November 1, 2021

Fall 2021 Update (A Message from our Founder & President)

To the Ticco community,

I have been so astounded by all the work we have accomplished as city builders during this global crisis. The way we have stepped up to serve our communities throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic embodies our commitment to seeing our cities thrive. 

It's no secret that I and the Ticco presence have gone quiet since March of 2020, and I'm finally in a place where I feel I can talk about it. I've fielded inquiries about Ticco over the last 19 months, and have addressed some commonly-asked questions below for your insight:

Why haven't there been any posts on the Ticco Platform lately?
I believe the activity on Ticco has declined for two reasons:

  1. Like any online community, you get out of Ticco what you put into it. Prior to the pandemic, I personally invested substantial time in creating Discussions, recruiting new users, and encouraging others to post Discussions on the platform. Since March of 2020 I have not been able to prompt online engagement at the same rate I did before the pandemic, so activity has declined.
  2. The pandemic has put city shapers in a position where many of us are overworked and overburdened, and we are emotionally strained. For a lot of us, it's difficult to find time or energy for anything beyond required work obligations.
  3. When the community is this sleepy, it's easy to forget it exists. Many members are simply not asking questions or engaging because they haven't been reminded about Ticco recently.

Ticco users can still post a Discussion at any time, and other members will be notified and likely will respond. 

Why haven't there been any Ticco Retreats?
Prior to March 2020, a lot of time and energy went into planning in-person Ticco Retreats. I was thrilled to announce that we had scheduled a retreat for NYC early that year, but it was postponed when the pandemic came to a head.

In September 2020, we organized and hosted a virtual retreat entited Current Events: Urban Resilience in partnership with Island Press. While I'm proud of what we accomplished and the event was a success in many ways, I felt the retreat did not meet my own expectations of what a Ticco Retreat should be. 

Our retreats have always been intended to be engaging, energetic experiences where people of many professional backgrounds come together to form connections and experience a city together. I feel we achieved this in Long Beach and Detroit in 2019, and we absolutely would have achieved it in New York in 2020. I knew after we hosted our virtual retreat that I either needed to educate myself on more engaging online formats, or we needed to hold off on hosting more events until we could once again meet in person.

What does the future look like for Ticco Retreats?
I have hope that we will once again organize in person events. I feel Ticco is well-positioned to do so, considering our retreats are designed for groups of 50 attendees or less. Our intimate, small meetup strategy is a natural fit for professional networking as we emerge from this pandemic.

Prior to the Delta Variant making its headway in the US, we had been discussing a small retreat to test the waters again. Unfortunately, that conversation had to pause considering the situation, but we hope to organize events again as soon as it's safe and feasible to do so.

Why have you been so quiet?
This has been a difficult time for us all, but I believe that those of us who shape cities are particularly stressed and operating at max capacity. Early in the pandemic we produced webinars, a virtual retreat, and polled existing members to figure out what they wanted. Overwhelmingly, we heard that people were experiencing high anxiety levels and did not feel they had the time or energy to participate in Ticco content at that time. Additionally, we recognize that many of us are spending hours per day in front of screens and we feel adding to that strain is not in line with our values as a company. 

Our team at Ticco has been through some substantial transitions as well. I have taken a full-time position working in Real Estate Development with the City of Beaverton, Oregon and relocated from Long Beach, CA to the Portland, OR area. My husband and I moved into a new home, brought home a new puppy, and I began a new job all in the space of a few weeks earlier this year. Additionally, I recently began teaching in the University of Oregon's School of Architecture & Environment. 

Erik Felix, our Outreach Coordinator, began studying for his Master's of Urban Planning at UCLA, and is now entering his 2nd year of grad school! 

We have always been an all-volunteer team, and that will continue to be the case. Building cross-professional collaboration through Ticco is something I'm extremely passionate about, and I'm grateful for our members, partners, and the support system that have been here along the way.

What happens next?
I will continue to process new members who sign up for Ticco, and will share updates as relevant. However, I won't be actively creating content for Ticco until we know more about what our community needs and wants from us. 

