MATTHEW STEINBERG | The Serious Graphic Designer with the Silly Business Name
My company was founded by Liam O’Quackenbush as the Longs Corners
Commercial Art Co. as a job printing shop in in Corfu, NY in 1907.
He typeset and printed posters, broadsides, billheads and variety of other
business ephemera at his Main Street location until his death in 1927.
The shop was then purchased by Michael Flaherty
and operated for 72 years by three generations of his family, who expanded
it over the years, offering advertising artwork and placement services,
graphic design and cartography in addition to job printing.
The Flahertys sold the entire operation to me in 1999, and I consolidated
the business offerings to the core services of advertising, graphic
design, custom cartography and website design. To reflect my new ownership
and business direction, I changed its name to The Quackenstein Graphic
Design Co. - a combination of the founder’s and my surnames. (I
didn’t, however, change its location - I'm still in the wonderful village
of Corfu.) I also had one other reason for the change - because new
customers will remember me as the “serious graphic designer
with the silly business name.”
WHAT’S WITH THAT WEIRD LOGO AND MOTTO, ANYWAY?
I have a keen interest (some would call it an obsession) in American history,
especially the era from the Gilded Age to the end of World War One. I wanted
my logo and tagline to reflect this passion, so I adapted President Woodrow
Wilson’s famous statement from his speech to Congress in 1917, urging them
to declare war on the Central Powers of Europe. He said that “the
world must be made safe for democracy” and I'm doing my best to
keep at least my little corner of it safe from bad design. And of
course, with this sort of name, a duck wearing a doughboy uniform carrying
a giant pencil (the designer’s weapon in the marketing wars) was the only
choice as the logo’s main graphic element. But I’m sure that’s been obvious
from the start.
Questions about my education or experience? Check out my resume.