LMN Group is a design and marketing firm in Santa Cruz, California.

We've been working with Silicon Valley companies for 20 years.

We provide cost-effective, rapid response, design and communication solutions for businesses who need to focus their outsourced marketing budget. We've seen pretty much everything, through bear and bull markets, and even the big dot.bomb we have successfully guided the marketing needs of a variety of companies from technology giants, to hopeful startups and a number of non-profit organizations.

Who are we?

Primarily LMN is Tim Sawyer. I'm English — by way of Chicago — where I toiled for 15 years in the ad agency scene, primarily at Foote Cone & Belding, BBDO, and a stint at Bayer Bess Vanderwalker, where I worked on some major mid-western packaged goods, notably Gatorade. It was a lot of fun, I met a ton of smart people, drank a bunch of beer and most importantly I learned how to be a creative director. One day I woke up and realized that, yes, there are in fact places in America where you can ride your bike in winter without almost freezing to death—and yes that did almost happen. Ask me about it sometime. So I did like the Beverly Hillbillies and packed up my bikes and moved to California. In San Francisco things got decidedly better, and by better I mean winter is ridiculously more pleasant for riding your bike. I also met a really great designer and married her and together we ran LMN for 15 years. She's now the Director of Marketing for University of California, Santa Cruz, which is awesome for us becasue we finally get real benefits. It's less awesome for you because you won't get to work with her, but I'll do my best to make you still feel good.

We're a full service agency and if you take a look at some of the client links you'll see a wide range of projects that we've successfully completed. If your job needs more people or a specific skillset we have a good network of really talented people we can call. We are always open to partnering with other firms large or small. Here's a list of typical things we get asked to do and that we have gotten pretty good at over the years.

• Logo/identity / Business systems

• Brochures / Data sheets / Case studies / White Papers

Information Graphics

Web design

• Naming

Book design


If you think we can be of service to you just send me an email on the contact page or give me a call.

Oh and in case you're wondering, the image on the homepage was taken in the tunnel that leads to the The Miho Museum, designed by I.M.Pei, near the town of Shigaraki in Japan. Shigaraki is an old (dating to the 14th century) pottery village and one of my favorite places. They have a fantastic ceramics collection that I can seriously geek out on.

  identity design

over the years we have done dozens and dozens of corporate logos. Here's a bakers.


Anzode is a New Zealand company focused on developing a new battery technology that is both radically more efficient and less toxic. The NZ in the name stands for both the source of their new technology, Nickel Zinc as well as their home country. The highlighted acronym in the middle of the word not only creates the name but also empahasizes the other play on words — the fact that the anode is one of the two terminals in a battery. These were the three final logo candidates, the winner was the middle one.


The Children's Museum of San Jose came to us for a logo. The brief was really pretty simple — they needed something that said "fun" and "kids" (obviously). Uuum yeah, this hits the spot.


Comunidad Para Baja California is a volunteer organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the indigenous communities of Baja California. Founded by Tom Hogan, longtime Silicon Valley marketing executive, we were honored to be asked to design their identity.


Identity for Crowded Ocean a two-person, one-stop marketing resource for startups in their first year of operation.


Ex Microsoft guys trying to crack the code on the holy grail of mobile—single click smartphone payment—we conducted an extremely thorough logo exploration, finally after over 150 permutations, this was the one that percolated to the top. And rightly so.


The Alternative Copy Shop in Santa Barbara has a long tradition of delivering Course Book readers to UCSB students. They asked us to design a logo for their new digital version of their traditional college courseware for use on tablets and laptops.


Veritomyx is a biotech firm that has a revolutionary way to improve the results of mass spectrometers. They needed a mark that would be conceptually representative of their product. Their software detects and precisely deconvolves hidden overlapped peaks, to double the precision of the mass analyzer. Our logo design metaphorically hints at the hidden data within the two letter forms by allowing the transparency to create a third value.


Progressive Benefit Group is based in Santa Cruz. Committed to helping their clients make key healthcare benefit choices that deliver real value to their employees while at the same time controlling costs.