Soon I will be gathering a small group of members who have contributed to the Ticco platform and retreats since we were founded in 2018 to talk through ideas for our future. Their feedback will help inform what happens next. If you would like to participate in that discussion, please contact me at 

I sincerely thank all of you for your support and encouragement over the last 18 months. This has been a difficult time for us all, and I appreciate your interest in the Ticco community. I hope that we have the opportunity to connect people who shape cities in person again very soon! Until then,

Katie Rispoli Keaotamai
Founder & President

March 19, 2020

Effective Immediately: Access to TICCO is on us

Nearly two years after I began taking the steps to start TICCO, the original intent of this community still rings true. We are a place that welcomes professionals from across the city building community to find work, build connections, and develop skills.

I'll be honest with you - just like it has been for many small businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for us. Over the past 6 months, we've been quietly preparing to complete our beta platform. This enhanced version of TICCO would have included a built-in jobs board, services for businesses, an events calendar, career resources, and most importantly - a free version. Due to current events, the investment funds we had hoped for to make these changes will likely not come our way or will be significantly delayed.

But I don't think you should have to wait. While we've been experiencing our own set of challenges, we've heard from professionals who are losing their jobs, have had projects postponed or cancelled, or who have lost out on valuable networking opportunities due to the effect COVID-19 has had on in-person gatherings. We started TICCO to create a place where we could support each other and develop professionally. More than ever, a digital space for this to happen is critical. While we can't make any major changes to our platform right now due to financial constraints, we can do one thing.

Effective immediately, TICCO access will be free for everyone.

We're waiving the cost to access our online platform indefinitely. Professionals at all career stages who work with cities, communities, and the built environment can now create an account and log on at no cost.

Before you do, a couple of important notes:

  • Because we're making this decision suddenly, we have not changed our platform infrastructure. That means you will still need to enter a credit card to activate your account. However, that card will not be charged.
  • This will apply to new, existing, and returning users.
  • If you have the means to do so and would like to support the Ticco community during this time, please consider opting to pay for access regardless at the $10/mo rate. If you choose to do so, email so we know not to waive your dues.

Create a Free Account


We hope you'll participate.

  • Sign up for your free TICCO account. Joining just takes a couple of minutes and will connect you to practitioners in more than 15 professions!
  • In the coming weeks we'll be working to roll out additional webinars, blog posts, and discussions so you can have up-to-date resources and experiences. We need help to develop this content, and we'd love for you to contribute. In particular, we'd love to give you a platform to share your message if you recently had a speaking engagement, conference session, or other presentation/workshop cancelled due to COVID-19. If you feel you can lead a webinar, write a blog post, or support content development in any other way, please contact us by email at
  • Additionally, if you work for a company that is hiring or have a work opportunity to share, please let us know by emailing! We want to share these opportunities with the Ticco network in an effort to support those who are now finding themselves looking for work or career transitioning.


I think it's safe to say that this has been a lot for all of us, and it is only just beginning. As we go forward, finding community through this experience can and will lighten the load. I'm here for you, and I look forward to connecting with you on Ticco.


Katie Rispoli Keaotamai

March 10, 2020

Community Feature: Raina Regan

Raina Regan is the historic preservationist behind Uplifting Preservation and Senior Manager of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Easement Program. We recently asked her about her work!


Ticco: What do you feel sets you apart from other historic preservationists?

Raina Regan: I bring empathy to my historic preservation practice. Given the often-negative connotation with historic preservation, I try to connect and build trust with my property owners I work with through empathy. I think by listening to property owners and understanding their perspective, we can better tailor our preservation approach. I always try to understand their perspective and goals for their property and help guide them through to a positive result – both for their needs of the property they own, but also the historic resource as well. I’ve been able to successfully use this approach for several years now and connect with property owners of all types of backgrounds in a positive way.


Ticco: What are you currently exploring through Uplifting Preservation?

