Shay Read

Ken Garff Automotive: A History

Art Direction, Design, Environmental Graphics, Project Management, Strategy

Ken Garff Automotive is one of the largest dealerships in Utah, with several locations across the nation as well. This family-run business has a long, rich history that all started with Ken Garff and his first dealership back in 1932. The company wanted a museum-quality installation for their new corporate headquarters that celebrated the history and achievements of Ken and the subsequent Garff family, as well as the major growth and influence of the company as a whole.

I drove the bus on this project, starting with concepts and design back in 2017 during my time at Faktory, Inc. in Utah. I spent time at the Garff home filtering through family scrapbooks, studying their history and working with a copywriter and the Garff marketing team to identify and curate key events. I worked closely with the Garff family to present ideas, work through concepts and arrive at a design that satisfied a handful of different stakeholders.

I then picked the project up again a few months later after shifting gears to become the Associate Creative Director at Rainier Industries in the Seattle area of Washington to lead on manufacturing and installation. I project managed this portion from start to finish. I researched and selected all materials, coordinated site surveys and finalized design based on that data. I restored and color corrected all images, prepared close to 200 production files and samples, and worked with vendors and our own production staff to oversee that each piece came out correctly. I worked directly with the client, coordinating check-ins, meetings and approvals, and then flew to Utah to oversee the full install.

It was a daunting yet rewarding project that took about a year from start to finish. It turned out beautifully, however, and the Garff family and corporate staff have been thrilled with the results.

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