For a while, the “design guy” thing to do was curate a flawless feed of aesthetic logos on Instagram. But lately, I’ve been realizing this isn’t me. So I’d like to reintroduce myself as I start this blog, where I’ll be writing about freelancing, branding, and all things outdoors in the coming months. Thanks for following along!
I’m Doug. I’m a “Lancaster local” outdoor graphic designer, specializing in logo and apparel design. Thankfully, I’m also much more than that!
When I moved to Philly in 2017, I started my business by spending long, tireless days trying to make a name for myself, “hustling” hard and working myself to the bone... but one day, when I took my fiancé back to Lancaster to visit, I realized something: none of it means anything without what matters;
Hunting deer with my brother and Dad. Bringing the harvest home to my fiancé and fixing up a warm meal together. Mountain biking at sunrise and listening to the woods speak. Taking my dogs hiking when I should be working. Chicken barbecues at my PopPop’s farm. Sitting around a fire with my family, sipping whiskey and telling stories.
The opportunity to learn new things (right now: bass guitar). Home cooked dinners by Mom.
You know...the good stuff.
And so, we packed up our things and moved back to Lancaster (Central Pennsylvania) in pursuit of these precious experiences. I’ve spent the last 4 years deprogramming my “rise and grind” mind, and I’m happy to say it’s working:
After reconnecting with my brother, we launched Huegel Handcrafted, a family company specializing in gifts & goods made from wood & leather.
I started volunteering with my local conservancy to understand my impact on the environment and learn about the land I live on.
I proposed to my fiancé in November 2020, after a long and difficult year that only made us stronger.
I embarked on a journey to understand how to divest from my privilege: from white supremacy, homophobia and transphobia. I’ve learned about pronouns and how to best support my LGBTQ+ friends and family. I’ve learned about the role that racism and colonialism plays in the outdoor activities I love (grateful to my BIPOC teachers).
All of this would not be possible without nature. It was times spent in the outdoors that offered me the perspective I needed to understand that family, community, and quality of life come before my career and my reputation. It helped me understand that it’s not “all about me”, but that I am an important part of the greater whole.
When it comes to graphic design, it’s this philosophy that inspires me to create nature-based illustrations, logos, and apparel. But what really gives my work that extra dimension is the fact that I prioritize myself, my growth, and my community.
It helps me empathize with others, which helps me understand exactly what is needed to effectively communicate a brand and its mission.
And honestly, all deeper things aside, connecting with clients who feel the same way I do is just the coolest thing in the world.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more blog posts about nature, freelancing, and my design philosophies!
**The picture in the heading is one of my favorites. The meat I'm holding is from the first deer I ever harvested. The Hunters of Color shirt I'm wearing was worn when I took that very shot. That moment was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. It's also been equally important to come across a movement like HOC has created. Through inclusivity, mentorship and creating powerful conversations within the hunting industry they are able to get those in the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community out into the woods. Their views on getting those who thought they may never have the chance to hunt and explore nature couldn't be more spot on. They are my favorite organization out there and I can't say enough for all that they are doing in creating safe spaces for others to enjoy the outdoors.