Feb 11, 2010 ellen leahy Uncategorized
What is it about Brooklyn? I mean, in the character it creates within its populace? Take Leonard Assante, who nine years ago, found himself in Syracuse, and never left. He’s got the heart and soul of a true Brooklyn Dodger, with a good measure of 21st century skills and street smarts.
“Where I come from you always return a favor,” Assante said. The man is an artist and designer, a visual communication expert and the owner of Assante Design, which is located in the Delavan Center on West Fayette Street in Syracuse.
Any client of Assante gets Leonard’s brain trust. The guy thinks about your business all day and into the night. How to tell your story. The creative is not about hype, awards or the latest spin. It’s about truth telling, and old fashioned marketing: How to bring you, your business, your product to the market in the clearest, most efficient way that gets noticed in a world of messaging.
“No matter what the project at hand is, it has to be intriguing and it has to be effective,” Assante says.
He gets his whole creative team on it right away, too. He said, “No time wasted, I don’t want to miss the opportunity of a good idea right after a creative briefing with clients.”
Assante Design does create for big organizations and institutions such as Welch Allyn, JGB Properties, Cornell University and local hotels, but the firm also specializes in working with small business, and especially, start ups.
Although Assante Design has many out of state clients, the firm brings their print, promotional and production work to Central New York. Assante is adamant about keeping the work and the money in CNY. Working, thinking, breathing, shopping, investing in the local economy is his mindset. Syracuse First has a great saying and Assante lives by it “Buy Local or Bye Bye Local.”
In the beginning – strictly urban
Once you meet Leonard Assante, you will never forget it. He is the oddest mix of in your face and polite; big kid and the perfect gentleman; Very hip to today, yet a throwback to the post World War II American Dream values.
He says he grew up in the streets… not the tough streets, rather the edgy urban scene that the streets portrays.
He sees every little bump and the cracks in his environment. He likes to maintain his connection to that “It’s what I’m about,” he said. This perspective started very early from snappin’ ollies all over his neighborhood on a skateboard, and then, as a flatlander on a BMX bike. His sense of timing and balance got him a full-fledged Reebok sponsorship. He further expressed his senses in Total Distortion, a ratty zine’ he started in his basement at the age of 14. A little later on, he took his artwork to the streets in the form of graffiti, then into the classroom at the School for Visual Arts in NYC.
But that wasn’t enough, he worked on his portfolio doing freelance graphic design for any and all clubs in NYC. The Tunnel, the Roxy, Twill, Palladium, Club USA, you name it, he did it. ALWAYS hustling the work, NEVER the clients.
Life in CNY
Assante, 39, is passionate about his young family. You can tell in the way he talks about his wife Amy, and 15-month-old son, Gian Michael. Amy was born and raised in Auburn and is owner of The Church Salon on East Fayette Street in Armory Square with longtime friend Jeff Church. As Leonard says, “My wife is gorgeous, both inside and out.” The couple met on Myspace. She feel in love with his photography; he her attitude. Leonard gets the six degrees of separation of Central New Yorkers and their generous, cynical ways. It is definitely home for him. He now gets his adrenaline fix by off-roading and rock crawling. He and a couple of his closest friends started the largest jeep club in upstate New York; www.cnyjeep.org. If you own a jeep, you have to check it out.
Need solid & effective visual communication for your business?
Contact Assante directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, call the team at 315.470.0404, visit the company’s Web site at assantedesign.com or just stop by and visit his space at the Delavan Center on West Fayette Street. The Assante team is always ready to introduce themselves to the work they create, the spaces they’ve reinvented, or the mindset of what creative stuff they are working on that day. At Assante Design, “it’s creative, it’s effective, it’s all good.”