Rope Partner are our longest running client. They are a Santa Cruz firm that specializes in service and maintenance of wind turbines. The name should clue you in to how. Founded by climber Chris Bley they use ropes to rappel down from the top of the turbine to repair the baldes, hanging literally by a thread. As the blades are made of fibre glass, they like to refer to it as "surfboard repair 150 feet off the ground". We have helped them from day one, starting with the development of their identity, which as it turns out is perhaps our favorite logo we ever made. We have produced all their marketing material for the last 6 years.


Oligo is a small custom web developer.


Geranium was a vegetarian restaurant in Bernal Heights in San Francisco.


Founded by Wendye R. Robbins, M.D. Limerick NeuroScience focused on improving CNS drugs by bypassing harmful brain exposure. The idea being that patients could find relief from pain without the associated cognitive impairment of powerful powerful pain killers. The logo illustrates the concept by contrasting the focused "clear" part of the letterforms with the fuzzy "impaired" part.


Plastyc was founded by Patrice Peyret he was the co- founder and CEO of Mobile365. Plastyc, now called Banking Up, was originally intended as a way to educate gen Y kids on the responsible use of credit and personal finance. The emphasis on the Y and the allusion of a kid throwing up their arms, being the idea behind this one.

ten up

And usually right after the final logo is established we move on to the business system. Here are 10 of our favorites card designs.

HardLuck, Handle, Sgiggle and Mido are double sided, the rest are "regular" as they say.

  print collateral

pretty much everyone needs it and whether it goes on press or lives out its life as a pdf, its still gotta' look good


LiveWorld have been a client for over 10 years. Here's a clean, elegant white paper cover we did for them.


The cover and an inside spread of a brochure for Nortel. A little edgier, which can also be good for the right situation.



Procera was one of a number of companies focused on Wireless mesh networks. For a while there we had at least three companies we worked with in this space. This was a design for their hard cover, 3 ring binder sales kit...


...and the pieces that went in the kit.


Bright, and airy design for PBG. Wellness is an attitude and attribute they emphasize.


Cover of corporate brochure for IDT. Thankyou Dennis Gobets for everything.


Program for the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California's annual New Year party. We created this custom illustration in the style of the famous Japanese printmaker of the Edo period, Katsushika Hokusai.

The illustration places Mount Fuji rising through the fog behind the Golden Gate, symbolizing the closeness of the ties between Japan and California.


An oldy but a goody. This design for the Annual Report of the United Way, Silicon Valley chapter shows what you can do with just 2 colors. Budget should never get in the way of good design.



Community Printers are an employee owned press in Santa Cruz with a reputation for quality that goes beyond the 831 area.



User guides and app notes for Sky Pilot.



Gapper Huertas Group, San Francisco based financial advisors were looking for a brochure that mapped to their personal style (quirky and stylish) and that would be appropriate for their like minded entrepreneurial clients.


Firetide brochure cover.


a well conceived and simply designed infographic can do wonders to explain complex technology.


We are asked to design and illustrate infographics from time-to-time. Here are several examples for Front Range, Trilliant and OpenSFS. And some of the infographics designed for the Exploratorium book Sustain.




Here are 5 simple graphics that help to explain the complex narrative of the lengths the Explotratorium went to create a net-zero energy faciity. Starting on this page with the engineering masterpiece of heating and cooling the entire museum through radiant tubing. Driven by heat exchangers that adjust the slab temperature using water from the bay below the building which in turn are powered by the largest solar array in the City of San Francisco (running the entire length of the museum), no stone was left unturned in trying to examine ways in which they could be a model of efficiency and sustainability.

51 percent_less




  web work

some of the sites we have developed.


Along with their identity Crowded Ocean asked us to create a web site for them that would be as unique as their name. And with a name like that they definitely needed something different. We spotted this pile of rocks on vacation in Santa Barbara and knew immeadiately it would perfect for a project like this.


