Design 446 Turns 40!


It’s a red-letter day here at Design 446. Today, October 7th, 2014, marks our 40th anniversary!

Since our founding in 1974, Design 446 has evolved from a small, family-owned and operated company that relied on a close-knit group of suppliers to deliver a quality product to one of the best-known marketing and advertising companies in the industry.

We’ve come a long way in the last 40 years. Being flexible and innovative while continually delivering the highest quality services without compromise has been the key to our success.

In the ever-changing business world, a company can’t survive by standing still and there is no finer example of business evolution than Design 446. And perhaps no one knows this better than Design 446’s current Vice President Ann Marie Baker, who started her Design 446 career as Ann Marie Russo, a college intern 27 years ago.

I recently sat down with Ann and asked her to reflect on the last 27 years and what it’s meant to her. Here’s what she had to say about her time here:

Our tools have changed from drafting tables, rapidograph pens, stat cameras and airbrushes, to sophisticated computer programs, high quality wide format and digital presses to an entire arsenal of online and social media marketing options.

 Twenty-five years ago, we relied on several different outside specialists to create our displays, signage and printed material. Today, we handle most of our own creative and production, giving us incredible control over our schedules and enabling us to deliver the finest quality graphic material almost instantly.

While Design 446 may look different 40 years later, some things remain the same…

Our culture has always been – and will always be extremely customer-centric.

Most of the company’s growth has come out of the need to better serve clients with cutting edge technology and ever-improving results.

The need to produce more effective and innovative interior environments has led to the inclusion of a full time interior design department that today is also responsible for the interior merchandising of model homes and clubhouses. Electronic touch screen sales and leasing environments have also pushed the company toward web development, where we now have an entire department of coders, designers and programmers.

Today, Design 446 occupies nearly 20,000 square feet of office and production space and is home to eight distinct departments with over 30 employees.

Our client base has shifted as well. While we’re still an active partner with many national, regional and local home builders and their associates, we’re now a much more diversified, full service marketing and advertising company working in a myriad of industries both locally and throughout the country.

As we reflect back on this last 40 years in business, we can’t help but note that without you, our loyal customers, friends, fans and supporters, we would have never made it to this milestone anniversary! Thank you for your support and patronage!

Here’s to another 40!

-Tom Villane


Tom Villane

Tom Villane

Tom Villane, President: I joined the Design 446 team in 1995 as Vice President and partner. I came from a printing and political advertising background. I am a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University where I earned degrees in Political Science and History. Although I’m not an artist, I always thrived on the fast paced creative environment at Design 446. I’ve seen Design 446 grow from a 5-person design studio into a full service industry powerhouse. I’ve also seen college interns develop into company leaders. And it has mostly been a fun ride. My wife Sandie and I have 2 beautiful daughters, Carly and Alli. When I’m not at Design 446, you can find me running, skiing or saltwater fishing.

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