LIONWOOD VISUAL DESIGN was founded in August of 2006 by owner and principal designer, M. Shelby Blanton.

A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Shelby has earned many different degrees that serve to inform a designer's strategic eye. Those degrees include: A Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Sociology with an Emphasis in Social Development & Change (2000, Northern Arizona University - Flagstaff, Arizona); an Associate of Arts Degree in Visual Communications (2007, Collins College - Tempe, AZ); and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design (2008, Collins College - Tempe, AZ). In addition, Shelby has pursued graduate work in Applied Sociology with an emphasis in Symbolic Interactionism at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Having worked in the design industry since 2003, Shelby has gained a significant amount of experience in the field. His most notable accomplishments include serving as Executive Director for Festivities & Identity for the PHX 2008 NAGAAA Softball World Series; the monthly publication of 'N Touch News Magazine and its most recent web relaunch; and publication of the new 2009 Parent's Resource Guide Phoenix Metro Edition and its new website launch.


The ultimate purpose of visual design is to communicate. How that communication is accomplished is where the different qualities, experiences and expertise of various design individuals comes into play. We all walk various paths in life each with associated symbols of meaning and emotion. Sometimes our responses are piqued with a color, a sound, a smell, but each stimulus serves to drive us to relate to each other and to place it’s meaning into the context of our own individual lives.

When I design, I seek to create new ’life‘: new dynamic spheres of culture and identity that inspire pride and professionalism and display significant beauty and simplicity. Establishing a new world of visual energy that serves to fuel the creativity and motivation of an organization, in time transforming it into a new domain of existence.

This is accomplished by combining an extensive study of Sociology and Social Psychology with the facets and techniques of the realm of design. Resulting in what I ultimately hope is known as ‘high design’.

The Lionwood Name and Logo

When a lion sees prey, it crouches down and goes into a primal mode of supersensitivity. It keenly assesses all of the details: the distance, the terrain, the size of the prey, the animals that are around, the wind, the level of light, etc... Once it feels it grasps all of these details, it then makes its move and turns everything over to instinct. The way a designer approaches a design task or challenge is not any different (albeit the outcome is usually not as bloody...). Thus I chose the lion eye as the graphic representation of our work.

Augmenting this idea, the visual theme of ‘green’ and growth serves a metaphorical emphasis. Companies and organizations that possess a strong, consistent, visual identity enjoy many avenues of growth. All such benefits are the bounty of sowing a seed: a simple idea. An idea that grows into a wonderful, dynamic ecology of your organization’s character and philosophy.

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Words of Inspiration

“Good design goes
to heaven;
bad design goes
– Mieke Gerritzen

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