Talent & Creativity: LCS' Graphic Designers

Company Spotlight | Employee Spotlight
LCS Graphic Designers

At the heart of any successful brand is eye-catching graphic design. At LCS, our marketing department is home to several graphic designers tasked with creating and maintaining the brand identity for all our products and services, including Rent Manager property management software, LCS IT Services, the Rent Manager User Conference (RMUC), and more.  Their creativity and expertise visually distinguish LCS from the competition, which is no small task considering the number of designs and styles they work with daily.

While the marketing department is divided into teams focused on individual aspects of the LCS brands, the graphic designers work across the teams to stretch their creative muscles on all projects. While you may have seen some of their work before, we wanted to take a moment to shine a light on these creative minds and peek behind the curtain into the day-to-day work of the designers who help our brands put their best face forward.

The design process varies wildly depending on the type and complexity of a project, but I’d say an overarching term to describe my general approach to projects would be experimentation. Designing is inherently comprised of a LOT of trial and error, and finding the most functional and visually appealing solution to a problem usually takes a lot of iteration and a fair amount of time.

Jay Macke, Graphic Designer
RMUC.22 Design by Jay Macke
LCS Branded Designs by Jay Macke

Jay’s favorite designs lean on bright color palettes within specific branding. Of the RMUC.22 design (left), he says, “The visual language for RMUC.22 was all about maximalism, which intimidated me quite a bit at first because designers in a corporate setting typically strive for minimalism and simplicity. Once I got the hang of the visuals, I really started to have fun with the conference projects, and I’m really happy with how everything turned out!”

Each Day is Different

I think it’s safe to say that the designers at LCS need to flex their creative muscles quite a bit more than the average in-house designer since we create artwork for several visually distinct brands. This can be challenging, but overcoming those challenges is extremely rewarding. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes after completing a project I didn’t think I could do before!

Jay Macke, Graphic Designer

Depending on which projects and brands the designers are tasked with, any given day might have them creating imagery with wildly different designs. Each brand that LCS houses has a specific look and feel that the designers must adhere to as part of the brand image. This can be challenging at times, but the team enjoys getting to work on a variety of different projects.

[My design process] all depends on the job… but for the most part, I turn towards my favorite websites for inspiration of the most recent design styles and trends to make sure I’m hitting my mark with what is seen in the design world.

Samantha Obermeyer, Graphic Designer

Our designers agree that starting a new project begins with research. This includes looking into current trends in design, color, and composition and effortlessly blending trends with classic looks and choices that make sense. Depending on what the task is, this research and ideation period can take them in many different directions, which gives more creativity and freedom than you might expect.

It’s the graphic designer’s job to take the copy & desired message & make it visibly appealing & eye-catching so that your end audience will pay attention to it. So, with a brand-new project with a new message to display, I’ll usually start with researching design websites to get a feel for what is trending, what is timeless, & what is dated. It’s an interesting balance.

Lindsey Ludwig, Graphic Designer
Pain by Numbers design by Lindsey Ludwig
RMUC Brochure Design by Lindsey Ludwig

Lindsey’s favorite projects include several pieces for the Rent Manager User Conference, including a unique paint-by-numbers mural design that was implemented as a collaborative activity at RMUC.23.
Lindsey says “[the goal] was to create a community-based painting mural, where it conveyed that Rent Manager caters to a lot of industries from manufactured housing to single-family homes, etc. Attendees at the conference would come to the mural and paint it using a “paint by numbers” system. Did we want it to be a large collage of all the industries? A photograph? What about creating a town that displayed each industry? What would be best for folks who aren’t art-savvy to paint? […] It was a very long and challenging process, with lots of changes, but sometimes those end up being the projects that mean the most.”

Creativity on Demand

Occasionally, finding enough time to dedicate to each project can be a challenge, especially during the designers’ busy period leading up to RMUC. Help is never more than a quick Teams message away, though. The designers do an excellent job of helping each other out of jams when needed, and if things are so busy that a deadline just needs to be moved entirely, the individuals we collaborate with are very accommodating and are often happy to oblige.

Jay Macke, Graphic Designer

With the freedom and creativity our graphic designers experience in their role, they can sometimes run up against challenges. Any person working in a creative field can understand that just because you can create fantastic works of art, that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy to find inspiration, especially on a tight deadline.

Some of the challenges I face in my role are juggling deadlines, finding inspiration, and keeping up with the constantly changing trends in design. To overcome these challenges, I list and prioritize my projects, research similar companies and see how they approach their marketing. I also look for inspiration on social media and other marketing materials.

Jim Fugett, Graphic Designer
RMUC.24 Banner by Jim Fugett

Jim’s favorite recent projects include excerpts from a Rent Manager Resource Guide, and email banners for the upcoming 2024 Rent Manager User Conference.

The Power of Teamwork

My experience here at LCS has been wonderful, it’s great to be able to work with such an amazing team. In my previous roles, I had always been the only designer, so to have such talented people to collaborate with is a pure joy.

Jim Fugett, Graphic Designer

With multiple designers as part of a larger marketing department, LCS’ creative team is top-notch. Many projects are started and completed by a single designer, but larger efforts, such as the branding and assets for the annual Rent Manager User Conference, are a group effort by all the designers. This close-knit design strategy allows for professional support and collaboration.

The most rewarding part of my job is going to the conference to photograph the event, and seeing my design pieces at a large scale around the hotel venue. LCS allows me to be creative and think outside the box. Many design jobs are stifling—I absolutely love it here and the team that I work with!

Samantha Obermeyer, Graphic Designer
RMUC.15 Design by Samantha Obermeyer
RMUC.19 Design by Samantha Obermeyer
RMUC.21 Design by Samantha Obermeyer

Samantha’s favorite projects center around RMUC branding from years past. With each location and theme drastically different from one another, it’s an interesting look at the work that goes into creating the visual aspect of every conference.

The LCS Difference

Here, I get to play around with typography a bit more in the messaging, which I enjoy, and with the conference each year being different, it brings out a new creative side of me I hadn’t seen before, so each year I feel I learn something new and evolve as a graphic designer.

Lindsey Ludwig, Graphic Designer

One thing all our designers have in common is how fortunate they feel to be part of such a supportive team. With a company culture like no other and the awards to back it up, our graphic designers, as well as the entirety of our marketing team, dedicate themselves to fostering and creating a work environment that inspires creativity and teamwork.

Our marketing department and graphic designers are some of the very best, I would put them up against any other marketing department out there. It’s a privilege to be a part of such a dynamic team!

Jim Fugett, Graphic Designer