Senior Creative Joins North Star Marketing’s Graphic Design Team

Bryan Ickes - Senior Creative

North Star Marketing welcomes Senior Creative Bryan Ickes to our talented Design team. Bryan started on August 1, 2013, and contributes to a wide range of creative services at North Star, including:

  • brand/logo development
  • web development (mobile, responsive design)
  • print collateral (catalogs, brochures)
  • online advertising (landing pages, e-books)
  • traditional advertising (billboards, direct mail, print ads)

A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Bryan holds a B.A. in Integrative Arts, a degree specifically designed for students interested in more than one area of creative design and artistic expression.

“I was hooked on art as a kid when I discovered dinosaurs and Star Wars,” says Bryan. “But as I grew older, my interest shifted more to language; particularly literature, poetry and theology. My understanding of imagery shifted from that which I could see with my eyes to that which I ‘saw’ with my ears and recreated in my mind. Since that point, my interests have revolved around communication and how it affects our imagination; and how we then interact with the world while carrying those pictures around within us.”


Bryan first discovered North Star through a random (and fortuitous!) Google search. Before becoming a full-time team member, Bryan was Senior Designer at another marketing agency and worked with North Star on a number of freelance projects.

“North Star is a rare group of people,” says Bryan. “The leadership has long-term plans and goals that overarch their daily work, giving it all a sense of unity and direction. The firm is not out to win awards or make a name for themselves. Company-wide, there’s a commitment to finding satisfaction in serving clients the best they can; keeping their interests at stake and trusting that North Star will prosper as a result of their care for others. There’s a lot of strategy involved, but at the core, the firm moves forward with a lot of trust that God will provide and their openness to however that provision may appear.”

A resident of Tampa, Fla., Bryan is a remote, but active part of North Star culture. His frequent pop-ins via Google Hangouts are proof of this. (See Exhibit A below.)

graphic designer burlington nc
Looks like a fun guy, right? Yep. We thought of a much weirder adjective first, too.

When asked why he chose graphic design, Bryan is candid. “Once I realized that it was the intersection of beauty and real-life needs, I couldn’t turn away,” says Bryan. “It’s been nearly ten years, and I’m more interested, and appreciative, of good design than ever. It has the potential to enable people to see things — imagine — in a deeper and more impactful way; especially when this skill-set is applied to meaningful services. The fine arts are wonderful, but they’re segregated from the experience of most people. Graphic design is intimately connected to commerce and the world we all inhabit.”

“There’s a lot of junk being peddled around,” adds Bryan. “A lot of stuff that’s purely intended to turn a buck, but the same branding and design skills can have rich and enduring consequences when connected with earnest and civic-minded businesses.”

graphic design burlington nc

When he’s not knocking out a catalog layout or shaping up a website design, Bryan is an avid gardener (with a particular passion for succulents) and a lover of Battlestar Galactica, Moby Dick and Sour Patch Kids (though not necessarily in that order).

When asked what he wished more people knew about North Star, Bryan replied, “That we’re a bunch of individuals who recognize that our greatest impact on others is a result of a mutual respect and interest in one another’s diverse talents. I gave up a promising freelance career to join North Star, because I don’t believe I could ever recreate such a great team; nor mature to match the vision of this leadership team. You have to meet these folks to see what I’m talking about.”

One thing’s for sure – we’re glad we met him!

About North Star Marketing

Based in Burlington, N.C., North Star Marketing is a full-service marketing strategy and creative services firm, providing branding, website development, print collateral design, advertising, public relations, strategic planning and online marketing to businesses, nonprofits and schools. For more information about our integrated communications and marketing services, please contact North Star Marketing at (336) 229-6610.

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