Fricke Parks is a family run printer in Union City. They are an old school web press. They wanted to be able to take on a more contemporaray range of cleints so they asked us to help them redesign their site. We created Fricke Parks + for them to indicate how they now can deliver more than just web printing.


We designed the progressive Benefit group website using rotating sliders that feature different "personas" to allow the broadest possible spectrum of individuals to see themselves in these different life-stage insurance requirements. Here are 4 of the images we sourced for them.





Homepage from Socraticas.


The original Whamcloud website.


Mido homepage.


We designed Rope Partner's website to convey some sense of the scale of the environment they operate in, so again we used a series of images, that show in a compelling graphic way the vastness of the landscape and just how intense the work they do really is.





samples of html email campaigns


FrontRange is a leading provider of Hybrid IT software solutions for organizations of all sizes. They contracted us to deliver an eblast campaign to drive customer acquisition from IT healthcare orgnaizations facing the new EMR Change Management Mandates.


Email blast for Rope Partner's holiday greeting.


Mu Dynamics eblast designs for their mobile rollout webinar.


The Exploratorium uses eblasts as a critical part of their communication starategy. As part of our ongoing engagement this year we designed a comprehensive template for their email headers. A simple color coded headers helps different recipients learn to recognize the email as being relevant to them.

  exploratorium book project

the story of how the Exploratorium transformed a crumbling pier into a net-zero energy, state of the art museum.


Recently we spent 6 months designing a series of 3 100 page books that meticulously detail the process by which The Exploratorium transformed a hundred year old crumbling pier into a state of the art 21st century museum. Under. Build & Sustain are beautifully photographed by Exploratorium senior staff photographer Amy Snyder, and offer a fascinating glimpse into this monumental feat of engineering.

The images in this section show a series of photographs of the finished books, along with complete PDF's of each of the three, and examples of the elegant graphic solutions we created to explain visually some of the complex processes and challanges they faced during construction. If you would like to purchase a set click here.






To illustrate how long each of the stages took we designed these dials that were color coded to the chapter heading (see the previous image) each of the dials used the outside dashes to indicate visually the duration of that particular project.








  exploratorium gala opening

collateral developed for the museum's gala opening and other pre-public events.


The Exploratorium asked us to produce a comprehensive array of collateral material to support the grand opening of the museum's new location in Pier 15 on the San Francisco Embarcadero.

Beginning with a "save the date" card for the opening night Gala party. For this piece we used a simple but sophisticated design, black on black leterpress, with the date and the exploratorium "O". The text on the back then directed them to a matching landing page.



The pre-opening events included tours and sit-down dinners in the new museum for major donors. For these events we continued the sophisticated tone that letterpress brings, only with a cream on cream look. These elegant invitations featured the beautiful abstract artwork that are represenataions of some of the species of plankton that live in the San Francisco Bay.



For other stakeholders we designed a series of mailers that invited people to attend various "sneak previews" of the museum. Each group received their own custom mailer including the media.








The hard copy was followed up in many cases with evites.



For the Gala Opening party invitation we were asked to come up with something unique and memorable.

Our solution was a huge 24x36 poster, featuring images from the 4 year long construction. This beautiful commemorative piece was hand delivered in a custom black tube.


  exploratorium global studios

collateral for the business development group at the Exploratorium


Our third major project for the museum was to help with the brand development of Global Studios.

Global Studios is the business development arm of the museum and rather than exporting or cloning the Exploratorium, they offers the Exploratorium’s expertise, programs, and exhibits, tailored to the needs of other organizations.

They can provide Master Planning, Professional & Program Development , Exhibition Design & Fabrication and Educational Partnerships.

We designed some important collateral for them to use at two key international conferences in Korea and Tunisia both these conferences represent significant client acquisition opportunities.

Here's the cover and three spreads from the brochure we did for their trip to Korea.




belly band

The Global Studios team needed a custom "leave behind" for their meetings at The North Africa and Middle East Science centers network (NAMES).

