Growth by Design

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

GS Design Inc., a print and interactive design firm, is adding 5,000 square feet of space to its uniquely designed Glendale office space, which includes a bar. The expansion is being done to accommodate the company’s growing number of employees and clients, said Jeff Prochnow, principal and co-founder of GS Design.

GS Design currently leases 15,000 square feet of industrial space from Inland Companies at 6665 Sydney Drive. That space is the composite of three 5,000 square-foot units that Prochnow and his business partner, Marc Tebon, constructed into a two-story, inter-woven office space.

GS Design leased a fourth 5,000 square-foot unit adjacent to the current space, Prochnow said. The expansion is needed because the company is expanding its client rosters in both its print and interactive businesses, Prochnow said.

In 2004, GS Design acquired EKG Group, a Milwaukee-based interactive media company. EKG founders Jason Evans and Scott Kurtz and 10 information technology and Web design professionals joined GS Design from EKG to jumpstart the department, Prochnow said.

By adding EKG to the company, the firm gained full Web design capabilities, he said.

"We used to make things pretty," Prochnow said. "Now (the) print (side) works cohesively with the interactive side, and the design is just as important to us as the technology."

Also, by adding the abilities of a full-service interactive division, the company is gaining new business, Prochnow said.

"(The acquisition) has gone extremely well," he said. "The idea was that once we reached a higher level of interactive, the company would sell itself both ways, where print clients would see value in our interactive abilities and interactive clients would see value in our print services."

Since the acquisition, GS Design has increased its revenue by more than 20 percent, Prochnow said. The firm anticipates an additional 10 to 15 percent increase in 2006, he said.

GS Design reported more than $6 million in sales revenue for 2005 and hopes to surpass $7 million in sales revenue in 2007.

"(The acquisition) helped elevate and expand what we are able to do here with branding, marketing and putting together complete campaigns," Prochnow said.

The print services offered by GS Design include corporate identity, brand strategy, direct mail campaigns, publication creation and strategic planning. Interactive services include Web site design, development, hosting and maintenance; application development; e-commerce; Extranet and Internet development and online marketing.

The most recent physical expansion for GS Design was completed three years ago when it leased and remodeled its third 5,000 square-foot unit.

Although the office space is interconnected, each unit has a distinct feel and design.

  • The first unit features individual offices spread among two floors and is painted predominantly lime green and white. The majority of GS Design’s accounts on the print side of the business are lifestyle accounts. These clients are reflected throughout the design of the office space. At nearly every turn is a motorcycle made by Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. or an ad for SRAM Corp., a Chicago-based bicycle component manufacturer. Both are clients of GS Design, Prochnow said.
  • The second unit has more of a whimsical architectural feel with curved walls and dividers. It contains more open workspaces and less-enclosed office spaces and is painted predominantly peach, red and white.
  • The third office space, which houses Prochnow and Tebon’s offices, has more of an urban motif. A main attraction is a metal spiral staircase and an overall color scheme involving cool blues and darker grays.
  • The fourth space may have an even more urban feel. It will exceed the other three spaces in architectural and interior design motifs, Prochnow said.

The space will be built by Menomonee Falls-based Bartelt Filo Design Inc.

"It is going to be impressive," Prochnow said.

The expansion is partially in anticipation of increased numbers of clients and projects, and Prochnow said the work spaces will fill up fast. GS Design hired six new employees in 2005 and two so far in 2006. The company currently has 35 employees.

"We are committed to expanding as we need to," Prochnow said. "We bring on people as we see a need, which means we have work. Everyone is extremely busy here, and we are good at what we do."

The expansion will cost about $150,000, Prochnow said. When finished, the office space will also feature an area with exercise equipment. The current space already offers a smaller area with exercise equipment and showers that will be replaced when the addition is finished, he said.

The current space also has a lounge and bar area and a conference room that seats 20.

"The unique thing about us is that creativity comes first," Prochnow said.

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