Cincy Chic: You and your husband run Stanard Design Partners, so how did you first get into the design world?
Cynthia Stanard, partner of Stanard Design Partners and founder of Space513.com: I found graphic design after years of drawing throughout my childhood and then working on a zine with a friend in high school. I, and my partner, Davis Stanard, both attended the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.
Upon graduation in 1998, we left to pursue careers in Boston and New York City. We returned to Cincinnati to start our own business and have been back now for almost 10 years. We run a small creative studio. We frequently partner with other talented individuals including: programmers, writers and printers.
Cincy Chic: One of your projects is Space513.com. Tell readers a little more about the site.
Stanard: The Space513.com Web site is an overview of the city created to feature and celebrate "unique Cincinnati." The quirky illustration style and dynamic Flash programming were meant to invite visitors to the site to browse around the virtual city and introduce some of the places that make Cincinnati an original.
Details about the city’s landmarks, entertainment venues, parks, etc. pop up with useful information about many of Cincinnati’s attractions upon rollover. Twelve urban neighborhoods and roughly 115 attractions are highlighted. Landmarks and businesses were selected by my partner and I and include large and well-known entities like the Reds and Cincinnati Museum Center as well as smaller establishments such as Anchor Grill in Covington and Manifest Gallery in Walnut Hills.
Cincy Chic: How did the concept come about?
Stanard: Space513.com grew out of ongoing discussions of our favorite places in Cincinnati and a desire to communicate that to friends and family inside and outside the city. We have been thrilled that our development of the site has allowed us to meet and work with many institutions that we treasure, including the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, 3CDC and Findlay Market, for whom we’ve recently launched a Web site at FindlayMarket.org. With Findlay Market’s new site, we looked to create a dynamic, modern site that seeks, like Space513, to create a sense of place and community online for this unique Cincinnati institution.
Cincy Chic: In the creation of the site, what were some of the more interesting facts you learned?
Stanard: We became fascinated with the cicada hatch in Cincinnati. It did not really fall into a "best of" category, but we were determined to feature it somehow on the site. We ended up hiding a twitching cicada in the Space513 map that, when clicked on, swarms and eventually fills the screen.
Cincy Chic: When you’re not expressing your creativity in work, what do you like to do for fun?
Stanard: I’m an avid knitter and reader. My knitting obsession gets play at local yarn stores in Cincinnati and in getting inspired by what other "makers" are up to locally at Fabricate in Northside and other art venues as well as online at Ravelery.com. My love of books takes me to fabulous reading discussion groups at Mercantile Library downtown, a truly one of the kind place perfect for "bookophiles."
Cincy Chic: What do you love most about Cincinnati?
Stanard: I love that it has all these unique and different neighborhoods filled with personality and character. I love the architecture and density that makes for easy walkability in many of the older neighborhoods, which is unbeatable. I love the hills that provide stunning views around every turn. I love living in a city with such a vibrant arts community from large museums, live orchestra, and a vibrant theater scene to small galleries and live music at venues around town. Too many things really…
Photos courtesy of Cynthia Stanard