Raina Regan: Working in the historic preservation profession is a purpose-driven career, regardless of which sector of preservation you work. From preservation planners, regulators, and nonprofit advocates — we inherently believe in the preservation of our cultural heritage as a construct of our world-view. Our work as preservationists can place us in contentious situations which can feel like an attack on our personal identity and morals. Moreover, many preservation projects require years of patience and resilience before a place is saved and preserved. How do we manage these complex emotions in a productive way that helps us avoid feelings of burnout?


The latest issue of Uplifting Preservation dives into how we can become mindful preservationists through an examination of How We Work: Live Your Purpose, Reclaim Your Sanity, and Embrace the Daily Grind by Dr. Leah Weiss. In it, Weiss shares her practical, evidence-based strategies for practicing mindfulness at work in order to maintain focus on our purpose and outlines research that supports the claim that having a strong sense of purpose can make your job more satisfying. According to Raina, "while we have a clear purpose as historic preservation professionals, we can still struggle to maintain that focus in the midst of a long-term, challenging project." Read the latest issue and access past issues here.


Looking for more from Raina? Follow her here on Ticco, subscribe to Uplifting Preservation, and follow along on Twitter and Instagram!

February 20, 2020

Ticco Classifieds

We're excited to share a number of open positions in this week's Classifieds!


Congress for the New Urbanism

The Congress for the New Urbanism is seeking a Communications and Content Manager to work in their Washington, DC headquarters or a remote location! Apply by March 10th.

View the posting here


Asakura Robinson

Asakura Robinson is seeking a number of individuals to fill roles!



As part of our effort to create a culture of compensation among city builders, Ticco does not promote unpaid internships.
Have a job you'd like to share on TICCO? Email us at

January 7, 2020

All About Networking: Part III

In today’s business culture, networking online and in-person can feel so, so forced. We all know the feeling – you arrive at an event, get a cup of coffee, and then stand around awkwardly in hopes someone comes up to introduce themselves (or you see someone else standing awkwardly that you can go up to and introduce yourself.) Networking favors the extroverted, which can mean that those who are on the quieter side aren’t given the same opportunities, and don’t reach the same level of success.

To help you find a path forward, we’re taking a deep dive into Networking in a 3-part series. In Part 1, we laid out a framework to understand how we developed the culture around professional networking we have today. In Part II, we took a look at the different approaches to networking and how to leverage them to your benefit. Here in the final part of this series, we'll be diving deep into how you can build a meaningful network that actually pays off in the long run.


How do you choose the right networking events to go to?

It's hard enough to make time for networking - don't waste it attending events that don't align with your priorities! Before you determine which types of events work for you, consider: What are your goals in networking? Are you hoping to grow your business by finding potential clients? Are you hoping to land a new job? Just looking for people who share your interests that you can build friendships with?

If you're looking to get work in the city building industry, your best bet is to find yourself in an inter-disciplinary setting. That's because we're most often hired by our peers in related professions. For example, an architect might be hired by a real estate developer. If you're hoping to grow your client base, aim to attend events hosted by inter-disciplinary groups like Ticco. These events will allow you to build relationships with your peers who can learn about your expertise and see you as a resource when your services might be needed.

If you're looking to connect with individuals on a personal level, inter-disciplinary events are also a great way to go! However, you can really zoom in and find those with a shared interest by attending networking events for specific professional associations (such as your local American Planning Association chapter.) Many times these groups host an even more niche gathering, such as an emerging professionals happy hour, that offers an opportunity to find professionals in your same practice who are at a similar career stage or specialize in the same arena as you. Attending these in-person events is a great way to make friends who live in your area and understand the 'why' behind your work!



Once you know what kind of events you're looking for, how do you find them?

In our industry, a great way to keep tabs on upcoming events is to subscribe to the e-newsletter of the host organization. Once you know what types of events you're looking for, find your local chapter (if applicable) and subscribe to their newsletter to be notified when they're organizing a gathering near you!


How do you connect with the right people at events?

