Paul Rustand, Director

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In a lot of ways, the story of Widgets and the story of Paul are one and the same. Fresh out of school, graphic design degree in hand, Paul and a few friends launched Widgets & Stone in the mid 90s. Together, they spent three years navigating (and helping to shape) the design community in Chattanooga before going their separate ways. For Paul, that was grad school – but he continued working under the Widgets & Stone name. A few years, an Italian sabbatical and one Stefan Sagmeister internship later, Paul officially relaunched the studio.

A Sagmeister concept resonated with Paul: it’s the notion that every client is different, so everything designers make should be different, too. Which means: Paul strives to produce great work without style or theme; design that appears to have been created by a different hand and mind, every time. 

He seeks out multi-faceted projects, full-scope projects – because a logo or a website or a billboard is just one piece of a much larger whole. He’s happiest when he can touch, capture and communicate all of it: the story of the brand and the inspiration behind it; the environment that it lives in and the way people experience it. 

In 2011, Paul was named a prestigious AIGA Fellow for significant contributions to raising the standards of excellence in the design community. He completed the AIGA program “Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders” at the Yale School of Management in 2008. He holds a MFA in Book Arts from the University of Alabama and a BFA in Design & Illustration from East Carolina University. 

Connect with Paul on LinkedIn.