About Us

Call us crazy, but we're that one weird married couple who actually likes working together. With bachelor's degrees (information technology with a focus on web development, and multimedia design with a focus on design and development), years of experience, and a passion for great art and amazing customer service, we put our heads together to create designs that you won't soon forget.

We have been designing for many years, starting with artwork throughout our school years. In 1999 we got married, our hearts already set on business ownership in the future. After working for "the man" for several years, in 2005 we launched a small newspaper featuring local entertainment and things to do around the area. The paper was around for about two years, but health & family issues caused us to hang it up. We continued doing freelance design work, and in December 2013 Stahr Design became an LLC. In 2017 we changed our name to Stahr Media to better reflect the wide range of work we do.

While the majority of our projects are web and print design, we do so many other things, as well. Have a design or technology project in mind and don't see anything related in our portfolio? Contact us to find out how we can help!

This is me - IT worker

Services

Great design and amazing customer service don't have to break the bank. Here are just a few of the affordable ways we can help:

Online

Custom website design, development & maintenance. Hosting, domain & email setup. Content management system consulting.

Corporate

Logo design & branding. Periodicals, newsletters & annual reports. Advertising design, including billboard, banners & clothing.

Marketing

Advertising sales & design. Social media setup, training, management and consulting. Copy writing & copy editing. Marketing consulting.

Technology

Personal & business technology repair, setup & training. Photo scanning, correction and repair. Photography, video and PowerPoint.


You might be wondering why we don't list our prices. Let us tell you: Every job is different. Website designs vary so much that it would be a disservice for us to charge a flat rate based on a Gold, Silver or Bronze package, for example. We'll work with you to come up with options that meet your needs AND fit your budget.

Would you like to know more or just discuss something? Maybe what you're thinking of isn't listed here?

Contact Us

Our Work

We have worked on dozens of projects so here is just a sampling.

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Prophetstown Main Street

Prophetstown Main Street

Non-profit organization website redesign, 2017

Prophetstown (Illinois) Main Street was seeking a more modern design for their website, as the old one was difficult to read because of the lack of contrast in colors.

The old website also had a lot of outdated information, and the client was having trouble finding time to update the website. We worked with the client to get it up to date. We currently maintain the website, with emails regarding changes sent to us as needed.

Portions of this website use the content management system Perch. Designed using HTML, PHP, Adobe Dreamweaver & Adobe Photoshop.

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Lee County Tourism 2017 Voyager ad

Lee County Tourism Council

Ad design for glossy magazine, 2017

This organization's mission is to advertise things to do and places to see in Lee County, Illinois. This can prove challenging when trying to cram information from 12 towns into any one ad!

For this project we chose photos from various events to represent the different activities available, and chose a bright color scheme to help the ad stand out. We later adjusted the ad to fit into other glossy publications during the same summer.

Designed using Adobe InDesign & Adobe Photoshop.

Rock Falls Township High School Music department

Rock Falls Township High School

Music department logo, 2015

The band & choir director for Rock Falls Township High School was looking for a logo to use on clothing, posters, etc. We used the most modern-looking of the high school's rocket logos and created the "smoke" and "fire" out of a staff and music notes.

Since the approval of this logo, we have done a number of different color variations (always sticking with Rock Falls' green and black) for use on black, gray and white backgrounds, and in solid colors for embroidery.

Designed using Adobe Illustrator.

Fulton Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Fulton Chamber of Commerce

Welcome sign design, 2017

The Chamber of Commerce was looking for a replacement sign for the one that was in that location previously. They wanted the sign to reflect the town's location along the Mississippi River, display the Dutch windmill for which it is known, and have a retro look to signify the history found in the downtown area.

We chose a retro-looking font and some muted colors, along with a fanciful river. We worked with the sign maker to give the sign a 3-dimensional look by creating "pop-out" metal windmill blades.

Designed using Adobe Illustrator.