If you're at a local or regional networking event that aligns with your interest (such as a happy hour) the best thing to do is to mingle! Walk around and introduce yourself, or find a small group and ask if you can join their table. Make sure to spend enough time with a person to get a sense of their work (and leave them with a sense of yours!) but don't commit to spending the evening with one connection.

At national gatherings (such as an annual conference hosted by a professional association in our industry) hunt through the program and search on Twitter with the conference hashtag to find sessions as well as meetups happening at the conference that align with your personal area of practice and/or interest. Pay close attention to session descriptions and prioritize sessions where the description describes some sort of group activity. Those sessions embed time for dialogue, and increase the likelihood that you find someone to connect with over the course of the experience. Spending your time with others who are working in the same specialty or have a similar interest is a great way to maximize the time and money you've invested in being there!


Once you've made a connection, how do you keep in touch?

If you speak with someone you meet at a networking event about something specific (for instance, a potential collaboration) make a note on their business card so you don't forget! Make sure they get a card from you, and hold on to cards you collect throughout the duration of the networking event. Afterwards, email those with notes directly to follow up on your conversation. Whether you said you'd send them a piece of information, or you wanted to continue a discussion about working together, that's a great way to do it!

For those you just collected a card from, use your discretion to decide whether it's authentic to keep in touch with them. Networking shouldn't be forced or disingenuous - if you don't feel you'll need to communicate with the personal again, simply toss the card and politely greet them if you recognize them when/if your paths cross again. If you feel they could be a resource later, save their card with others you store in your work space (if you're analog) for reference later, follow them on Ticco, and/or send them a polite connection request on LinkedIn so you have a simply way of keeping in touch without investing much of your time.


What if I can't attend events in person?

Networking in-person has pros and cons, but one of the cons is that it certainly caters to those who can get away for a happy hour on a weekday evening or have the privilege to take time off and travel for a conference. If these in-person gatherings don't work for you, there are absolutely alternatives! Ticco's built-in Discussions feature as well as niche Facebook groups like Historic Preservation Professionals and We Do Incremental Development offer a space where you can participate in ongoing conversations. While Discussions on Ticco are great if you want to hear from a wide range of professionals, these other groups can be useful if you're looking to connect with or hear feedback from a specific subset of individuals.

We're excited to be releasing a whole new set of career tools for the Ticco community in 2020! But until they're available, searching for a fellow member who shares your interest and sending them a message is always a great place to start! You can search for a general term like "designer" or a place like "Ohio" and then use our advanced filters to find the connections you need most. If you're looking for those who are passionate about the same things you are, filter by interest like "recreation areas and national parks" or "social justice and equity issues." If you're looking to hire someone or make a connection with someone who could use your services, filter by professional specialty like "public transportation."



We want to hear your ideas and all about the ways you network! Tweet your thoughts and insights to us @go_ticco and/or use #goticco!

December 4, 2019

Featured Member: Lindsay Jones

Lindsay Jones is the Owner of Blind Eye Restoration, a restoration contractor based in Columbus, Ohio. This week we asked Lindsay to share a few thoughts on her work!


Ticco: What aspect of improving our cities or communities are you most passionate about right now?

Lindsay Jones: I'm definitely passionate about the way that keeping and using beautiful old buildings brings people together, makes places more beautiful and walkable, and makes people want to come and just hang out and spend money locally! Not only that, but also how their reuse is good for the environment. It's the ultimate form of recycling!

I can't understand how people replace windows and don't notice that all of their old ones are filling up landfills. It's soooo wasteful! The same goes for plaster walls and doors, wood siding, etc. The modern construction industry has made people believe that everything that isn't perfect should be replaced with plastic, caulk, and concrete. Those materials may be quick and cheap, but if you replace important components of your old house with them, you'll actually create damage.

Of course there is some waste in my work, but I don't need dumpsters. I usually have about a half full contractor bag at the end of any job, which is usually just caulk and foam insulation and old clothesline that someone added and caused damage. The truth is that owning an old house means buying into the historic maintenance needs that the house has. Replacement parts are not the solution, and I wish people would offer more of their time to their buildings by maintaining and finding better uses for them, rather than throwing them away.

