Most organizations are good at what they do. They understand their business, and they know their products and services inside and out. But they have a hard time explaining what they do. They don’t know what makes them unique, or why people should support them.

That’s where I come in. I brand organizations and tell their stories in compelling and clear ways, so people understand what makes their products or services unique. My strategies have helped multiple businesses increase attention and engagement online by 300%. I’m a designer, copywriter, front-end developer, and photographer. But at my heart, I’m a strategist. And my strategies work.

I started freelancing in 2012, just before my fourth year of university started. I wasn’t always making websites and designing brand identities — I got my start as a commercial writer. As in, I wrote commercials you might see on TV.

Then I became a professional photographer. That led to Photoshop, which naturally led to design, which naturally led to coding, which led to, well, here. This place. My small studio in my Toronto apartment, where I make brand identities and online platforms for awesome organizations like yours.

Okay, pause. Wait a minute.
Let me back up.

Setting the scene
First, a little context

In 2013, the economy was terrible. We were slowly crawling our way out of a recession. Nobody wanted to hire a fresh university graduate with a degree in Rhetoric and Professional Writing (“English”) from the University of Waterloo.

But after sending out a couple dozen résumés one night, I got what most of my friends called a very stupid idea. I’d already freelanced for nearly two years — why not make it a real business?

A sketchbook with several hastily-drawn Wildfire logos in it.
The first sketches of what my logo might look like, illustrated over half a decade ago. Thankfully, I’m a better designer today.

That all being said, it took me a while to register the business. Not because starting a business in Ontario is hard, but because I got hung up on the business name. I spent way longer than I should have on this. After months of thought, I gave up and named it after a John Mayer song. (Life is too short, right?)

I started Wildfire because nobody would hire me, and I wanted to prove myself to the world. But over half a decade later, my little design studio’s actually made an impact. Wildfire Studios has gone from a bunch of hastily-drawn scribbles in a giant notebook to a small-but-mighty indie design studio that helps thoughtful companies do really meaningful work.

The short version? Every day, I get to make something that helps a client achieve their dreams.

I’m very lucky. This is a pretty cool gig, and I’m grateful for it.

Fast forward to today
A brief rundown of what I do

Today, I’m primarily a platform designer. Platforms are basically the major touch points of an organization: the brand identity, the website, the primary printed materials. I help organizations introduce themselves, and I specialize in the major .coms that solve problems for businesses and customers.

I do everything from design and development to writing and photography. I make sure it’s all cohesive and works together. If it makes you look good and it helps you tell your story, that’s what I do.

Here’s what I don’t do: I don’t make banner ads. I don’t create online advertising. I don’t purchase Google AdWords, or run Facebook ads. There are a lot of great people who do that, but I’m not one of them. I’d rather focus on what I’m good at.

I’m good at branding organizations and helping them tell great stories. I create brands and websites and develop content for both. If that’s what you need, and you’re interested in teaming up to get it done, we’ll get along great.

What clients have said
Just a few testimonials

“In the past we’ve worked with all sorts of individuals, some excellent at design, some excellent at coding. Most individuals were only really good that that one aspect they specialized in. Nathan is good at both. He also possesses a good business mind, and his ability to grasp the business need rather than getting lost in the technical or visual aspects of the project was refreshing. I believe it is a combination that many individuals in this field lack.”
– Jonathan Agosta, Operations Manager at Risolv IT Solutions

“I worked with Nathan for over 2 years. He handled all of our marketing, art, and web presence. Nathan did a great job keeping current with web requirements, keeping our marketing material both friendly and effective. If you need a company to handle marketing, web and social networking challenges, call Wildfire.”
– Garth deBruyn, Vice President, ProMinent Fluid Controls

“Nathan Snelgrove was amazing. He is a great listener and really captured the essence of what we are about. He was very receptive to feedback and we got exactly what we were hoping for. I highly recommend Nathan as a designer and copywriter.”
– Paule Barsalou, Artistic Director at the Suzuki String School of Guelph

“Nathan has a great ability to distill complex ideas down to their essence. We are now able to easily communicate who we are and what we do to as broad a base as possible.”
– Gordon Skinner, Founder of Risolv IT Solutions

“Working with Nathan was a great experience.  His detailed, transparent and get-er-done approach was so appreciated!”
– Christa Hesselink, Be in Christ Church of Canada

“Nathan is an organized thinker. He listens well and brings clarity. Nathan has redesigned three websites for our organization and given us a great platform to tell our story and connect with a new audience. He was able to sort out and streamline a large amount of existing content to make our new web presence clear and strong. We are grateful for the service he provides for us.”
– Jacqueline Dugas, Vice-President, EHC International/Canada

“I can emphatically state that working with Nathan was fantastic.  He took the complex ideas behind our products and reframed them into simple concepts, easy for our clients to understand.  We loved his work so much we have hired him to work on some of our client work as well.”
– Kieren Tinning, Terraflow Geomatics

“We’re very happy.”
– Sophie Blom, Managing Editor, The New Quarterly

Ready to go?
Let’s get to work.