Rick’s Background and Experiences
At Ditto! Design!, the creative agency specializing in marketing, design, and branding solutions for growing businesses, I connect the dots of strategy, creative and media. I bring a strategic perspective to my work through a broad range of experiences that includes nearly every aspect of graphic design. My portfolio includes corporate and brand identity programs, annual reports, print collateral, direct response, multimedia, corporate films and videos, marketing, packaging, signage, e-commerce, social media, and websites.
My career began at Lippincott & Margulies, the premier New York design firm that created the corporate identity industry. Senior design and account management positions followed at prestigious advertising agencies and marketing firms including Chiat/Day, Bright & Associates and DMB&B. During this time, I worked with clients such as IBM, New York Stock Exchange, Southwestern Bell, AT&T, Freddie Mac, EF Hutton and Tambrands.
Along the way, I founded The Whelan Design Office, a multi-disciplinary design firm in New York City. Over a ten-year period, we grew to 20 employees and added a second office in Washington, DC. We served clients such as Freddie Mac, The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, EF Hutton, Fox Television, Technicolor, MacAndrews & Forbes, and Dialcom Inc., which developed the world’s first commercial electronic mail service.
In 1995, as the internet emerged as a marketing communications tool, I was fortunate to join Waters Design, a leading-edge New York firm that used web-based technology to create innovative marketing and design solutions. As President and Creative Director, I led a team of 20 that became an extension of the IBM S/390 Division strategic planning function within marketing and managed its $5-plus million internet/intranet budget. Our project team won the IBM S/390 Division Marketing Communications Partner Award for two consecutive years.
In 1999, Barbara Sullivan tapped me to form and lead Sullivan Interaction. This subsidiary of her New York marketing agency was created to provide interactive design and development services primarily to serve Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, Deloitte and others in the financial services sector.
After many years of working for others, I was ready to begin anew. My eldest son Jackson joined me to open Ditto Design & Duplication, a combination of printing company and storefront design firm in Dobbs Ferry, NY. We built our unique business from the ground up and established a reputation for quality, innovation, creativity and outstanding customer service. We brought big agency expertise to a diverse client base of small businesses, professionals, startups and non-profit organizations. Alas, in the wake of the Great Recession, we made the difficult decision to shed the printing operation. I regrouped as Ditto! Design! in Kingston, NY, where I live with my wife Susan, a gifted potter, our two youngest children and two dogs. Jackson, his wife Madlyn and two tenacious terriers moved to Loveland, CO where he opened his agency, Jackson Whelan Digital. He continues to work with me developing WordPress websites for his clients and mine.
Ditto! Design! clients include a diverse roster of nonprofit organizations, businesses and independent professionals. While some have modest marketing design needs, many choose Ditto! Design! to plan, create, implement, and manage their integrated marketing communications programs. Selected examples include:
Ellenville Regional Hospital – Brand identity, print collateral, website
Rutland City Public Schools – Brand identity, print collateral, six school websites
Lazar & Schwartz – Brand identity, print collateral, advertising
CPA Trendlines – Brand identity, experience design, print collateral, product design, website, e-commerce
Greyston Bakery – Brand identity, café design, print collateral, packaging, signage, website, e-commerce
The Klezmatics – Brand identity, website, CD packaging
Ulster County Quadricentennial – Brand identity, print collateral, print and radio advertising, website
Armin’s Tree Service – Brand identity, print collateral, direct mail, signage, social media, website