Blind Eye Restoration

Image courtesy of Blind Eye Restoration

T: What projects are you most excited about at the moment?

LJ: This is a tricky question because as exciting as any job is before it starts, they're all equally stressful. This is our third year in business and it's been really interesting to see how our work has changed and evolved in just this short amount of time. I started off restoring windows, kind of not believing that I would ever get people to hire me to work on larger commercial or publicly-owned structures. Then in the second year I got two huge projects, one doing monumental steel windows for a developer and one storing the artwork in a church including a 40' tall abstract mosaic of the last supper.

It was huge to have those projects when I was just starting out, because it helped financially support us through the winter while we went back to small window and door work. This year all of our big jobs were delayed, but it turned out that we had enough momentum with smaller jobs to sustain two full-time salaries! Now we're already bidding into next summer even though it's only the end of the year! I'm kind of just excited about all of the jobs as a whole, knowing that we're really making this thing happen! We're also starting to pull in artwork contracts, including cleaning public sculpture for the Columbus, OH Public Arts Council, and to restore a decorative painted ceiling in a historic theater in Cuyahoga Falls. We still love working on window restoration, but the fine art work that I never thought was possible has become a reality and it's really validating to see the company grow with all of these new opportunities.


Blind Eye Restoration

Image courtesy of Blind Eye Restoration


Looking for more from Lindsay? Follow her here on Ticco, keep tabs on @blindeyerestoration on Instagram, and learn more about their work here!

December 4, 2019

All About Networking: Part II

In today’s business culture, networking online and in-person can feel so, so forced. We all know the feeling – you arrive at an event, get a cup of coffee, and then stand around awkwardly in hopes someone comes up to introduce themselves (or you see someone else standing awkwardly that you can go up to and introduce yourself.) Networking favors the extroverted, which can mean that those who are on the quieter side aren’t given the same opportunities, and don’t reach the same level of success.

To help you find a path forward, we’re taking a deep dive into Networking in a 3-part series. In Part 1, we laid out a framework to understand how we developed the culture around professional networking we have today. In this post, we'll take a look at the different approaches to networking and how to leverage them to your benefit. Let's dive in!

To start, what types of networking can we choose from in today's work culture?

When it comes to networking, we can primarily choose from two types: Traditional in-person and online.

  • In traditional networking, we attend in-person events like mixers and conferences in order to find and connect with people. In most cases, we make a conscious choice to choose events where we're likely to meet individuals who work in a specific discipline or specialty so we can find clients or collaborators. We especially tend to do so when we believe that meeting those individuals will increase our own odds of financial success.
  • With online networking, things work a little differently! Online networking can be experience-based, sharing content and ideas for the sake of an outlet to do so. It can also be purely connection-driven, making an effort to find and network with potential clients or business leads. Either way, online networking is quite different than traditional networking in that you're typically casting a very wide net. By networking online, you're able to find and connect with people in different cities, regions, or even countries in most cases. If you work hard enough or use specific tools (like Ticco!) you can find people who meet specific criteria you're looking for, but often online networking leads to broader, general business outreach. For that reason, it may not result in as many direct relationships or business leads.

How are these approaches to networking different than what we've done in the past?

It's fairly obvious how online networking differs from the ways we used to network. However, the evolution of in-person networking is more subtle. Primarily, in-person networking has evolved in terms of audience and format.

  • Audience: Traditionally, in-person networking opportunities were limited to wealthy, male, and/or white audiences. Only in recent decades has this drastically changed. Women entering the workplace and becoming a more prominent force in business in the mid-to-late 20th century first changed this dynamic, and now conferences and society gatherings have shifted immensely to cater to a more diverse audience overall. As many retire and large generations enter the workforce, the audience at in-person networking events is becoming unavoidably younger. Even further, groups that are making an effort to cater to diverse audiences are more likely to appeal to younger participants.
  • Format: Today's in-person networking events diverge from stereotypical formal dinners, charity benefits, and lecture-based conferences. They definitely still exist! However, today there are more options to choose from. In-person networking events like Ticco Retreats offer a fun, hands-on way to connect with fellow practitioners that center around experiences. Learn more about retreats and how they're different than what you're used to here!