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home brochure

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home & Visitors Center

Tri-fold brochure, 2017

In 2015, during the Reagan Boyood Home's 30th Anniversary year, we blended photos together to create a keepsake poster on the outside of this brochure.

After a change in staffing, the client wanted a new look for the brochure, but there was very little time before the tour season opened. Rather than have us rush to remake the entire tri-fold, the client chose to change from the presidential blue & red to a more historcal look. We muted the blues and reds, added sepia tones, and switched to rounded corners on images and colored boxes to give the brochure a more retro feel.

Designed using Adobe Illustrator & Adobe Photoshop.

the music of Chicago tshirt

RFHS Marching Band

Marching Band t-shirt, 2017

Basically the only guidance we were given from the client is to use the Chicago band logo, or at least a similar font. We had an idea to incorporate the Chicago skyline, but wanted to be sure that 1) the band Chicago was actually from Chicago; and 2) music was somehow incorporated into the design.

After those things were confirmed, we got the idea to use the names of the songs the students would be playing as the buildings. Our daughter is on the leadership team in band and quickly named off all the songs. There was a lot of detail work in this, but we're excited about how this turned out!

Designed using Adobe Illustrator, with some logo work in Adobe Photoshop.

Aroundptown.com

AroundPtown.com

Local news website redesign, 2017

AroundPtown.com's owner contacted us for consulting and website design at the start of his venture. The website covers news, weather and sports for Prophetstown, Illinois, and the surrounding area. Because the client would be writing and updating the website himself, we started him off on Wordpress.

A year and a half later he decided it was time to update and wanted something more customized. The redesign took a lot of time, trial and error, but it was worth it! The new design features several placements for ads and a slick design with black, gray and a splash of Prophetstown's orange.

This website uses the content management system Perch, the ad management system AdButler, and the camera streaming website AngelCam. Designed using HTML, PHP, Adobe Dreamweaver & Adobe Photoshop.

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Sterling Main Street Sterling Fest 2015

Sterling Main Street

Sterling Fest logo, 2015

The client wanted a logo for a downtown festival. They were looking to convey the history of the city through the logo. We settled on three key items: 1) the city's location along the Rock River; 2) the city's major role in the steel manufacturing industry; and 3) its history involving trains. We also created a secondary "button" logo for use in smaller print.

Designed using Adobe Illustrator & Adobe Photoshop.

Snapchat Geofilters for Woodlawn Arts Academy

Woodlawn Arts Academy

Snapchat Geofilters, 2017

The young cast of the Sauk Valley Theatre Alliance's 2017 Theatre in the Park production asked us about doing a Snapchat filter for the show. This was our first time doing this, being fairly new to Snapchat ourselves, so we read up to learn how to make our own filter and we were all set!

With much success from the Theatre Geofilter, Woodlawn Arts Academy's Dance Competition Team decided to follow suit with a Geofilter for the 2017 Rainbow Dance Nationals.

Designed using Adobe Photoshop, with logo work in Adobe Illustrator.

The Range Training & Safety Center

The Range Training & Safety Center

Logo, 2017

With a new business in Franklin Grove that typically would attract a male clientele, the client wanted to be sure that their logo wasn't too masculine because they want women to be interested, as well.

We used a greenish-gray color similar to the color of the building, and a deep red. We were asked to incorporate a scope as well as an arrow because the client will be working with handguns and archery. This was a quick turnaround, with a lot of back-and-forth with the client over the course of approximately one week, in order to have it ready for a town festival.

Designed using Adobe Illustrator.

Various items for Katy Selmi Company Branding

Katy Selmi

Company Branding, 2014

In 2014, Katy Selmi finished refacing a building on First Avenue in Rock Falls that would house her Country Financial agency as well as her wedding and event planning business.

While we of course have to work with the Country Financial "pickle," as the agents lovingly call it, for the event planning business logo, we sketched the rose and digitally highlighted it with soft colors.

