About Us

Pulse Studio

Past

Pulse Studio got our start creating successful branded corporate events, tradeshows and exhibits.  We are passionate about creating branded experiential design from the overall physical experience down to the content you see on each screen.  With our backgrounds in architecture, engineering, film and animation we were able to take our clients ideas and turn them into beautiful designs visualized in 3d. This is all created with fresh modern designs while always working with our clients to make sure we are embodying the message and story they want to tell.

Present

Pulse serves as an extension of your design and IT departments. We work with our clients and their brand guidelines to create beautiful renderings, still images, custom video content, and motion graphics.  We believe in a collaborative process between our clients and producers ensuring their satisfaction with the design and messaging we are creating.  We have taken our roots of designing 3dimensional branding experience and have evolved to help our clients create everything from the physical design down to the graphics, video content and interactive elements.

Future

Our combined experience has created a base for us to understand our client’s brands and turn those brands and stories into customer experiences.  We are taking that all a step further to push digital content further for our clients.  Digital signage is no longer just a passive experience of showing static and video images.  We now want to interact with our content through touchscreens, NFR tags, motion sensors, tablets, social media integration and more.  That is just the beginning, every day we are looking at new technology to help our clients engage their customers.  The more engaging the experience, the more brand awareness.

2017 Summary (so far…)

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Repeat clients

Meet The Team

  • Tom Munz
    Tom Munz Principal / Creative Director

    Tennis. Buffalo Trace. Goonies. Eminem.

    Get to know Tom

    What brought you to Pulse Studio?

    My career started in Architecture, I feel in love with the design of physical spaces.  I have worked in both large and smaller architectural design studios working on everything from corporate interiors to churches to the Wrigley Building in Chicago.  While working in the architectural world I starting moonlighting for the event design industry, designing corporate event, tradeshow booth and corporate theater, something about the world of corporate event drew me in and I never looked back.  I think it is a combination of the speed of the projects, the freedom of design and the idea that every project is unique and forces you to learn more to push the design further.  In 2006 I started Pulse studio, a studio created to work with production and event companies to be an extension of their design team, to create stunning 3d rendering to help them tell their story and visualize what something will look and feel like when it becomes a reality.

    What’s your position within Pulse Studio?

    As the owner of the company I have to wear many hats, but on the project side I am the head of creative.  I am heavily involved at the beginning of each project to concept and architect the experience.  Working with different clients and brands I make sure that we start and finish with a design that embodies the client’s brand, their story and their company culture.

    Something fun about me?

    I play tennis several times a week, I played in High School and have recently gotten back in to it.

    Where did you go to school?

    I graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelors of Architecture and a Bachelors of Environmental Design.

    3d?

    My 3d world started in college, in architectural design school I really felt strongly that we should design in 3 dimensions, not just in plan and elevations.  I started in FormZ and then quickly transitioned over to 3ds max.

  • Christopher G Fry
    Christopher G Fry Principal / Project Manager

    Building. Whiskey Bird Dog. Kung-Fu Hustle. Vampire Weekend.

    Get to know Christopher

    What brought you to Pulse Studio?

    After graduation I went to Western Illinois University on a scholarship to work in the set shop for my freshman year.  It was one of the best experiences I ever had.  I learned so much about set design and construction while I was there.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in so I came back home and went to school at Columbia College of Chicago for Computer Animation.  When I wasn’t in school I worked as an AutoCAD draftsman for a land surveying company.  I moved up to become a designer at engineering firm.  I worked in the office as a draftsman, out in the field on survey crews and became their in-house graphics/web guy.  Part of my job was to layout new construction homes.  I learned a lot about spatial planning and detailing during this time.  While I was at the engineering firm I started freelancing/moonlighting with Tom Munz.  I helped support his projects with 3d modeling and drafting on his projects.  In 2008 work slowed down and I went from full time to part time with the engineering company and had the opportunity to work more with Pulse Studio.  In 2010 I took the leap and went full time with Tom.  We started going after new clients by networking and attending industry events.  I found that getting our own work was challenging and rewarding.  That was the chain of events that brought me to this point.  I think what brought me to Pulse Studio was the desire to take charge of my own future and do something I love.  If we aren’t successful that means that I am not trying hard enough.  I want to be someone that is known for meeting impossible deadlines and still creating quality work.  I get to do that at Pulse Studio.

    What’s your position within Pulse Studio?

    I am a principal at Pulse Studio but am involved in all areas.  I get to be a project manager, set designer, draftsman, 3d modeler, web designer, graphic artist, video editor, marketer, IT guy, programmer, and carpenter.  I usually get to be all those in the same day.  I pursue new clients for Pulse. I enjoy talking to people at networking events and connecting them to Pulse Studio so we can help them.  Every day presents new challenges here.  I’ve never been bored and am excited to come here every day.

