If you turn east at the non-descript Les Olson building on Geneva Road in Lindon, you’ll find one of the most internationally-based businesses in the valley.
On nearly any given day, the 11 employees of Meyer and Liechty may be making conference calls to London or preparing a Chinese document for American Express.
Although this global design firm is now seen as the leader in multi-language graphic design, the company was started out of necessity.
Christopher Liechty was an art director for the Global Marketing Communications team at WordPerfect Corporation, producing marketing materials in more than 25 languages. As the company changed, so did Christopher’s employment.
In 1994, Liechty and his wife, Hailey Meyer, combined their passion for art and their knowledge of global marketing to land their first client, AMEX Worldwide Acceptance Marketing, based in Salt Lake City.
“We were just a husband-wife team then, but we’ve grown and adapted quickly to fit the needs of our business,” Liechty says. Meyer is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations, but her influence is still clear. Liechty credits his wife with providing an artistic outlook for the firm.
“She has an amazing ability to cut through the fluff and see things as they are,” Liechty says. “She is also a terrific brainstormer, so we depend on her for ideas and concepts.”
In the past eight years, clients have been drawn to Meyer and Liechty to produce multi-language marketing pieces that will maintain the company’s branding while meeting the language and cultural needs of countries all over the globe.
In 1999, Meyer and Liechty was the third biggest UPS client in the region, as they ship products across town and around the world. Liechty’s confident, intelligent approach puts people at ease.
“When the opportunity to work with American Express came along, our reputation was in the right place,” Liechty says. “We’ve found that it’s so important to make and keep contacts in business.”
Liechty isn’t the typical 80-hour-per-week entrepreneur.
“I always come home at 6 o’clock for dinner,” Liechty says. “That is an agreement I have with my family that I always keep — even if I have to come back after dinner!”
Liechty’s focus now is on education. He has been invited to speak at four Chinese universities, and he has also made a proposal to the national leadership of two design organizations — The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and Corporate Design Foundation — to create a national program to teach business students the value of branding and using designers to help convey their messages.
“I’m at the intersection of art and business,” Liechty says. “And I enjoy helping people on both sides understand each other.”
Keys to success:
Be straightforward and open with everyone. Share contacts with others. Be concerned about the value and needs of the client. Stay out of debt — “We were profitable from Day 1,” Liechty says. Build trust and loyalty. Be unique and high-quality in your approach. Be lucky!
Why Utah County?
Utah has the highest number per capita who speak a second language. Overhead is low. It’s a great place to raise a family. (Liechty’s daughter is on the Sundance ski team.)
In the future:
“We’re gaining a national reputation with our select audience,” Liechty says. For example, they recently completed a six-language piece for Dell Computers.
Favorite part about the business:
“I love solving problems together and working with people.”
Wife, Hailey Meyer, four children
BFA at BYU
Hailey has an MFA in studio art from BYU