Former Dayton firefighter starts Washington Twp. design company

A local design start-up wants to breathe “new life” into the way old-school companies brand themselves.

Ruef design, a digital media and design company, is manned by a group of architects, engineers, manufacturers and marketing professionals. Their goal is to produce design projects and media campaigns for local companies — especially manufacturing companies.

The start-up, founded by Zack Ruef about three years ago, moved into an office located at 707 Congress Park Drive in Washington Twp. about two months ago. Now, Ruef has a team of five working on projects for nearly 20 clients in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

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Ruef, who previously served as a firefighter and paramedic for the city of Dayton, decided to pursue his passions of art and graphic design. After living in California following graduate school, he left his job to come back to his hometown of Dayton.

He and his team are determined to help their clients revitalize not only their websites, but their brands. They specialize on creating three-dimensional renders and animations.

“Sometimes in manufacturing, they have these big, ugly looking machines, and you can’t get a good look at them,” Ruef said.

The team takes photos of the machinery and builds 3-D artistic imagery of machinery — giving a high-level, birds-eye view of how a manufacturer’s facility might work. They also create architectural renderings, branding and website design, sales brochures and logo design.

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In April, the firm worked with a Kentucky manufacturer to create a year-long, 12-part video series. The campaign included everything they do best — 3-D design, motion graphics and custom audio production.

“We want to make our clients look good,” Ruef said. “Whether that be through a website, a logo, a highly-rendered 3D product or even an entire landscape of products. The most advanced engineering can be broken down into the simplest visuals using 3-D, video and motion graphics.”

The design firm will host an open house at its new office on May 18 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.


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