    What most excites you about your work & the contribution you can make?

    One of my favorite parts of my job is after we finish a project and we get images from the client or social media of the event that we designed.  When you get to see people experiencing an event from the trade-show booths, events or corporate sets we’ve design it’s like wow people experience what we designed.  It’s impressive to see something that evolved from paper sketches to CAD drawings and then renderings comes to life.

    Any volunteer activities you’re involved in?

    I’ve been involved with the Kiwanis Club of Lisle for the past few years.  As a club member we raised money to help local charities as well as support local families that were going through hard times.  Through Kiwanis I was introduced to Family Shelter Service.  http://www.familyshelterservice.org/  My club had done some service projects for them and as I found out about how they served the community I was hooked.  I am not a victim, but if you listen to any of their stories you would instantly want to become an advocate to stop domestic violence.  I talked with Tom and we decided to donate our video creation services to their annual gala.  The goal of the Gala is to help raise money to fight domestic violence in DuPage County.  We have done this for the last 2 years and look forward to working for such a good cause.

    Outside of work what do you like to do?

    I am interested in Archery and Target shooting.  I have no interest in killing anything, I just appreciate the marksmanship skill.  I have a wooden recurve bow that I like to do target practice with.  We did the lumber jack experience and now I think I can throw axes like I belong in Game of Thrones.  I enjoy a good bonfire sitting with friends and having a good time.  I want to get into carving.  I think that goes with sitting around a fire, but I have a long way to go.  The first time a tried carving, I wanted to make an Easter Island face out of a 4x4x8 block.  I was going along using a chisel and mallet and was making progress.  It took me a while but I started shaping the nose.  With the next hit broke the nose clear off and it shot across the garage.  I was pretty upset because carving doesn’t have an undo button like modeling on the computer.  I enjoy being outside in the fall and building or fixing things around my house.  My kids want a new tree house.  The only problem is that we’ve been watching American Ninja Warrior and they want all the obstacles integrated into it.  That’s my next challenge.

  • Kevin Lyle
    Kevin Lyle Experiential Designer

    Traveling. Hefeweizen. Star Wars. Blink-182.

    Get to know Kevin

    What brought you to Pulse Studio?

    I graduated in 2013 with my B.Sc. in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of California. One week later, I moved to Leipzig, Germany where I worked as a freelance visual designer funding my passion for traveling. I’ve explored cities, listened to languages, ate food, met people and took inspiration from countries such as Russia, Italy, and the UK. After heading back home to the US and wanting to find a studio to work with, I contacted Pulse Studio and got an interview!

    What inspires you?

    Growing up, I was the kid who took apart computers and electronics just so I can see what was inside and find out how they worked. That is why 3D Modeling and rendering is my harmony. Creatively modeling while technically setting up renders. When there’s a problem, I just take it apart to find out how to fix it.

    What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work & the contribution you can make?

    The amount of patience and dedication each model requires is quite high. That is why I am careful with each product I model so absolute accuracy is in place. I want to help individuals visualize their ideas and I work very hard to make that happen.

  • Melanie Alvarez
    Melanie Alvarez Designer

    Melanie is currently on sabbatical in Mexico and won’t send in her answers

    Get to know Melanie

     

  • Barbie Morris
    Barbie Morris Designer

    Getting lost in a good novel – Coffee – 10 Things I Hate About You – I really hate this question. Gun to my head I’d have to go with Imogen Heap

    Get to know Barbie

    What makes me excited about Event design?

    The most exciting part about designing events would be getting to see your designs come to life. It’s one thing to have a 3d render of the stage design you slaved over, but getting to see the stage come to life and know that hundreds / thousands of people get to experience something that you created is life changing.

    What are you good at?

    Pffft everything…. Duah

    (Don’t hate.. I’m not really this self-centered…Kinda)

    What makes me unique?

    Well, have you ever had a conversation with a sassy toddler that has the mouth of a sailor and witty retorts? I didn’t think so. Honestly though, I think that my uniqueness comes from the fact that I have an easy time getting along with any and every one. Creating a fun and playful work environment while also meeting deadlines is my perfect balance.

    Position in the company:

    • First and foremost a designer and 3D modeler
    • Music coordinator for office ambiance (Not always welcome)
    • Sole receiver of crap, and giver of sass

    Where did you go to school?

    I started off as a nursing major at Ball State University, but after an anatomy class that involved a very graphic video.. I decided that nursing was not for me.

    I soon transferred the The Illinois Institute of Art Chicago and graduated with a Bachelors in Media Arts and Animation in March.

