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Logo - Francis & Wool Studios, Ltd.

We are storytellers.

On a dark and stormy night in 2005, Francis and Wool were born. She was surprisingly strategic underneath her crazy spots. He was a free spirit. Together, they've helped bring countless client stories to life.

Sure, a ladybug and sheep may not seem like branding and design gurus. They don't even have opposable thumbs. But their imaginations are huge. They're enthusiastic and unconventional. And they believe design should always showcase the heart of your business: your story.

 

As it happens, I agree. Hi! I'm Kristin Smith, founder of this motley crew. We use every tool in our shed to tell stories here, proving that "professional" can also mean whimsical, colorful and (dare I say it?) human. After all, it is the connection to your story that drives customer intimacy. People want your why – that thing that compels you out of bed in the morning and makes you want to share your stuff with the world.

At Francis & Wool Studios, we help you give it legs. Or wings.

Creative Services

Graphic Design

Logos & Stationery
Invitations/Greeting Cards
Brochures & Signage
Websites
Social Media Graphics
Book Cover Design

Culture & Systems

Photography
Copywriting
Resume Development
Workflow Consulting
Professional Organizing
Web Hosting

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Textiles & Art

Wall Quotes
Custom Cartoons
Embroidery
Screen Printing
Promotional Products
Matte Board Cutting

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Training

Adobe Creative Suite
Microsoft Office
Mac OS X
Pre-Press for Designers
HTML
Photo Editing

Meet Kristin

FOUNDER / PRINCIPAL DESIGNER

Illustration of Kristin Smith

So what's my why, you might ask? Simple! I am passionate about storytelling.

Over the course of my life, this has taken many forms: art, design, writing, photography, theatre, technology, volunteering, music, teaching. If you can tell a story with it, I've probably done it. And if I haven't done it yet, you can bet it's on my list of things to do next. (I always have a project or twenty up my sleeve.)

You see, long ago I appealed to the Universe with a challenge I assumed did not exist. But I had nothing to lose by tossing it out there, and figured if I was going to draw something to myself, I may as well make it worthwhile. I was frustrated with the notion of a job. I didn't want a job, I wanted something bigger than that. I wanted, according to my resume at the time, "to become a member of an open-minded and proactive organization that would foster the development of my technical, literary and artistic skills through a challenging and vivacious career." Basically, I wanted a purpose – someplace I could tell stories all day – though I didn't fully realize it at the time.

And wouldn't you know it, the Universe answered. It took seven years of tromping through other design positions, IT management and art direction, but eventually I landed right in the middle of my request: my own business. This. (If you could see me right now, you'd see that I'm gesturing to my office.) This is the open-minded, proactive organization I was looking for – a place that has more than fostered my technical, literary and artistic skills, and one that routinely challenges me... both the stimulating and uncomfortable kinds. And I'm not sure who I was trying to impress with the word "vivacious" (I am now rolling my eyes at myself) but it has certainly been that, too.

My desire then was the same as it is now: to help people see why their passion is needed, why no one else in the world can serve it up exactly the same way they can. And I wanted this to take a variety of forms because every client is different. Indeed, every story is different. There are no canned solutions here – the prince can't save the princess in every plot. Sometimes the princess needs to learn Mediterranean cooking and small engine repair and save her own butt. It is that sensibility I strive for in every project I touch.

I've been described as wonderfully creative (please excuse that horn tooting in the background, it really has a mind of its own) and I'm a stickler for details and consistent, memorable brands. My sweet spot is small or micro-sized businesses – people with an idea but an unclear path – and I truly delight in design when I can dwell in my trademark warm, scrapbook-meets-corporate style.

So, if you're ready to explore your project, let's talk. I've saved a spot for you in my favorite squashy chair, and there's a mug of hot cocoa waiting, right there by your elbow. It's rich and frothy and good, but really, what could be more delicious than talking about your story?

Praise

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Joint Missions

Over the years, we have partnered with agencies and independent consultants to help produce stories for their clients – an arrangement we value a great deal and are often energized by.

Many of these collaborative projects end up in our portfolio as examples of our design and creative thinking. However, transparency is important to us, so projects done with or on behalf of other firms are labeled accordingly.

Pro Bono

Golden Crown Literary Society (2013)
Logo, book award seal, brand consulting

TRW Legal Consulting (2012)
Logo, social media graphics

American Diabetes Association, Minnesota Chapter (2007 and 2008)
Annual gala invitations, advertisements, event programs and signage

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Awards

2011 – Winner: Magazine Art Direction
2011 – 3rd Place: Greeting Card
2009 – 1st Place: Corporate Identity
2009 – 1st Place: Greeting Card
2007 – 1st Place: Greeting Card
2007 – 2nd Place: Collateral Material
2005 – 1st Place: Website Design

Say Hello

Thanks for your note! We'll be in touch soon.

Studio Graphic

  St. Paul, Minnesota
📞  651.436.6330
  651.436.6992 (Facsimile)
  kristin@francisandwool.com
🔗  www.francisandwool.com