Universal Design Media
Meet Vanessa Backman, a resident of the RM of Piney in her youth, and a long-time business owner and community contributor in Parry Sound, Ontario. Vanessa was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She lived with Doris and Marvin Hovorka (PRCC members since inception in 2016) who have set a strong example for her of what a valuable community member looks like. She saw their work ethic and took it to heart. At Ross L Gray, she set Doris and Marvin’s example into practice as she sat on the student council, prom committee, cookbook club, and yearbook committee. Upon graduation, she purchased a property in Sprague, which she still owns today. Vanessa stayed for only a few years before she heard something calling her in Parry Sound. Two weeks after visiting the town, she moved there to stay. Vanessa pursued an education in computer programming and began working for a business until she stepped out on her own. In 2001, Universal Design Media was born. Today Vanessa acts as the owner and creative director of the business. In 2019 she joined the PRCC to support her community and represent her business. She has aspirations to develop a sustainability-focused non-profit organization in Manitoba within the next few years.
Universal Design Media
Universal Design Media is a design studio based in Parry Sound. The business boasts high-end clientele and full-time dedicated employees specializing in every step of the marketing and design process. Universal Design Media provides services such as graphic design, brand creation, marketing, web development, and they concentrate on powerful and creative visual communication both on and offline. Some of their main online focuses are search engine optimization (SEO), content management systems (CMS), responsive websites - especially mobile performance, and social media. Offline, their focus is on publications, trade shows and displays to name a few.
The business maintains a focus of “working with the clients through every stage of the process” which is why they are selective with the clientele they bring on. Universal Design Media thrives without a website because its portfolio speaks for itself. They have been known to work with highly lucrative companies and successfully drive their visibility and market shares. Currently, the business is only provincially based, in Ontario, however, Vanessa is hoping to expand her business to become a nationwide service. Her first step is back into her native home, Manitoba. Vanessa anticipates bringing on many more employees during her expansion which will not be a struggle because so many of their services are digital.
The biggest challenge that Vanessa has faced with her business is perfectionism as she remarked that even “a single pixel can alter the overall integrity of the design.” The design process includes consideration of every minute attribute of the image. Colour, contrast, brightness, tone, highlight, shadow, and tint are a few of the main factors that must be used in perfect balance to create the most effective products. Corporate, manufacturing, retail, and tourism are a few of the industries that most commonly work with Universal Design Media and achieve the highest results. As Vanessa continues to grow the business, she ensures the integrity of the work is never compromised; “visual communication ensures the structural design, as long as we keep prioritizing that, we will grow with ease.”