Jonathan Wood — but you can call him Woody — serves clients with his graphic design expertise. He makes your brand look good, literally. Meet Woody.
At Fervor, Woody is: a graphic designer . . .
. . But wait, there’s more: “I sometimes hesitate to call myself a graphic designer because that’s a pigeonhole role. Being a creative doesn’t have to be limited to one area.” Design is universal, Woody believes. Take shopping for a pair of shoes or decorating your house, for example; whether you know it or not, you’re making decisions based on design. “Design affects every aspect of our lives, and I believe if you’re a good designer, you can apply that anywhere.”
What and where he studied: Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Woody received his bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Friends University in Wichita, as well as another bachelor of arts in Communications with a minor in Marketing.
Before Fervor: After graduating, Woody freelanced for a year and a half. “I was determined to make it my own way,” he says. When a few ad agencies began recruiting him, an influential mentor encouraged Woody to consider agency work. Woody took a position with a smaller firm, just seven people when he started. But it grew quickly, to more than 25 people just 18 months later. “We were doing really high end work and it was pretty fun,” Woody says.
The letterpress path: When the economic downturn hit, Woody launched his boutique letterpress print shop, Running Doves Press, in Wichita. “I was the only letterpress printer in town, so I was the go-to for people wanting to get that kind of work done.” He sold the company at the end of 2012 to refocus on design, but it remains close to his heart. At the same time, he steered back towards his freelance design efforts, and has done so ever since.
Mike’s first business cards: Yeah, Woody printed Mike’s first Fervor business cards, but the story began years earlier. Woody worked at a bicycle shop for several years, garnering many close clients. One such client just so happened to collaborate with Mike in his barbecue sauce company, and called Woody for creative and design direction. He and Mike worked closely together, with his first project completed in 2006. “Then when Mike started Fervor, I was on board, and I’ve been on board ever since,” Woody says.
Digs Fervor because: The variety of projects and clients allows for plenty of creativity. “With some traditional agencies, you tend to work solely on one brand. It makes sense, but from a creative standpoint, it’s not as fun,” Woody says. “But with Fervor, I get to work on a diverse group of clients – from finance to nonprofits to transportation and more. That variety of industries and client types keeps it fun.”
Family: Woody’s immediate family — mom, dad, brother and sister-in-law — all call Wichita home as well. His brother is married, and Woody is an uncle to their kiddo. His father has a background in ministry, having pastored a church for more than 30 years.
The music scene: One of Woody’s favorite passions is live music. “I love going to concerts and shows, and travel quite a bit to see them,” he says. In the past month alone, he’s been to Dallas, Tulsa, Lawrence and Kansas City, in addition to the shows he’s seen in Wichita. Recent concerts include Punch Brothers, Foo Fighters, The Budos Band and Justin Townes Earl. “It’s a big component of my life.”
A community he loves: “I have a fairly tight core group of about 20 friends and we do a lot of things together.” They not only frequent craft beer events, but also festivals and shows.
Outside Fervor, you’ll find him: at the Wichita bar Lucky’s Everyday, his favorite restaurant Public at the Brickyard or The Vagabond for a cup of coffee. He and his friends are regulars and love the great food, atmosphere and drinks.
His vinyl collection: Woody enjoys collecting and listening to vinyl records and has about 550 in his collection — “it’s a slippery slope,” he admits. Jazz is his favorite genre.
What drives him up a wall: Woody is pretty easy going, he says, and doesn’t let much get under his skin. “But I don’t like being around negative people,” he adds. “A Debbie Downer can suck the energy out of a room.”
Business books that had an impact: Woody appreciates books about creativity, including Joe Duffy’s Brand Apart, as well as Adam Alter’s book Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave.
Class is now in session: Woody’s latest challenge is teaching an entry-level design class at his alma mater, Friends University. “I didn’t realize how naturally design came to me, now that I’m trying to teach it.” The class is called Computer Print Technologies and, while it’s primarily a technical class, Woody is also teaching conceptual design ideas.
Fervor wouldn’t be Fervor without . . . someone to argue with Mike: “I’ve known Mike so long and never had a problem expressing my opinion to him,” Woody laughs. “While I defer to him, I do try to keep him in check.”