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Meet Chad Sawyer of SAWYER Agency

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chad Sawyer.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Chad. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
After graduating from Ringling College of Art & Design in 2004 – where I studied graphics and interactive design – I moved to Los Angeles after accepting one of the best first jobs a young designer could ask for designing concert posters for the legendary House of Blues. After that, I hopped around to a few different creative agencies to find the right fit. I designed everything from show posters and film posters, to DVD menus and packaging.

Ultimately, I knew I didn’t want to just design posters or packaging; I wanted to stretch my creative background and profession into avenues I had yet to explore. So, I started taking on freelance projects to help fulfill that creative void I was feeling and eventually was asked to design an e-commerce site for Harouts – an independent shoe store in the Fillmore district of San Francisco. While I had the design part down, I didn’t have much web development experience, so I reached out to a neighbor/friend who was an experienced web programmer and asked if he’d be interested in partnering up.

The website caught the attention of the Adidas brand, and our company was born. We called it “The Compound,” named after the Hollywood bungalows we lived in at the time. After several years and many projects later we both decided we needed something fresh, so I went solo and opened up SAWYER Agency.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting SAWYER felt a bit like starting from scratch. When I was at The Compound, I was doing a lot more traditional advertising, which is something I was hoping to move away from.

I started reaching out to my contacts and was eventually hired to do an annual report for the downtown Los Angeles-based GRAMMY Museum. This ended up being an incredibly important piece for the launch of this new venture. The printed annual important piece went on to receive several design awards and solidified the GRAMMY Museum partnership.

Soon after, the Museum was beginning to explore the possibility of traveling their temporary exhibits. This proved to be problematic in terms of resources because the Museum’s staff didn’t have the bandwidth to manage the design of their exhibits in Los Angeles, while also designing exhibits that were beginning to travel across the country and around the world. The first exhibit I was asked to design was the official exhibit celebrating the centennial of the legendary GRAMMY winner Frank Sinatra. That was the first time I had ever designed for a museum exhibit, but who could say no to designing a tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes?

Looking back on what it was like to build and launch SAWYER Agency, I realized how valuable my relationships were to me building my portfolio and client list. Meeting contacts and building your list can be one of the toughest part of any business owner’s job, but then there’s also keeping the client on board that can be just as challenging. I know opportunities like the ones I’ve had don’t come around every day, so it’s important to me that I continue to deliver a level of quality that my clients can count on me for, and I’ve never taken any of these opportunities I’ve had for granted.

Please tell us about SAWYER Agency.
At SAWYER Agency, we value our clients and understand that their needs are unique to their industry and design campaign. As a team, we seek to create designs that continue to work for our clients beyond the initial project scope. We believe in building brands, not just one-off graphics, and we love when our work is integrated and adapted to suit the subsequent needs of our clients.

We guide our clients to success using our extensive knowledge of exhibit design, print for publication, signage, display, packaging, logo, and digital design. We can drive the creative direction of a project to create beautiful and impactful print and digital designs that allow our clients’ audience to interact with select pieces of their presentation in a creative and innovative manner. We help them define a strategy for their success.

We are unified under an ambition to achieve high-impact results and love to work with clients who are facilitating positive change in the world. Our company culture provides an opportunity for innovation and discovery through collaboration and open communication. Collectively, we strive to create compelling, creative designs that inform, acknowledge and disrupt the status quo.

Even as a small firm, SAWYER Agency is familiar with what it takes to make an impact. Our portfolio includes an array of campaigns that strive for social, environmental, and political justice. We have been honored to have worked with the Ray Charles Foundation, GRAMMY Museum, the Recording Academy, UCLA, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Aquarium of the Pacific and Kidspace Children’s Museum on print and digital advertisements, museum exhibits, photography, infographics, annual reports, and posters that contribute to the missions of these social impact organizations.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 1002 Milwaukee Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90042
  • Website:
  • Phone: 3238735114
  • Email:

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