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Having fun at Zao is one of our values. We’ve put limited animated flourishes throughout our site to communicate our love of levity. We also recognize that onscreen movement is not fun or possible for everyone. We've turned off all our animations for you per your browser's request to limit motion. That said, we don't want you to miss out on the party.

Here's a funny joke to enjoy!

What do you get when you cross a dyslexic, an insomniac, and an agnostic?

Someone who lays awake at night wondering if there is a dog.

Get to Know Our Contractors: Ian Bixby

We recently did a series highlighting the core Zao team so you could get to know us better. We often partner with other experts in our industry, and since we’re all about building long-term relationships, we like to work with our contractors over and over again. For our end of the year, we want to highlight a few of the great contractors we’ve worked with over the past year and are continuing to work with now.

Meet Ian Bixby:

Who are you?

I am a graphic designer, creative consultant, illustrator, and musician living in Portland, Oregon.

Where do you live?

SE Portland, Oregon

It’s rare to find the type of person that blows you away with how consistently good they are. Ian fits that bill. Ian is one of very few designers I’ve worked with over the last ten years who I have absolutely loved. I love that he is consistently excellent, consistent in his communication, and an absolute joy to work with.

-Justin Sainton, Zao Founder

What do you do?

As a graphic designer, I help brands communicate to their clients and customers in a visual way.

Basically, I make things look awesome and quickly understood [by the person viewing it].

See my work here.

What’s your connection to Zao?

Currently, I’m creating blog images and team avatars.

I have been outrageously blown away by Ian. His creativity is off the charts, but partnered with his quick turnaround, follow through, and overall being-on-top-of-things, he has struck the best of balances. I’d recommend him to any client or colleague in the field. Every time I see his Slack channel light up, I know I’m in for a good surprise.

-Liz Karaffa, Zao Front-End Developer

What do you like best about your job?

The people at Zao have been nothing but great and illustration work is my favorite!

How do you take your coffee?


Although up until one month ago a little almond milk was my jam.

What are your hobbies?

I’m a RockNRoll drummer!

Editor’s note: Ian plays in a band called The Reverberations and they are nothing short of amazing. Get your psychedelic 60s inspired rock on this holiday season (and if you get a chance to see them live, make sure you go–they are fantastic). 

What is your Myers-Briggs?


What do you mean “life is boring?” Are we living on the same planet?

What is something “insignificant” or silly that you feel passionately about?

Parkas and paisley shirts. I have a large collection of 50s, 60s, and 70s parkas, and at least one paisley shirt for everyday of the week.

What is one great article or book you’ve read recently?

I’d say Simple logo design and the  interview with Sagi Haviv on Logo Design Love.

I met Ian through a social community about a year ago, and while I thought he was a cool guy, I had no idea just how broad his range of talents were. Between his work as a musician and his work as a designer, it’s impossible to deny that Ian is an astoundingly talented and dedicated creative person. When partnered with his follow through and excellent communication skills–wow! Talk about an amazing combination. Can’t recommend him enough.

-Lizz Ehrenpreis, Zao Project Manager

What is your favorite podcast or TV show and why?

Not a huge fan of TV, but I’d say Game of Thrones because I’m a bit of a fantasy nerd. I don’t listen to many podcasts, but sometimes I listen to Under the Skin with Russell Brand because I like his views on recovery work. I also sometimes listen to Desert Oracle, because it’s about the magical desert life in and around Joshua Tree–there’s usually some weird stuff going on and the host has a rad cadence and delivery.

What is one piece of advice you’d have for someone who wants to do the same kind of work as you?

Immerse yourself in design, ask for feedback from people you respect in your field… and listen to them. Believe in yourself, get inspired, practice practice practice, work work work, then share that work. If you get discouraged, take a break and step away, and when you come back to the work be objective and believe in yourself again.

If you had to describe working with Zao in three words or less, what would you say?

Fun fun fun. Or ‘fun times three’ if you’d like different words. 🙂

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