Hello! about Maven Design Studio

Websites and printed materials represent who you are and what you do. We believe that this visual communication should be made to impress, captivate your audience, and clearly deliver your message.

From concept to completion, Maven Design Studio provides professional graphic design and powerful website solutions with an unwavering commitment to excellence. We work with individuals, creative departments, and businesses, large and small.

We do what we love: conceptualizing, creating, designing, developing, and producing the products our clients love in turn. We like that our direct, personal service has built trust and long-term relationships with our clients, and we hope you'll come to think of us as one of your own, too.

Who's Maven a message from Karen Dunne

The name Maven was born out of a conversation with a dear friend (thanks Chris!) who called me a maven, referring to my connections, expertise, and passion for sharing what I've learned. I hadn't heard the word before so a quick look up on Wikipedia brought it to life, and the name stuck.


Because an effective website, brochure, annual report or logo should be as smart as it is engaging to look at, there are others on the team (below) who bring their expertise to the ever-evolving world of technology and design. Smart, creative, and resourceful people provide our clients with the best results. We also have extensive connections should more talent be needed on a project.

Karen Dunne Principal

  • Karen Dunne portrait
  • Karen Dunne Gold Medal at Pan-American Games Podium
  • Karen Dunne portrait laughing
  • Karen Dunne skydiving in New Zealand
  • Karen Dunne in front of Mt. Erebus, Ross Island Antarctica
  • Karen Dunne headshot

from Karen Dunne...

Customize, tweak, perfect.

I've been designing for print since the mid-90s and began creating online in those early days on the web. In some ways, I’ve been designing all my life. I think we all do it in some form. During my cycling career, it was about designing specific frame dimensions to get the most performance from the bike. It was about choosing the best tires for high-speed cornering, designing a training and racing schedule for peak performance, tracking nutrition and calorie consumption for optimal strength-to-weight ratios. Customize, tweak, adjust, test, perform, perfect.

The same mentality came through when I was designing wood-fired drum ovens in the Peace Corps. Each time we built a community oven, we’d tweak the design, adjust, test, and improve upon it. When Mark Haager and I worked together at SRAM, we designed a software system to mimic and streamline operations; adjusting, changing, and perfecting to improve the user experience. In the end, good design should fit into our lives naturally, as though it were always there.

Move In Ready

I bought a house a few years ago, one that was considered move-in-ready. But the first couple of years were all about house projects, one after another, sometimes four projects going on at once. I said to my neighbor, “I don’t get it, Tim. I bought a move-in-ready house.” He said, “Yeah, Karen, but then you moved in.”

Design is like that. We move into spaces and then make them our own. They reflect who we are. It’s the same with designing for the web and print. We start with a baseline concept and then move in. Adding details to strong conceptual thinking creates great work. Customize, tweak, adjust, and perfect until it shines who we are and what we want to say.

See Karen's profile on Linkedin


Traci Macnamara Writer and Editor

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  • Traci Macnamara
  • Traci Macnamara
  • Traci Macnamara with Maven Design Studio coffee mug

Traci J. Macnamara is a writer and literary critic with many publications online and in print. She works with clients in creative and technical contexts alike, on topics ranging from warehousing to personal coaching. She also writes for About.com as the Survival Skills Topic Guide and blogs at “Down and Out” on topics related to nature, adventure, and the great outdoors.

Traci has an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and three masters degrees; in English literature, narrative nonfiction writing, and curriculum and instruction (can you say, overachiever?). She spent 25 months of her life in Antarctica working to support scientists at McMurdo Station, where she learned to Nordic ski and build a sturdy snow shelter. Traci has hiked and biked through France, following the footsteps of poet William Wordsworth to the Alps, and when she’s not drinking coffee and working on her computer, you can find her (if you can catch her) outside on a bike or on skis.

Paul Orwig Web Developer

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  • Paul Orwig

Paul's the Maven wise guy. Not the antics, but real wisdom that brings a broad and thoughtful perspective to our client's business objectives. With an MBA from the University of Denver and 15+ years as a professional in web technology implementation, his wisdom and thoughtful approach leads the way with our complex projects. He has worked on client projects using Joomla, WordPress, and Shopify platforms, and he has also developed custom solutions using PHP and JavaScript.

Paul has been active in the Joomla community for many years, most notably as President for Open Source Matters (OSM) from 2012 - 2014 (OSM is a not-for-profit organization that provides organizational, legal and financial support for the Joomla Open Source Content Management System project). He has also served as Treasurer for OSM, and as the Lead Editor for the Joomla Community Magazine.

Mark Haager Software Developer

  • Mark Haager portrait
  • Mark Haager with fun Haager the Horrible costume hat

Mark Haager specializes in software design and development and has created production software for a variety of industries and clients from small to large Fortune 1000 firms. He's excellent with web and client-based software development, and business system integration and planning. Mark and Karen have been working together since 2009, when they developed a software system for SRAM's Test Lab in Colorado Springs.

Mark's expertise is with the following:
*   Java, Ruby/Rails, Javascript/jQuery
*   XML, HTML, CSS, Ajax
*   Linux, OS X
*   SQL, MySql, SQLServer
*   haProxy, Nginx
*   Tomcat, Apache

Mark has developed a host of different systems for election management, research project tracking, collaboration and document repository, field test event tracking, materials research automation, heat treat scheduling and billing, and medical test device controls.

When Mark's not at the computer, he's out riding his bike, hanging out with his wife and kids, trail running, or sinking into the couch to watch TV. He's at his best with the digibits when his wearing that genius hat with blonde pig tails. Crazy programmer.

Phil Barnett Photographer

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  • Phil Barnett grayscale image close up of right eye as if looking through camera lens
  • Phil Barnett portrait in grayscale
  • Phil Barnett portrait in grayscale with active smile

Phil creates beautiful portraits of passionate and energetic people in their favorite work and play environs. As a member of Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and Professional Photographers of Colorado (PPC), Phil has 25 years behind the camera and brings a great sense of humor to portrait, event, and product photography. Based in Manitou Springs, he loves the gorgeous Colorado sunlight for the great warmth and character that it adds to his subjects.

Phil's favorite tools include a Canon 5D Mark II camera with 70-200 mm lens for sharp eyes and a creamy background, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to get rid of those fire hydrants and exit signs that sometimes jump into pictures, and an Apple iMac and iPad to show it all off.

If your company needs what we call environmental or contextual images (you and your staff doing what they do), Phil's the guy. 

Pixie DustReceptionist

  • Pixie Dust the dog close up of face at four months old
  • Pixie Dust the dog getting ready to chase rabbit
  • Pixie Dust the dog waiting for treat with sunglasses on
  • Pixie Dust the dog at the base of a tree looking at squirrel
  • Pixie Dust the dog with pink towel draped around her head
  • Cartoon of two dogs in front of computer that says, "On the Internet no one knows you're a dog."

No office would be complete without 30 pounds of Pixie Dust. She came all the way from Fiji to live the luxurious life of an American pet and now has a full-time job as the receptionist at Maven Design Studio. She's the only member of the team who is allowed to sleep on the job.

We sprinkle a little Pixie Dust on every project and let the magic happen.

Favorite saying: "Pet me, I'm your pet!"