As Middle Eastern countries tackle the question of how to transition to knowledge based economies and the popularization of science, by the enhancement of the public understanding and involvement in science and scientific culture the Exploratorium sees opportunity to provide its unique hands on learning experience to assist in this process.

For meeting one-on-one with key Ministers from several Arab Gulf States this piece was custom designed not only from a content perspective but also the form factor. We designed a unique slip cover to make a presentation package featuring a Middle East centric brochure and also a copy of the Sustain book we had recently completed. Fo rthe wrapper treatment we pixelated the image form the cover of the brochure to make a graphically striking image that created a strong tension. Then, when the belly band was removed the main image was revealed. The sleeve also had affixed to it a complimentary credit crad size USB stick which we carefully matched and aligned to the art beneath it.


The cover of the brochure featuring a great image of an Egyptian woman engaging at one of the Exploratoriums famous "tinkering" workshops.


The complimentary credit card USB stick.


The front and back of the complimentary credit card USB stick.






  rope partner

branding, advertising, collateral


Rope Partner proudly travels to their jobs across the country in their custom van design.


Windpower magazine is one of the benchmark publications for the renewable energy industry. This image and the next one were the branding ad campaign we developed for Rope Partner that helped to cement their reputation as the leader in the turbine maintenance and repair sector — as well as having the coolest ads in the magazine.



When Rope Partner expanded by opening a satellite office in Texas (its windy down there) they needed a fun way to annnounce it to their customers. We made this playfull postcard for them to mark the occasion.


Rope Partner are — shocking I know—big believers in wind energy. The T shirt we did for them sums it up nicely.




Our good friends at Oppkey in San Francisco ask us to be their virtual design group from time to time. They are a leading marketing consulting firm lead by Jesse Casman. Give them a call up if you are looking for a great marketing partner.

They invited us to help them with a startup called Whamcloud. The story goes like this.

Sun owned Lustre, Larry bought Sun because, well, because he can. Then he got tired of it and decided not to support dev. efforts anymore, this made the Lustre community really peeved and nervous, so the Lustre guys got together and formed Whamcloud, which is where we came in. They needed (among other things) groovy T shirts to take to Germany for the big show. This apparently was a good thing, because shortly after that Intel decided they needed to make sure the critical infrastructure of HPC was looked after properly, so they bought Whamcloud, and the rest as they say is history. Nice going Brent. Startup lesson of the day? Sometimes you just need cool T shirts...


We transitioned with Oppkey to the brave new world of Intel for a little while and even tried to get a funny shirt approved for LUG13 but the attorneys at Intel don't have quite the same sense of humor as us...


Quanp was a Japanese picture file sharing set up by Ricoh — Jesse at Oppkey is fluent in Japanese so he handles a lot of business from Japanese firms trying to get a foothold in Silicon Valley. This was the landing page we designed for their beta program.


OpenSFS is another core member of the Lustre community. Oppkey asked us to design a simple brochure for them to use in recruiting new memebrs to the organization that safeguards and promotes Lustre.


  sage publishing



Sage publishing the international scholastic publishing house asked us to redesign their text book catalog. We created a modular template that allows for an infinite variety of topics, by using color and image to differentiate each title whilst still retaining a coherent branded look.






Book design for Stephen Stavast, fine art painter. Winner of Best of show at the The International Guild of Realism.


Stream of Memories is the title of Stephen Stavast's book featuring his amazing photo-realistic paintings. Every painting is accompanied by a poem custom written for that piece. This project was a challenging graphic design problem, that required the lightest of touches, to allow the art and the poems to be presented in such a way that the design and layout did not interfere, yet also provide a firm foundation to present them with.




We also created a direct mail piece to promote the sale of the book to his existing customers. The mailing resulted in over 30 book sales and significant improvement in web traffic.




ad campaign


V12 Group out of New York are a data driven, Direct Marketing firm who provide a wide range of services. We worked with them on several projects including advertising.




Tim Sawyer

Creative Director,

LMN Group

203 Linden St

Santa Cruz CA 95062


or timothysawyeratlmn@me.com


Skype: timsawyer