We photographed the unique black and gray bricks on the newly refinished building and now use them as a background to keep a consistent look in all of the items we design for either of her businesses. The colored stripe - various corporate-approved greens for Country Financial and purple for Selmi's Weddings & Events - drives the consistency home on billboards, magnets, business cards, brochures and postcards.

Designed using Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop & Adobe InDesign.

First Avenue Bridge banners

Bridge The Community

Banner design for light posts, 2015-Present

Bridge the Community is a 10K/5K that takes place in September each year in conjunction with the Sterling and Rock Falls Fiesta Weekend. BTC's mission is to raise funds for riverfront aesthetics. Beginning in 2015, the group partnered with Woodlawn Arts Academy to feature the winners of that organization's annual Student-Teacher Art Exhibit as banners on the First Avenue Bridge that connects Sterling and Rock Falls.

Since 2015, each year we photograph winning artwork and appropriately crop it to fit the banners. This can be challenging, depending on the art pieces! Local businesses sponsor the Banner Project, and their logos are featured at the bottom of the banners.

The morning of the 10K/5K run, winning students are invited to bring their original artwork to the RB&W District along the Rock Falls riverfront to display in front of their banners, and BTC presents the students with a poster of their banner for a keepsake.

Designed using Adobe Photoshop, with featured artwork by students from various schools in the Sauk Valley area photographed using a Canon EOS Rebel T3.

first birthday invitation

Personal Print Design

Jobs For Individuals

We often get requests from friends, family and the general public to custom design an invitation or card for a personal event. These are fun for us to do because they're generally quick and not as challenging as, say, getting the perfect business logo that needs to stick around for years.

These are just a few of those small print jobs. We've also designed wedding save-the-dates, invitations and programs, Valentine cards for our own kids to hand out, Eagle Scout Court of Honor programs, vinyl vehicle decals, vehicle magnets, "I've Moved" cards and much more. If what you're considering isn't listed, just ask!

Designed using Adobe Photoshop , Adobe Illustrator & Adobe InDesign.

the music of Chicago tshirt

Various Clients

Catalogs, Newsletters & Periodicals

We have been designing periodicals since we started; in fact, we met while working for Sauk Valley Media! Our current work of this type includes a monthly newsletter for St. John's Lutheran Church, Sterling, and a semi-annual program catalog for Woodlawn Arts Academy. In the past, we were part owners of HAVE FUN!, a weekly entertainment newspaper; and designed for The Sauk Valley Sun for approximately two years. Janel also worked as an art director for WATT, designing several monthly magazines and annual directories. For a brief time she also worked for the local Regional Office of Education, and during her stint there she designed their monthly newsletter and annual report.

Designed using Adobe InDesign, with photo and art work using Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator. Full issues of Woodlawn Arts Academy's program guide are uploaded to issuu. Full issues of St. John's Lutheran Church's e-Messenger are uploaded to Google Drive.

Milledgeville Library

Milledgeville Public Library

Website redesign, 2016

We originally designed Milledgeville (Illinois) Public Library's website in 2014. When the library director retired, the new director wanted a brighter feel for the library's website. We worked with her to not only brighten the design, but to add Facebook and Twitter feeds, and make the website mobile-responsive.

Designed using HTML, Adobe Dreamweaver & Adobe Photoshop.

Visit website

Shrek tshirt for Woodlawn Arts Academy

Woodlawn Arts Academy

Event t-shirts

It can be very challenging working with only one or two colors on a t-shirt, but in an effort to keep printing costs down for non-profit clients like Woodlawn Arts Academy, we do our very best. These are a few of our one- or two-color t-shirt designs for theatre productions, dance recitals, camps and fundraiser staff.

Designed using Adobe Illustrator.

Contact Us

We'd love to help with your next design or technology project! Contact us today for options to fit your budget and unmatched customer service.

Text or call 815.441.3664
janel@stahrfamily.com