Q LTD’s association with our European namesake began in 2003, when Thilo von Debschitz saw some of our work in a design magazine that also featured work by his firm, Q GmbH, Wiesbaden. His email inquiry led both Qs to an important discovery: we have far more than Q in common.
Both Qs are small, highly skilled firms with very similar clients and the same mix of branding, web, and print work. And we share a dedication to working with our clients to solve difficult problems and produce excellent, effective results.
The Qs cooperation began informally: exchanging interns, swapping mp3 files, in-person visits, proof-reading translations, and language adaptations of InDesign documents. Our first major shared project began in early 2005. For several years, Q LTD has created graphic identities, printed materials, web sites, and advertising for the international SIGGRAPH conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques. For SIGGRAPH 2006, we asked the Q team in Wiesbaden to contribute logo concepts and branding themes. Next, the two Qs shared conceptual work for NuStep Inc., an Ann Arbor-based company that markets its fitness equipment worldwide.
In September 2005, after executives from both Qs met with the marketing communications director at Flint-Schmidt Printing Inks in Frankfurt, the two firms were selected to create a new international corporate identity. Flint-Schmidt’s parent company in Ann Arbor was merging with XSYS Print Solutions, a European producer of inks and coatings. The new company, based in Luxembourg, became the world’s second-largest provider of inks, plates, pigments, and other materials to the printing, converting, and colorants industries. It had manufacturing operations, subsidiaries, suppliers, and customers throughout the world. And it faced a significant challenge: to unify a diverse set of corporate cultures and communicate the new company’s stronger position in all of its markets.
Working with corporate marketing teams in Michigan and Germany, the two Qs designed the company’s new logotype, specified how the new brand should be used in corporate materials, and produced advertising in 12 languages to introduce the brand to Flint Group’s international markets. In 2008, we co-designed Flint Group’s very booth at drupa, the world’s largest printing trade show.