PlainJoe logo

You can create a business, choose a name, but unless people know about it you're not going to sell any products.

Richard Branson
The basic rule of storytelling is 'show, don't tell.'

Julianna Baggott

Plain Who?

PlainJoe: A Storyland Studio are a team of down-to-earth designers, artists, architects, strategists, specialists, and problem solvers who design branded experiences in the faith and nonprofit sectors. We’re experts at designing brand identities, interactive experiences, architecture, and physical spaces that connect story, create value, and captivate audiences.
It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. -Walt Disney

Areas of Expertise

Below you’ll find a detailed overview of the strategic, digital, and spatial services we offer. Select any single-service offering, or combine our services to create a fully immersive experience for your guests.

Strategic Storytelling

  • Brand and Communication Audits
  • Naming
  • Brand Architecture
  • Positioning and Personality
  • Logo and Identity Systems
  • Strategic Messaging and Brand Voice
  • Print and Packaging Design
  • Brand Guidelines
  • Brand Story Workshops and Training
  • Production and Implementation

Spatial StorytellingSM

  • Architecture
  • Master Planning
  • Interior Design
  • Immersive Theming
  • Attraction Design
  • Placemaking and Identity Graphics
  • Wayfinding Systems
  • Digital Integration
  • Augmented Reality

Digital Storytelling

  • Custom Web Development
  • UI - Design (Web and App)
  • UX - User Experience Design
  • Database and System Integrations
  • API Development
  • Content Strategy
  • Augmented Reality
  • New Media
storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it. -Hannah Arendt
storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today. -robert mcafee brown

What We Value

The impact we make on the world determines our core values, which fuel the way we work. We’re passionate about building high-trust relationships not only within our team, but with our clients, too. Here’s a brief overview of the values we strive to embody.


  • Elevate and serve the needs of others.
  • Champion clarity.
  • Close the loop.
  • Anticipate what’s next.
  • Love enough to be honest.
  • Steward like you own it.


  • Provide what’s right, not just requested.
  • Focus on the way forward.
  • Acknowledge our limits.
  • Fight for collaboration.
  • Encourage divergent thinking.
  • Keep improving.


  • Believe in something bigger than yourself.
  • Be uniquely you.
  • Live life together.
  • Choose loyalty, even to a fault.
  • Treat every day like it’s casual Friday.
  • Break bread often.
I like narrative storytelling as being part of a tradition. a folk tradition -bruce springsteen

How We Tell Your Story

We use “Story Circles” to articulate your organization’s unique story. Each circle helps us capture foundational aspects of your distinct narrative.

We’ll work with you to:

  • Discover the Setting
  • Define the Characters
  • Uncover the Plot

Your story will emerge where these circles intersect.

What Our Clients Are Saying

Spaces evoke powerful feelings. Sometimes we are aware of how our surroundings affect us and other times we are not, but we are still impacted. A space can help us feel welcome and even inspire joy or faith. It’s important to spend our resources on environments that reflect our deepest values because we spend so much time in them. I’m thankful for creative people like Mel and his team who push the envelope and haven’t given up on creating our sacred spaces.
Jud Wilhite
Central Church
Our vision for the community is to see it transformed, to see it become more vibrant and connected than ever before.
Dean Groetzinger
Senior Pastor
True North Church
We’re a traditional camp and conference center, but we needed a fresh set of eyes to look at our spatial design and wayfinding. PlainJoe Studios came in and painted a vision for our future. They upped our game. It’s been a tremendous partnership. It’s enhanced us and people are really impressed. They’ve said, ‘This isn’t like any other camp we’ve been to,’ and I would attribute that in large part to PlainJoe and helping us take it to the next level.
Jim Blake
Alliance Redwoods Director
When I look around at the new design of our campus and our new worship center, I can’t help but feel joy and excitement for the people in our community and in our city who will come and learn about Jesus Christ. I think we’ve succeeded in creating a warm and welcoming environment that honors God in all the details, big and small. And we’ve built this new worship facility not only for the lives that will be transformed for Christ today, but also for future generations.
Dudley Rutherford
Shepherd Church
Summit is located in Reno/Sparks, Nevada which is nestled next to the towering Sierra Nevada Mountains. The mountain vibe permeates our valley. As a result, for our church to speak the language of our community, it is vital to reflect the outdoors “mountain house” theme. The mountain-themed environments at Summit put people at ease and help them to feel like our church is a place they can relate with. In many ways, the architectural themes at Summit open the door so they can hear theGospel more clearly!PlainJoe Studios has been an incredible team to work with! They areamong the most creative and talented people I’ve ever met!
Steve Bond
Summit Christian Church
We refused to build inside the old paradigm: member-only club, open one day per week. What if we came together and leveraged our resources and combined our generosity to build something that could be received by our community as a gift?
Josh McPherson
Grace City Church
It gives us a chance to flip the paradigm from one where the church occupies a building and tries to convince the community to come inside, to building something for the community to occupy, and inviting the church in.
Tim Spivey
New Vintage Church
Our project was built on a 100+ year old dairy farm with multiple barns, farmhand residences, and an old dairy building that had fallen into disarray. It was a decaying rotting skeleton of something that had once been thriving and necessary for the community. Mel helped us develop a vision for the property that would tell the story of how God can restore our dry bones in our spiritual lives through the restoration and development of this old campus into something new and thriving again.
Chris Coli
CrossWinds Church
It seems that whatever we step into together, the Gospel ripples out from there bringing light, life and freedom to those we serve. We captured this concept with concentric circles rippling out throughout the building and even in front of the building. The story of the Gospel redeeminga community is being told even as you park your car.
Renault van der Riet
Mosaic Church