market trends.

In the research report, The Design Group highlighted key points from the findings with compelling call-outs and lively charts, making it an approachable, easy-to-read resource. An interactive infographic was developed to convert these concepts into concise data points that could also be shared on Twitter and other social media outlets. A series of banner and interstitial ads supported the campaign and pushed readers to download the report or visit the CREATE website.


company literature / brochures

Extending a brand onto various business tools and resources serves to strengthen an identity, making it memorable and ultimately cohesive – clarifying and motivating for the target audience. Collateral materials such as company literature, brochures, folders, catalogs, annual reports, newsletters and sales presentations often work as leave-behinds; a reference material containing a vast amount of information that needs to be concisely organized for easy understanding and recognition with the end-user.

Synagogue Enclosure

featured environmental

type of work

Tifereth Israel Synagogue

the challenge
When Tifereth Israel Synagogue’s renovation plans presented an opportunity for outdoor courtyards, The Design Group collaborated to design the enclosure’s 10-foot glass panels. The space is split into two purposes: a plaza where the congregation gathers and a tranquil meditation area suitable for prayer and reflection.

Historical design elements from the original chapel were the inspiration for the etched glass patterns. Typographic panels showcase congregation-selected prayers and religious text. The social plaza is enclosed with etched transparent glass while frosted, translucent panels frame the more private environment.

Zombie Burger

featured brand

type of work
identity, environmental, collateral,
web design, promotions

Orchestrate Hospitality

the challenge
Playing a role in the early development process, The Design Group helped the Zombie Burger + Drink Lab brand come alive. Centered around the logo design, the identity definitely has its own flavor – finding a balance between grit and gleam.

Edgy signage, menus, t-shirts and an interactive website invite patrons to get their zombie on! A quick-service counter for to-go orders and a sit-down restaurant/bar area divide the space allowing the interior graphics to have two embodiments, appealing to cult zombie fans and families alike.

Hoyt Sherman Place

featured collateral

type of work
theater information materials, membership brochures, annual report

Hoyt Sherman Place

the challenge
While the venue itself is historic in nature, Hoyt Sherman Place is an exciting destination with a variety of events and shows that are anything but historic. Hoyt Sherman Place needed their marketing materials to reflect their place in the community as a vibrant entertainment and arts leader.

The annual report pushed the boundaries of previous financial statements, leveraging a huge marketing opportunity to showcase the heart of The Hoyt Sherman historic home, theater and art gallery in a colorful, brochure format. As ‘a place for people to view, learn and participate in the performing and visual arts‘, the brochure translated the busy fiscal year into bright, colorful images of the events, performers and volunteers juxtaposed with bold colors blocks, personal quotes and the beauty of the historic venue.


displays / signage / wayfinding systems

The culmination of identity, graphic design, creative interpretation, spacial relationships, wayfinding functionality and architecture result in some of the most exciting and highly-visible applications of design: environmental graphics. More and more opportunities are arising to extend sustainable LEED® practices into the branded environment with innovative materials and construction.

Examples include interior and exterior signage, billboards, banners, exhibits, vehicle graphics, posters, tradeshow displays, donor recognition walls, retail and themed environments.


event materials / direct mail / invitations

Often centered around a specific event or campaign, promotional materials categorize many design applications such as direct mail, save-the-dates, invitations, posters, fliers, emails, websites, tickets, conference materials, presentations and giveaways. They are an extension of a brand, pushing brand boundaries but maintaining the look enough to feel like ‘family.’ Promotional items are usually used for a limited period of time so they allow an opportunity to freshen things up and have fun without a complete brand overhaul. Maintaining a strong a brand builds accountability with clients while regular promotions build and maintain interest.

Iowa Center

featured identity system

type of work
logo, identity system, window cling

Iowa Center for Economic Success

the challenge
The Iowa Center for Economic Success teaches Iowans how to start and grow small businesses. Their services lie in three areas: Financial Services, Business Education & Resources, and Leadership Development. Defining a professional identity for the organization validated their messages regarding business development – by practicing what they teach.

The logo developed, communicates many aspects of their mission: transformation, growth, energy, safety, and mentorship in a clean, fresh and professional presentation. Businesses that receive assistance can proudly display the Iowa Center window cling in their storefront or office.

Rowing Club

featured event promotion

type of work
poster, postcard, t-shirt, medals, social media graphics

Des Moines Rowing Club

the challenge
Since 1983, the Des Moines Rowing Club has hosted the Head of the Des Moines Regatta on the Des Moines River. One of the oldest and biggest regattas in the Midwest, this three-mile race upstream usually attracts over 30 collegiate or club crews with over 500 competitors from all over the region. On the last Saturday of September, competitors pick from over 50 races to row from the Botanical Center to Prospect Park. This event has been named to be a national standard Regatta by the United States Rowing Association’s Judge Referee Corps.

Local artists, designers and firms over the years have volunteered time and talent to promote the unique this sport and competition – enriching the history of the event with one-of-a-kind designs.

What we offer













We’ve delivered big-firm capabilities with small-firm responsiveness for over 20 years. Our team consistently produces concept-driven, eye-catching, client-pleasing and creative brand solutions.

let's talk

The Design Group Creative

3939 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312

[515] 255-3939    |    [515] 255-2208  fax

for graphic design inquiries email: creativedirector@designdsm.com

The Design Group is located on the northeast corner of Grand Avenue and 40th Street. Parking is available on the north (back) side of the building. Please enter through the north door.