behind the scenes

At the McCallum Theatre, we wanted to produce a document that showed expansively the Theatre’s breadth of activities and philanthropic involvement. Rather than doing a standard Annual Report, I thought we would do something where the visuals were the focus, with minimal, but informative text. A picture’s worth a thousand words, as they say.


I had previously worked with Mark Duebner and knew him to be extraordinarily creative and talented. I knew if I articulated to him what I was thinking, he would figure out the best way to create something with style and panache. He did not disappoint.


Longtime Board members have been hugely complimentary, wondering why the Theatre had never done anything like this before. One Board member actually told me he got chills and a bit teary-eyed looking at the brochure. He was so proud to be affiliated with the McCallum.


At the exact moment I am writing this, our HR Director just walked into my office and told me he wanted to say again how much he loves the brochure. “It makes me so proud to work here,” he said.


Mark is a great collaborator, patient as all get-out and boundlessly imaginative. It’s always an absolute pleasure working with such a gifted professional.


Jeffrey Norman

Director of Communications and Public Affairs

McCallum Theatre

Palm Desert, CA

we are the center

I knew of Mark’s exceptional work with other non-profits in the Valley and though we already had a graphic designer who does our
day-to-day work, when a special project came up I reached out to him.


In working with Mark Duebner Design on our Capital Campaign, he suggested we expand on our current theme of I AM THE CENTER and developed WE ARE THE CENTER.  He then built the marketing brochure around that inclusive idea. It was this subtle shift in language that not only captured the very essence of what we had hoped to communicate in our campaign but it also demonstrated Mark’s keen sense
of “getting it”. He has a skilled gift of listening to what is said, understanding what can be said and how to creatively capture that message. I couldn’t be happier with the results and the response we’re getting from donors reinforces our decision to work with Mark.


Mike Thompson


LGBT Community Center of the Desert

Palm Springs, CA


Imagine. That was the theme the co-chairs and staff of the 2015 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards had decided upon. Imagine a world without AIDS. Imagine an AIDS-free generation. But, how do we convey that for an elegant, moving, black-tie gala for 1,500 people?


We hired Mark Duebner Design. He met with our staff. He interviewed the co-chairs. He presented us with several, very different, all very good concepts. He absolutely hit it out of the park with the initial concept and especially the sponsor packet. Who knew a sponsorship packet could evoke emotion?


Working with Mark is a joy. He listens and adds his creativity, insights and suggestions. He has become a part of the internal team and the product he produces is superior as a result.


Imagine that!


Darrell L. Tucci

Chief Development Officer

Desert AIDS Project

Palm Springs, CA

Fighting HIV testimonial at a time

Even before its incorporation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1984, Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) began connecting people living with HIV or full-blown AIDS to the health care, medications, and social services they needed. From the earliest diagnoses in 1981, volunteer nurses, social workers, and other community leaders gave generously of their time and resources because they knew something needed to be done and quickly. The emerging epidemic, unfortunately, took people in huge numbers and, often, at young ages.


In those earliest days, the illness seemed wrapped in mystery. In fact, before HIV and AIDS even had those names, people often talked of “gay cancer” and spoke of the illness as if those who it affected or killed should be ashamed. Today, the AIDS epidemic is well into its fourth decade worldwide...and is still wrapped in a cloak of stigma for many.


But HIV can often be treated as a chronic illness, if people learn their HIV status soon after diagnosis and become connected to the care they need. In order for that to happen, people living with HIV need to “come into the light” and admit their status. D.A.P. has found this encourages others to get a free and confidential HIV test, so that they can learn to stay negative or to become connected to care, if they are HIV-positive.


Mark helped us to create this series of ads — fourteen and counting — detailing the proposition that Desert AIDS Project “treats and supports the whole person.” As a medical home for our clients, we provide integrated access to medical care and a broad array of other services, all under one roof. Our unrivaled range of services has made us a “Top 20 HIV/AIDS Charity” by, the largest source for expert content on the Internet, helping 85 million users each month.


While we’re proud to be in the company of HIV/AIDS charitable organizations like the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and other international HIV/AIDS leaders...what makes us happiest is that we are helping clients who are proud to say they are living longer, stronger lives with HIV!


Barry Dayton

Director of Marketing and Communications

Desert AIDS Project

Palm Springs, CA


In the Spring of 2013, I came up against a difficult situation that became a frustrating predicament for me in my new job position. During my job performance review, my supervisor had stressed that I needed to focus on promoting a study guide that we call Learning Links. She emphasized that I needed to ensure that all of our field trip participants utilize the Learning Links in order to prepare for the field trip performance and follow-up with post-performance lessons. The problem I was having with this directive was that my Learning Links were delayed during the initial design process, thus I didn’t have the actual documents that I was supposed to be promoting. As a result, I had no way to get the Learning Links into the hands of the field trip participants.


