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Designer Joel Templin will be the featured speaker at the College of Visual Arts annual Leaders of Design program, which kicks off this week with a lecture at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on Wednesday, September 22. A native of Wisconsin, Templin began his career in Minneapolis, working for Gardner Design and Charles Spencer Anderson Design before moving to San Francisco and finding great success with Templin Brink Design. His current venture, Hatch, blends traditional client service work with entrepreneurial concepts. The first Hatch product launch is a wine brand called JAQK Cellars.

Joel and I discussed Hatch, JAQK Cellars, and the challenges designers face in launching their own business ventures in a recent email exchange.

Merge: You had a lot of success with Templin Brink Design, assembling a client base that many design firms would salivate over, and you appear to be really well positioned to move that success forward with Hatch. So why mess with the client service formula? Why add the new layer of entrepreneurship onto that successful base?

Joel: Yes, I had a great run with T.B.D. but Hatch (and JAQK Cellars) has ended up outperforming, and has catapulted us to a whole new level—totally unexpected but a very happy surprise. Starting out in this industry, my goal was to have my own firm but it was after working in Chuck Anderson’s office and working on the CSA Archive as well as hearing about some of the other product things Chuck tried like the Paramount Pictures product line or his watch line that really inspired me to want to create my own products in addition to client work. I really enjoy the entrepreneurial side of things, love coming up with ideas or other ways to venture out. The clients we’ve worked with over the years have been great and this is something we’ll always do. The only difference over time is that we may end up being even that much more selective in terms of who we decide to work with.

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