Kevin is Condit’s rock star. Not to be confused with his past life as an original band member of Blues Travelers. Kevin exudes cool. He maintains a positive, radiating rhythm. We’re lucky that Kevin has chosen Condit as his career home for the past 20 years. In those two decades he has helped imagine an unquantifiable amount of ideas. He is our Design Director and Condit’s creative core.
His resume helps frame his story. Kevin took interest in architecture and drawing as a teenager. He went on to receive a Bachelors of Art in Urban Studies from Columbia University before going to work as an industrial designer for home products. He later worked as an interior designer in the beauty industry and eventually as a set designer for theater and TV.
When the wind blew him to Denver, Kevin interviewed at the then 36-person and one exhibit designer staff that made up Condit. Keita Usuda tested Kevin to design a mock trade show exhibit. Knowing zero about the industry, Kevin just tried to sketch out something as cool as possible. Whatever it was worked, and Kevin came on board!
Significantly more learned in trade show by this time, Kevin can recall his first job as the lead designer. It was a project for the now defunct envelope company, Mail-Well. As if envelopes aren’t inherently inspiring enough, Kevin managed to draw out the most interesting aspects of the business. He was drawn to the factory’s churning paper reams and designed the booth with flowing ribbons of paper. The project management team was skeptical of how to make this design real. They tried a product called Dibond to help achieve the rolling look of paper. The experiment worked and we use Dibond in projects to this day.
Before the major use of computers at Condit, Kevin’s background and natural talent for sketching proved invaluable. It won large accounts early on. One memorable design from those days was the first iteration of the WhiteWave booth. The client loved Kevin’s imaginative design featuring life-size versions of the company’s products and brand characters. The final, fabricated exhibit is almost a mirror image from Kevin’s pen and marker conception. How cool is that?!
Kevin’s knack for designing food booths has become a trademark in his career but his longevity at Condit seeds from the diversity of projects that come through our doors. Through laughs, Kevin admits, “the trade show industry suits my attention span.” He says “it also allows for constant learning since we really delve into what our clients do, and for that I hope to never say ‘I can do this job in my sleep’ because every project is a new challenge to solve.”
Aside from his extraordinary work throughout the years, let’s be honest, what we all remark on the most is Kevin’s style! Senior Account Executive, Jeff Thomas recalls, “I’ll never forget traveling to Post Falls, Idaho for our very first meeting with Buck Knives. We were bidding on their new 30×70 exhibit and all the company big wigs would attend. When we arrived at the airport Kevin made a trip to the bathroom to change cloths. He came out wearing a bright, cobalt blue suede suit and a messy Mohawk-style hairdo! When we showed up at the Buck Knives headquarters and Kevin walked in, the Founder and Founder’s son and CEO burst into laughter. Kevin’s outrageous yet some-how-he-can-pull-it-off outfit set a much more convivial tone than expected, and on top of it we not only won the job but they chose our more expensive design!”
We know and love Kevin for his style. He is also just such a pleasure to work with. VP of Sales, Jenny Koehn mentions, “I truly appreciate his thoughtfulness. He always considers the ideas of others before making a decision. I have so much respect and admiration for him.” Kevin is also a family man, he loves his wife and two daughters more than anything in the world. Jenny recalls, “one of my favorite memories of Kevin was attending the Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. Way back in the day, Kevin was living in New York City and got a gig recording country music songs, written by Tom Wesselmann. So when the exhibit came to Denver, he was contacted to sing! Kevin is an amazing storyteller and performer. Kevin’s girls were just glowing at the end of the performance and I could tell how proud they were of their Dad!”
Music is something that Kevin will always have as one of many creative outlets. For most, keeping the creative candle burning is easier said than done. For Kevin, he is consistently aware of keeping it aflame. He travels for adventure, to consume art, to discover new cuisines and meet people. “You look at things around the world and become inspired by what you pick up along the way”, Kevin explains. He also explores what makes other designers great. “I’ve learned it’s better to go deeper into the idea of how something is used”, Kevin remarks, “good designers simplify that idea and boil it down and extract what a company is really about. Then they show it! And it’s extremely intentional.” He applies those intentions to his own work and leadership. Kevin explains, “at Condit, our designers aren’t prima donna’s but we do strive to have authority in our designing to get to that intentional state of an idea.” He has instilled in his team, to not just to repurpose the exact thing of inspiration; our clients deserve work that has been informed but simultaneously original.
This is a tribute to Kevin for keeping Condit ever inspired and ever the better for his influence.