Chris Bingham, owner and operator of Cyan Bold Design, has two phrases or taglines that serve as guiding principles for his business and they are: “Be bolder by design.” and “Bolder expressions created with Pride.” His Kelowna based company, Cyan Bold Design, specializes in logo design and branding.
Chris loves to use every crayon in the box whenever he can and he’s been fortunate to work on several projects within the LGBT2Q+ community that have allowed him to be as colourful as he can be. It also means being open about who he is and being supportive and receptive to others.
With that box of colours, Chris is capable of designing for signage, billboards, stage scrims, point of purchase, packaging, social media, direct mail, stationery, web. Designs that stand out in the crowd, his design aesthetics are eye-catching, bold, modern, and professional.
Chris always knew he wanted a career with a creative pursuit. When he was younger, he excelled at both art and science in school, however, it took him a while – two degrees and five years in the wrong career – to get to a point where he was comfortable enough in his artistic abilities to come out as a designer.
His actual ‘coming out’ came later but that’s a different story.
His break into graphic design started as a term position while someone was away on sabbatical. Chris believes that being thrust into the throws of a bustling creative department of an ad agency, learning the ropes, and being challenged in ways you’ve never been challenged before is the best way to find out if graphic design is right for you.
That opportunity was one of the most valuable jobs Chris had ever taken on and it confirmed he was on the right career path. A path for which he likes to give credit to his mom who would often draw with him when he was very little to help pass the time and keep him occupied.
Growing up, Chris often escaped into weird fantasy drawings or would experiment with paints instead of going out on a Friday. It was a lonely pursuit, but it was one that brought him a lot of comfort.
When asked by others if he ever considered making it a career, Chris thought he’d never be good enough to make art or any other creative endeavour into a career. He believes his self-doubt during those years was strongly linked to the internal struggles between living his truth and living as a version of himself based on who he thought others wanted him to be.
In the end, as cheesy as it sounds, Chris says being true to himself helped him get past any preconceived notions of who others expected him to be and embrace the person he needed to become – a graphic designer using all the crayons in the box who is not afraid to colour outside the lines.
Some advice from Chris about starting your own business:
“My advice for anyone thinking about opening their own business would be to be prepared to work harder than you ever thought possible for something that is yours. After all, if you’re working on something you feel passionate about, you will often feel like you’re not working at all.
“I also can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining good connections to great people. Surround yourself with people that help to lift you up, provide sound advice, inspire you, and see the benefits of partnerships over competition.”