Thursday Tour: Werner Design Werks


By rizeabove / / “Thursday Tour” is a revival of a feature focused on highlighting some of the cool creative shops in the area. The new feature has a twist though, we’re not just showing you their interior, we’re giving you a little taste of their work too. If you know of a cool shop deserving of a feature shoot us an email at: [email protected] On the edge of downtown St. Paul sits a nondescript old brick building with little indication that this is the home of Werner Design Werks, inc., a two-person design firm with nearly 21 years under their belt. Sharon Werner started WDW in 1991 after working for six years at Duffy. Her big break came when she got a call from Nick at Nite to work on a media kit. This project gave her the exposure she needed to secure many other national cable network projects. In 1995, Sharon’s design partner, Sarah Nelson, joined the company. Since then, the company has grown wildly in prestige and clients, but never beyond the two designers and sporadically an intern or freelancer. “The design we do works hard for our clients,” says Werner, principal of WDW. “Each element functions as part of the whole experience. We are extremely sensitive to our clients’ budgets and how they can get the most impact for their money.” Rather than creating a “studio style,” something that would be more of the designers’ signature than the clients’ own, she and senior designer Nelson concentrate on creating a language for each client that is organic to the client’s own organization. This has proved a successful method of practice for WDW, securing them an extensive list of clients including; Moët Hennessey, Mohawk Paper, TV by Girls, Mrs. Meyer’s, MTV, Comedy Central, Rizzoli, Chronicle Books, Ogilvy, Blu Dot, VH-1, Urban Outfitters, MPR, Suntory Beverages, Cott Beverages, Melcher Media, and Humanity in Action. Along with numerous awards including 100 World’s Best Posters and having their work be part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress, Musée De La Poste, Victoria and Albert Museum, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, and the Cooper Hewitt Museum. Don’t take our word for how awesome they are though, check out their work for Mrs. Meyer’s, 10 Cane Rum, and more after the jump. Werner Design Werks’ Space Lab Rats Lab Rats was done in collaboration with Cabell Harris of Work Labs. It’s a breeding ground for collaboration between creative minds, cultural scientists, and business leaders to develop and build ideas. This deluxe introduction kit is sent to the “Alpha Rats” and is filled with a variety of items to help stimulate creative thinking. The brochure booklet is attached to the deluxe kit and is sent out as an independent piece. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day WDW has worked with Mrs. Meyer’s since its inception, developing the brand, naming, and visual language. They’ve continued to work with them over the past ten years on a number of projects, including a how-to book of cleaning, a traveling concession trailer, as well as various line extensions. Mrs. Meyer’s is a line of aromatheraputic household cleaners that are no-fuss, no-frills, hardworking products with the added bonus of smelling fabulous. “Alphabeasties and Other Amazing Types” and “Bugs by the Numbers” Blocky or small, thick or tall. Alphabeasties are here to show kids (and grown-ups!) that typography is fun. Type has a personality and can express more than just the word it spells. The Alphabeasties menagerie includes Flashcards, Activity Book, and oversized type animal pillows. For slightly older audience than Alphabeasties, “Bugs by the Numbers” includes fascinating facts and figures about the incredible world of insects. Coming up next: Alphasuars! 10 Cane Rum dpHUE dpHUE is a new retail beauty concept that provides professional hair color, color consultation, and step-by-step education to customers for DIY application. This positions dpHUE between drugstore box haircolor and a salon color experience, creating a whole new category in haircolor: custom color to go. The brand aesthetic is bold, clean and consciously gender neutral, which is a sharp contrast to the drugstore box colors. The ease of use extends into the construction of the packaging which opens to lie flat, providing a protective work surface in your bathroom. The brand language sets the tone for the store environments as well as the exterior facades and signage.


  1. Shaymein Ewer July 26, 2012

    Wasn’t aware that Mrs.
    Wasn’t aware that Mrs. Meyer’s was local work, very nice. Also, great work on the 10 Cane Rum.

  2. Darrell Eager July 26, 2012

    Great work & great to work
    Great work & great to work with!