Why network at all?

It's oh, so tempting to just say 'screw it' and ditch networking altogether! The practice favors the extroverted, promotes the idea of cliques and societies that can be exclusionary, and rewards those who already have resources at their disposal. However, in walking away from networking on principal, you may be hurting yourself more than you realize. When you say 'no' to networking, you're saying no to opportunities you're unaware of. The essential concept of the practice is to surround yourself with a network of individuals who are aware of the value you bring to the table, and can call upon you when your services could be useful. If you don't build that network, you may decrease your odds of landing freelance work, getting a job, or your company being hired to work on a project.


If you are going to network, take steps to get the greatest return on the time you invest! In our final post in this series, we'll be diving deep into how you can build a meaningful network that actually pays off in the long run. Keep an eye out for Part 3 coming soon!

October 17, 2019

Featured Member: Andy Kopietz

As we're gearing up for our next retreat in Detroit, we've been thinking a lot about the Ticco members who are shaping that community. Andy Kopietz is Principal of Good Done Daily, a graphic design studio serving philanthropic, non-profit, cultural, and civic organizations throughout Detroit and Southeast Michigan. We asked Andy to share a few thoughts on his work!


Ticco: What aspect of improving our cities or communities are you most passionate about right now?

Andy Kopietz: Recently I met up with policy makers, urban planners, non-profit leaders, and architects for a professional gathering. We were asked to pair up and address a tactical challenge - the activation of an inhospitable space. My teammate Elizabeth (who is an architect) changed my understanding of 'placemaking' by redefining the term as 'placekeeping.' That lit up my brain in a special way!

The idea that we can restore peoples' power with this change in language matters - the people who live in a community are the ones who influence and shape our understanding of that place. But often, those of us who work in community building enter into our projects as 'experts' who are tasked with making a place 'better.' We're asked to look for deficiencies and solve problems instead of seeking out assets. I feel this is the wrong way to think about our work.

We're not just making a place - we're co-designing strategies to enable people to live the life they choose. This redefinition of 'placemaking' as 'placekeeping' has really challenged me to think more deeply about the work I do, including how design can positively shape places and how I can better support that process.

Installation by Good Done Daily for the City of Detroit Department of Planning & Development


T: What projects are you most excited about at the moment?

AK: My team is excited about an exhibition we designed for the City of Detroit's Department of Planning & Development, which was installed at the Chicago Architecture Biennial in September. It takes a look at Detroit's strategies for vacant land as well as the Department's methods to engage community stakeholders in the reanimation of land, development, and public spaces.

Installation by Good Done Daily for the City of Detroit Department of Planning & Development


We're also fortunate to be working with a group of city planners on Detroit's Master Transportation Plan, which explores opportunities to make our streets safer for pedestrians. The plan will shape decades of mobility across the city. In our role, we're developing tactical tools and visual communications to engage residents in the master planning process.


Looking for more from Andy and Good Done Daily? Follow Andy here on Ticco, keep tabs on @gooddonedaily on Instagram, and learn more about their work here!

October 15, 2019

Why Branding is Everything – and Where to Start

When you're starting your own company or studio, branding is key! If it were possible, we'd all enlist the help of a talented design studio like Each + Every. Since not all of us can, we're bringing their expertise to you! Alex Catanese and Ryan Hammond, Principals with Each + Every, are the masterminds behind Ticco's brand identity and name. With a little help from their team, they tackled a few questions to offer up some insights and pro-tips.


Ticco: We enlisted the help of Each + Every when Ticco was still just an idea. How do you think that’s impacted our brand identity and the way we're perceived now?

