9 Lives Design

July 7, 2020 - When people think of an award winning graphic design company, it is hard not to automatically picture it being located in big cities like Toronto or Vancouver. However, creativity also lives in the North and 9 Lives Design is an award winning graphic design company with small offices in North Bay, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta.


Raised in North Bay and a former cross-country skier for Team Canada where he competed at eight world championships, Dave Nighbor is the creative director and co-owner of 9 Lives Design. While obtaining a Bachelor of Design degree from York University and Sheridan College with formal training in fine arts, graphic design and interactive media, Dave, was also building his business.

From starting off as a freelance graphic designer, Dave worked hard to develop 9 Lives Design into the award winning graphic design company it is today. Over the course of his career he has been able to build a customer base that consists of both national and local clients, while also being the recipient of various awards. In 2018, 9 Lives design was the recipient at the Northern Ontario Business awards for company of the year (1-15 employees). They were also an ICSC silver winner at Global Awards Canada in 2016.

So, what exactly does 9 Lives Design specialize in? Well, they specialize in providing quality web design and branding for their clients. For both web design and branding, they break it down into three areas of focus. For web design, they focus on animation, responsive design and content management and for branding, they focus on logo design, branded assets and brand guidelines.

Now, when it comes to first impressions, as a company, your website is the first line of contact between you and your new client, which is why it is important for them to feel connected to your message right away. They should feel confident in what your company does after viewing your website, with no confusion about what you do. 9 Lives Design helps bring your company’s website and message to life through animation. They design every movement and interaction on your future site with the goal of making your audience feel connected. This is where the responsive design aspect comes into play because 9 Lives Design believes in designing mobile first. Mobile devices are often what people use to find what they are looking for, which means your future clients are likely checking out your site for the first time, from their phone, so it is important to make sure the design is right. The last area of focus for web design is, content management. 9 Lives Design customizes content management systems for each client. This allows clients to update their website without the fear of potentially messing up the site or the formatting.

Memorable. When it comes to branding, that is exactly the kind of logo you want to have associated with your brand because a logo is a huge part of your brands image. This is why you want to ensure your logo is an accurate representation of your business. At 9 Lives Design, they start off each project with a carefully engineered marketing strategy and give their all to help design the identity that is going to make your business successful. Finally, they help with brand guidelines, this means they customize a brand guideline website just for you, this helps keep you organized by having your design files stored in one place so they are easily accessible.

When Dave isn’t designing websites and brands, you can find him exploring graphic design as an expressive art form or being the Assistant Coach for the Nordic Ski Team at Nipissing University.

This is what it means to have a successful company in a creative field and be nationally known, while still residing in the north.

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Christina Fera is a Communication Officer at NPI.

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