By December 2013, my frustration reached a breaking point. Fortunately, a co-worker had already discovered Mark Duebner Design and suggested that I contact Mark. I explained my situation to Mark. He was flexible and accommodating and (best of all) I had distribution-ready documents within 10 days after our initial contact!


Mark’s ability to understand my situation and produce a usable finished document quickly sold me on the capabilities of Mark Duebner Design. As a result of our initial collaboration, the McCallum Theatre Institute engaged Mark to not only produce all of the 2014-15 Field Trip Series documents, but also redesign the look and feel of the documents in order to make them interesting, appealing and fun. Mark exceeded expectations with his multiple design concepts and after listening to our feedback, created a final design which my Director loved and immediately signed off on.


I look forward to working with Mark Duebner Design well into the future. I guarantee that you will love the results once you make that initial contact!


Michael Flannigan

Education Program Coordinator

McCallum Theatre Institute

Palm Desert, CA

It is easy being green

It’s not supposed to be easy being green, but our experience working with Mark Duebner Design put that theory to rest. We contacted Mark when our client, Springs Window Fashions, was preparing to launch an official “green” initiative highlighting its eco-friendly processes and products. The company sought to position itself as the industry leader in environmentally responsible manufacturing and needed visual materials to help tell its story in a compelling way.


Even though our PR firm has a graphic designer on staff, we knew from previous experience that Mark had the insight and passion that this project required. Right out of the gate, he came up with the perfect campaign theme – “Green by Nature” – effectively capturing the essence of Springs’ long-standing commitment to saving energy, reducing waste and respecting the environment. From there, he created a “Green by Nature” logo that effectively incorporated ideas from the client with his own creative vision and served to brand Springs as the “green” leader of the window coverings category. Eye-catching and easily identifiable, this logo was used on all campaign-related communications as well as on product packaging and point-of-purchase materials so that consumers, designers, media, dealers and fabricators grew to associate it with the company and view it as a mark of environmental responsibility.


The highlight of the campaign was a beautifully designed “Green by Nature” company brochure. Featuring stunning images from a series of photo shoots that Mark directed, the piece showcased pictures of and testimonials from actual Springs’ employees (Mark’s idea!) to convey the company’s commitment to being a “green” business.


Springs was thrilled with everything Mark produced. In the end, the campaign successfully moved the needle in strengthening Springs’ industry leadership position and the competition turned green with envy!


As always, Mark brought so much more to this project than just his outstanding design skills. He is a true creative director with the ability to see the big picture while also minding even the tiniest details – a combination not often found in a designer. He is collaborative, resourceful and strategic and always exceeds our expectations in his creative ideas and execution. Furthermore, he understands the importance of delivering things on time and on budget. Bottom line, Mark is a valued partner who consistently makes us look good in the eyes of our clients. I only wish we had more opportunities to work with him!


Allison Kurtz

Executive Vice President

L.C. Williams & Associates

Chicago, IL


Branding? I am a singer. What do I know about branding and creating an image?


Not nearly enough, I soon learned as I was developing my professional career as a singer. Sure I could pick the material, learn the music and tell my friends, but developing an image that an audience could understand and relate to was something I was sorely lacking. I knew who I was, but not sure my audience did.


One big step for a singer is a recording; it’s the first thing booking agents ask for. And the packaging has to be as appealing as the music. So I bit the bullet and made a self-produced CD. Now, I had to actually sell it to try and recoup my somewhat hefty investment.


I knew Mark from our many years performing together in community theater. He mentioned an interest in helping me with my CD packaging design. Well, I didn’t just get a design; I received a fully realized brand of who I was. It was elegant, thoughtful, coordinated and very detail-oriented. Every word, color and design decision complemented my art.


I now have an image that communicates the minute you look at the cover and continues through the CD booklet. Mark also designed the materials for my CD release shows which coordinated with the packaging. When booking agents receive my materials, they are seeing a distinctive image, a brand of the kind of music they will be getting if they book me.


When surfing on the web for music, the general public gravitates toward the CD because of the cover. If the cover isn’t appealing, then customers won’t take a chance on the content. Mark’s design assured that at least they might give this redhead a listen.


So now I have a brand. I can tell theaters and clubs who I am and what I do and have the materials to back it up. Because of the professional design of my materials, they know I am serious.


What do they say? Image is EVERYTHING. Well, if not everything, it is one of the most important aspects of telling your story. Mark captured that and the CD has gotten my foot in the door and help land me many jobs over the last five years. My career continues to grow. When it’s time for a new recording, I would not consider using anyone else when it comes to the design.


Joan Curto


Chicago, IL