Each + Every: One of our favorite aspects of design is working collaboratively with our clients from the very beginning of a project. There have been many times where we’re asked to bring in an “aesthetic treatment” once the project has been developed, and found that these projects are never quiet as invigorating (or successful). It’s often overlooked that design can play a key role in the formation of a project or an idea.

Working with Ticco from the very beginning allowed us to not only provide a visual brand that spoke to the people you hoped to reach, but also to understand why connecting with other professionals is so difficult in this industry, and to help shape a product (the Ticco Platform) to network in new ways. At the end of the day though, we are making an informed hypothesis about how the branding needs to work based on our research and relationship—so being able to launch and then continue learn from members what they want Ticco to be is really important to us.


T: When you develop a brand, how do you ensure that it represents and aligns with the client’s values?

E+E: Being able to collaborate at an early stage will help any designer to more deeply understand the goals and values of their clients, and will ensure that the designer and the client have a  meaningful and productive relationship. Imagine if in the realm of architecture a client attempted to “design” the whole building themselves, and asked the architect to simple apply aesthetic treatments to the exterior at the end. First off, I wouldn’t trust the structural integrity of the building—and second, it would undermine the collaborative relationship between client and designer, minimizing the greater potential of the building.


T: How can a company’s branding translate into developing a client base?

E+E: It’s easy to conflate quality branding with successful marketing and promotion. While a good brand and steady growth can go together, brand design shares the same fundamental goals as any other form of design: to clarify ideas. A good brand should enable prospective clients to understand you. It should make clear what defines you and why you’re different than your peers or competitors.

If you are in a season of professional growth and want to grow your client base, aim to maintain harmony between the strength of your brand and the ways in which you promote yourself. That balance is key - don’t focus too much on just one or the other. An effective brand identity can do a lot for you, but it can’t do everything.

Most of all, if you want to build a loyal and steadfast client base, be honest. Avoid leveraging a contrived brand identity to make you or your company seem like something you’re not. It’s alright to be aspirational, but don’t be deceitful.


T: What advice would you give to someone who is starting a new studio and wants to create the impression of legitimacy, but doesn’t have the financial resources to bring on a professional just yet to help with branding?


Do what you can on your own.

Create your business plan, research who you might want to work with in the future, get to know your industry, talk to other entrepreneurs about their experiences, and seek legal advice if needed. Anything you can do to lay a solid foundation will always pay off!

Don’t use competition websites.

One thing we would advise against is participating in any logo/brand design websites which are based on competition. For our industry, this undervalues designers and only pays the ones who “win”, rather than paying people for the work and labor they put in. Even if you’re limited financially, seek out and research ways to pay people fairly.

Limit scope.

Many times (not always though), pricing depends upon the scope of the project, and can be scaled back. Work with an artist or designer to create a quote, and be willing to scale back the work you're requesting to make the project more affordable. Create a budget for yourself, and consider what you really need to get started, or use your small budget to get a quick consultation from a professional. Lastly—don’t promise “exposure” or a great portfolio piece. If you need to save more money to launch your project or find different revenue source, it is completely worth it so that the people you hire to collaborate with you can do their jobs and support themselves or their families.

Look to your friends.

Utilize the close relationships you have. Perhaps you have a friend who’s an artist that you can pay for an illustration, or a friend who does freelance design to create a typographic system for you to use on social media. All that said, we love Jessica Hische’s model, and there are a few ways to go about this. Either way, if you're working with friends, remember:

  1. Work with a real budget and to have them treat you just like any other client.
  2. A designer or artist may be willing to work for less or for free because they’re your friend. If so, repay the favor by giving them complete creative control and flexibility (and a coffee or dinner now and then!)
  3. It’s possible to mix a client/friend relationship, and to limit rounds of work, give them creative control, and get them a nice bottle of whiskey. Either way, it’s important that a contract is written and these terms are agreed upon.


Interested in keeping track of what the E+E team is up to? Follow Alex and Ryan here on Ticco, and their company IG account if you want to feel super left out of all the cool happenings in Kent, OH. Thanks to the team over at Each + Every for their help with this piece!

