Whenever a client is making a big move — whether moving into a different physical space, launching a new campaign, or heading in a fresh branding direction — we’re here for it. Projects like these are saltwater taffy for the project manager’s brain — they stretch us creatively and pull us in exciting directions.
So when I started at P7 in January and the team brought me up to speed on the Landus project, I knew this would be one of those deliciously creative pursuits that engaged our whole team to develop a truly customized solution for our client.
Landus came to P7 with a goal: to create a physical space in their new building that would illustrate their commitment to connecting farmers, customers, and visitors with global innovation leaders to drive a more sustainable and profitable future of farming.
So we got to work. We launched a three-step process: site planning and consulting, design and production, and installation.
Using the client’s blueprints and infusing the early stages with their vision, we imagined a modern museum-type vibe, where visitors could meander an open space, navigating from point to point and collecting information along the way. Our designers developed a map with graphic display samples that showed how visitor traffic would organically flow through the space. As we met with the Landus team, we incorporated their feedback to continually refine our design. This stage is where project management skills are crucial: making revisions, communicating with both the client and our internal team, and most importantly, keeping the project moving forward.
Step 2: Design and Production
Once our design drafts were approved, we moved into production mode. Our amazing P7 designers moved quickly to finalize the concepts, and my experience in large-format printing was a benefit as we worked with skilled vendors who were able to meet our tight deadlines. The project revealed some unique challenges relating to the size and scale of the graphics (8×10-feet images require precise resolution), but our designers were up to the task.
Production is where my project management skills become laser-focused. It requires attention to detail — ensuring colors are exact, delivering designs exactly according to specifications — and where we start to experience the satisfaction of seeing the work come to life (in this case, giant 8×10-foot life!).
Step 3: Installation
Project managers are uniquely positioned to understand both the client perspective and each project’s quirks and moving pieces, because we have shepherded the process from start to finish and have built relationships with all the players.
It was important to me to be on-site for the installation process at Landus’ Innovation Center here in Des Moines. I could quality-check everything. I could problem-solve on the spot if issues arose. Most importantly, I could keep the client in the loop if there were changes or questions. This cements trust and ultimately delivers the best product.
The Landus goal was expansive: to unite cutting-edge agriculture technology, farmers, and urban audiences in a way that fosters collaboration and innovation. By the end of the project, we had not only delivered on our design promise — a swirl of mediums, formats, colors, and finishes, we had also been brought in on other decisions for the space, from furniture to mural artwork.
Kate Ross is Project7 Design’s Project Manager. As the title implies, she manages all of our projects and keeps p7 running like a well-oiled machine. She has a strong design background, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Columbia College in Chicago and more than 15 years of experience in the large format print industry in Des Moines.