Orange Snowman, my lifelong dream, has been a Florida small business since June 2005. Orange Snowman is driven by a vision that comes deep within my core values. I believe customers, more than anything else, are looking for a delightful interaction. In my personal and business life I strive for the same thing: to create memorable experiences.

Design is intelligence having fun!

Federico Sandoval, Director

Responsive website design

Personal

  • Proud to be a first generation immigrant, born in Guatemala July 1963
  • Proud to be an American Citizen since 1982
  • Living in Florida since 1994
  • Got a wife, 2 kids in college and a dog ( I love my dog)
  • World traveler
  • Eating right is a sign of self respect
  • Lifestyle designer

Education & Background

I had the fortune of being educated by some great old school New York graphic designers, photographers, painters, sculptors, and print makers of the 80’s. I studied at Rutgers University Newark, my proximity to New York City "the greatest city in the world" exposed me to a world of Art & Design like few others. I worked for multiple boutique agencies such as Pentagram Design and Walker Group/CNI. Early in my career the first personal computers were introduced. I would ask the computer lady at my job if I can play around with the machine during her lunch break? I also remember paying a $100 to rent a Mac from a fellow designer friend, so I can learn to use computer. Eventually my small investment paid off and I was eventually hired by my former school, Rutgers University Newark, to teach computer-aided design. I got so good at designing with this new medium that I even won a competition by the MOMA that featured my postcard design, true story!

From NYC to South Beach to Las Vegas

I was vacationing in Miami when I noticed an ad in the paper, a private school IFAC was looking to hire a computer teacher. This school was a high-tech private school that catered to an international student body. I got the job and that made me move to Miami. At IFAC I taught hundreds of students and achieved mastery of my digital craft, for is only when you teach that you truly learn. After IFAC I got a job in South Beach working for a publishing company that catered to the cruise line industry and to the casinos in Las Vegas. At Onboard Media, I was an art director. I worked designing dozens of magazines and high-quality coffee-table-books. Some of the clients include Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, NewYork NewYork, The Venitian, The Desert Inn and Royal Caribbean. I was in charge of designing all of the in-room books for all the Las Vegas accounts.

The internet era

A friend of mine offered me a job designing for a large e-commerce online jewelry store. I told him that I really preferred print over web, that there is something about a book, the smell, the sound of the pages turning... and then he mentioned a 18K salary raise which completely made me forget all my previous words. In 2 years I transformed myself into a website designer/marketing manager. I was in charge of of improving the site's UI user interface, creating seasonal promotions, contests and multiple branding issues from several internal brands: Colombian Emeralds International, Dutyfree.com and 10buckboutique.com. After the .com meltdown I found myself out of work but soon I found a job with a startup in the Doral Area of Miami, Eman Marketing.  M. Eman wanted to create a website design company, he hired me to create the brand. I came up with the Orange Snowman idea which he loved. Unfortunately for me Eman Marketing abandoned the website design idea to representing musicians. I asked M. Eman if I could keep the name as mine, to which he said Yes, Orange Snowman was born!

Orange Snowman

Because there is no snow, we are creative and resourceful, we make due to what we have! This is truly my attitude to life. Orange, the blend of red and yellow, is a mixture of the energy associated with red and the happiness associated with yellow. Orange is associated with meanings of joy, warmth, heat, sunshine, enthusiasm, creativity, success, encouragement, change, determination, health, stimulation, happiness, fun, enjoyment, balance, sexuality, freedom, expression, and fascination. Orange is the color of joy and creativity. Orange promotes a sense of general wellness and emotional energy that should be shared, such as compassion, passion, and warmth. Orange will help a person recover from disappointments, a wounded heart, or a blow to one’s pride.

 

How do we like to treat our clients?

Getting a new client is very exciting. At Orange Snowman, we strive to keep this excitement alive by focusing on the designer/client relationship prior to the actual design work taking place. Here are five strategies we use to keep clients happy.

Keep clients involved

We find that when our client is involved with the project, it helps us align our team efforts so that we are all pulling in the same direction. This also helps our client gain a better understanding of our work’s challenges and complexities. When our client is able to see the design process up close, it helps them to better appreciate and understand our efforts.

We are active listeners

Nobody likes being ignored. When we are designing for a client, it is important to carefully and actively listen to them and what they are saying. When we say careful, active listening this is what we mean:

  • We try to meet in person or via video conferencing, because there are certain things that we can discern from the tone of voice someone uses and, if we are sitting with our client face to face, we can make an evaluation of their body language and learn more about how they feel.
  • We look for more than merely what our client’s personal preferences are. Whenever our client is talking, there is a good chance they will tell us important things about their brand, their competition and the way they operate their business.

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We stay in contact

At times we can get wrapped up in our work, for example, if we are in a design activity that requires full concentration and no interruptions, that would be a time we may not be able to take your call. If we don’t answer, please leave a message. We prefer to call our clients back with something intelligent to say rather than being blind-sided by the news. If we need to travel or be indisposed, we will inform our client ahead of time.

We provide our client with checkups and updates on a regular basis, we keep our client informed of our progress.

We establish a friendly playful environment

When we say playful, we don’t mean chaotic or responsible. Playfulness is the ability to suspend judgment and being open minded to possible surprising answers. We don’t have to plan social outings with a client or become Facebook friends, but showing our clients goodwill and an eagerness to go out of our way to help them is part of who we are. We strive to demonstrate to clients our genuine enthusiasm and energy towards our work. Our intentions, to be playful and professional at the same time.

We strive to find common values with our client, particularly if we are going to working together on a long-term basis. These values could be:

  • our desire to become better entrepreneurs
  • empathy towards the customer
  • being the best version of who we can be
  • fitness and eating healthy
  • meditation
  • travel & life hacking

We use our active listening skills to see if we share some of our passions. It can be a good stress reliever to take a break to discuss the ‘little things’, but it also gives we the chance to get a better gauge on our client. That way we will be better prepared once business talks have started up again.

We recommend that our client discussions take place away from the office. It can be a great idea to meet for coffee or lunch and give a nice change of scenery as well. It gives us a chance to be more at ease. People have a tendency to remember others who are particularly nice as well as those who are really rude to them. Of course, we know which end of that spectrum we want to be on.

We should not be afraid of saying “No”

As our above slideshow “who is the boss?” illustrates some customers believe “the customer is always right.” However, that doesn’t mean we should have to take anything a client dishes out. There are times when it is to both parties benefit for there to be an honest “no.” If we say ‘no” expect a clear explanation as to the way of our thinking.

The very last thing that we want to end up agreeing to is a business proposal or idea that we shouldn’t or can’t do. When we get roped into a project because we weren’t brave enough to say “no” it can frequently lead to substandard design work, unhappy designers, unhappy clients, frustration, and resentment.

If we find that we need to say “no,” make sure we do in such a way that it doesn’t appear to be too forceful. Make sure to explain why we have to say “no,” and provide other solutions or alternatives to the issue.

Conclusion

Enhancing the relationships that we have with our clients doesn’t really take a lot. However, it doesn’t take a lot to damage them either, so make sure we are deliberate and careful with our clients. Be sure to treat our clients how we would like to be treated, and act like the rock star designer we would want to work with if we were the client.