September 26, 2019

Moving Ticco Forward

A big 'thank you' to all of you who took our Q3 member survey! About 1/3 of members participated, and we're excited to share some changes coming soon to Ticco as a result of their feedback. If you didn't take this survey, please keep an eye out for future surveys. We place a high value on member feedback and use it to make significant decisions in the process of developing Ticco.

What's Changing

We're Removing the Experience Bracket

Until now, we've limited Ticco membership to those who have between 2 & 15 years of experience. While this has absolutely helped to create a community that welcomes early-career professionals, we've heard from many that it feels exclusionary and is counter-intuitive to the intention of Ticco as a result. In our recent member survey, 45% of respondents said they liked the bracket, while 55% said they wanted to change it in one way or another. Considering this response and the logistical challenges we've encountered developing a system for those who grow beyond the bracket while they are members, we've opted to altogether eliminate this requirement.

We recognize that, for some, this is a key aspect of Ticco. We will continue to make an effort to support early-career professionals and create a place where those individuals feel able to share their opinions and ask questions without fear of judgement. Through our design and persona, we know that Ticco will continue to primarily attract this audience, and we hope you'll stick with Ticco to see this prove true and to experience the benefit of having a larger community as our reach grows.

In general, Ticco will continue to advocate for one of our core values, to "create a culture of compensation." As part of this work, we will continue to advocate for fair pay and speak out against unpaid internships, which de-value the work of all professionals and disproportionately harm early-career and non-white professionals.


You Can Now Add your own Discussions

When we created Ticco, we planned to create Discussions in order to avoid some of the tension seen in typical online forums. We're so happy to see that this type of negative culture hasn't come through on Ticco to-date, and as a result there just isn't a need for our team to create all Discussions. Members have told us over time (and have said in our surveys) that they want the ability to create their own, so we're making it real! We hope this will boost participation in Discussions and increase the frequency with which they are posted so our more active users can always have something new to explore.

You can now create a Discussion about anything you want, and after it's approved it will be posted on Ticco within 72 hours. The updated submission form will stay the same, but soon you'll see new icons on the Discussions area of the platform that help you to create a Discussion. Note that proposed Discussions that violate our Community Guidelines will not be approved.


Membership Will Stay at $10/Month for the Forseeable Future

When we first opened Ticco, we offered membership at $10/month for a limited time and planned to increase to $15/month after the first year. While market research told us that this was a fair value for what Ticco would be, we recognize that Ticco is just getting started, and more value will be added to the platform as more professionals join and we roll out new features. In our recent member survey, we asked respondents what they felt was fair to pay for Ticco in its current state, and 68% said they felt $10/month or more was a fair price. Considering this feedback, we've decided to keep the monthly rate of Ticco at $10/month or $115/year for the forseeable future.



What's Staying the Same
(but Carrying More Weight)

As of this week, it's been 5 months since we welcomed Ticco's first members. We've learned a lot in this time, and we've worked hard to identify what is most valuable about Ticco. As part of this survey, we asked our members what they love most about what we do, and we're using their feedback to solidify our approach going forward.

Their input has helped us to craft a new mission statement and new core values that reflect both our priorities and what we know our members want most from us. These sentiments were always at the heart of Ticco, but we'll now officially refer to them and consider them as we go forward in creating retreats, programming, content, and features.

Our New Mission

We're here to enable people who shape cities to embrace each other and collaborate as they usher our urban areas into the future.

Our Core Values

  • Break Barriers: Encourage collaboration and help professionals to look beyond what divides us 
  • Create a Culture of Compensation: Advocate for fair pay in our members' professions and the elimination of unpaid internships
  • Support Future Leaders: Provide a space where the next generation of professionals, who are inherently more diverse, feel comfortable sharing their experiences and perspectives


Our sincerest 'thanks' for being a Ticco member! Membership is what keeps our work going, and we can't wait to accomplish big goals and make real change with your continued support.