     

  • Dan Kuharchuk
    Dan Kuharchuk Sr. Designer

    Everything Automotive! – Good ol’ Rum+Coke – Star Wars – Ep V. Empire Strikes Back – Primus

    Get to know Dan

    What brought you to Pulse Studio?

    I’ve always loved to create. Growing up, I was the kid who doodled in the margins of my math tests and repainted my action figures and Hot Wheels the way I wanted them. Going into a creative field was a natural path for me. After receiving my BFA in Game Art and Design, I experienced positions in interior design, architectural visualization, and 3D animation. My love of collaboration brought me to teaching college level digital design at North Central College and Tribeca Flashpoint Academy. Then, I explored life as a freelance/contract designer for a few years where I got to work with many different teams on all kinds of creative projects around the country!
    My diverse experience and ability to design in a range of industries eventually lead me towards experiential marketing and events. After years in the fast paced world of proposals, budgets, client presentations, and onsite execution I landed a Pulse Studio to continue to push myself creatively.

    What inspires you?

    I am inspired by the people around me. I love collaboration. Taking small ideas and developing them into something big, is incredibly satisfying to me. I’m a “think out loud” kind of person, and I love refining and perfecting all the little details. Working with others to create something more than the sum of the parts and seeing ideas come to life are what it’s all about.

    Outside of work what do you like to do?

    I am a HUGE gearhead. From production cars to racecars I love all the engineering and design that goes into every component. From birth my Dad has been taking me to car shows, races, even car dealers to check out what’s new. Literally, I was 3 days old when they took me to my first cruise night. From economy cars to hyper cars, if it has an engine, I’m in.

    What hobby would you like to get into?

    I have wanted to get into airbrush art for years. When I was a teenager my parents bought be an airbrush set, and I am embarrassed how little I have used it. Whenever my Dad and I see some crazy hotrod with some over-the-top flame paint job he pushes me with a,” You know… you could do that.”

  • Darren Powless
    Darren Powless Designer

    Sketching – Coffee – Justified – Hillsong

    Get to know Darren

    What brought you to Pulse Studio? 

    Much of my previous design experience had been freelance and working in the exhibit industry, always having the desire to push my work more and more into the conceptual realm.  When I crossed paths with Pulse Studio, I instantly realized that I would have the opportunity to work more conceptually while utilizing my most personally valued skills; that I could continually learn how to push the limits of these skills while picking up new ones along the way.

    Where did you go to school?  University of Illinois at Chicago

    What makes you excited about event design?

    The opportunity to work conceptually implementing various skills such as 3D modeling and sketching to create visually stunning interactive environments.

    What are you good at?  Sketching, 3D modeling, and photography

    What inspires you? I am inspired by people, places and things.

    Outside of work what do you like to do? Sketching, photography, spending time with family.

     

  • Alex Stretar
    Alex Stretar Designer

    Alex is so new we have to teach him how to type.  Once he masters that we’ll get his bio up here.

  • Jeff Waggoner
    Jeff Waggoner Graphic Lead

    Playing Guitar. Zombie Dust. Caddyshack. The Velvet underground.

    Get to know Jeff

    What brought you to Pulse Studio?

    I was a successful, freelance designer for 8 years, prior to joining Pulse. When given the opportunity to work here, it was something I couldn’t pass up. The creative team at Pulse has inspired me to take my craft a step further.

    What inspires you?

    When I find myself stuck in a design rut, I like to look at my kids’ artwork. It pushes me to think more outside box and reminds me that it’s okay to break the rules once in a while. Music is also an inspiring and motivating factor in my design work, as well as in my life.

    Where can we find you when you’re not working? What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?

    Outside of work, I’m hanging out with my family, running the kids around, working in the yard, playing guitar, or trying a new craft beer.

    How long have you been doing what you do?

    I’ve been doing graphic design for 18 years. My first design job was creating ads and graphics for my college newspaper, The Daily Vidette, at Illinois State University.

    Something fun about you?

    I spent two years living in the Colorado Rockies where I had many outdoor adventures, such as, backcountry snowboarding under a full moon.

    Also…Drinking beer while watching Mama Mia.

  • Wrigley Munz
    Wrigley Munz Designer....sort of

    Bark bark. Bark bark bark. hoooooooooooowwlll… Bark bark bark… bark. SQUIRREL!?

    Find out why we love Wrigley

     

    Wrigley still needs to write hers… she tells us that writing her bio is on “paws” until she finds herself (and learns how to type).

     

Want to join the team?

We are always on the lookout for passionate designers to join our in-house team. Take a look at our open positions. If you see one that you think you would be amazing at, we’d love to hear from you!

Do you want a position other than what is listed in our open positions? Send us a freelance application and tell us about yourself and why you want to work with Pulse.

Contact Us

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