Behold, my portfolio.
How to hire (and pay!) Hotiron Creative
logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design logo design

ridiculous logos for hackers • brand identity • shirts • coins • stickers • ephemera • strait-laced branded stuff • packaging • exhibits • internet things • anything fit to print

Melanie Warner Melanie Warner

Hello, friend. I am Hotiron Creative. I design ridiculous logos for ridiculously brilliant people. For more than twenty years, I’ve slung vectors for a broad range of clients. In the aughts, I narrowed my focus to the tech industry. However, as happens to many a chaotic-good nerd, information security found me, hanging in the balance.

I love clever, thoughtful design that is visually striking, deceptively simple, meticulously executed, flexible, durable, and meaningful. My design has won awards and recognition, and it’s in production around the globe. I was on the cover of a magazine, and I’ve lectured on branding at NYU. I’ve designed products for Fortune 100 companies, and I built a multi-million dollar audio brand.

To communicate about a certain field or topic, either visually or verbally, one needs to understand it. Hackers* choose me because I understand their profession, and I understand them. They value good design, and they trust their peers. I choose them because they’re creative, intelligent, scrupulous, and punk af. We can make a difference in cybersecurity and have a great time doing it.
*security researchers who stop internet criminals

Let’s design a hotter brand.  |  SKIP TO THE BOTTOM

Clients

Alyssa Miller
@BiaSciLab
Blue Team Con
BSides Las Vegas
BSides RDU
Circle City Con
Circle City Crossroads
DEFCON: Blue Team Village
DEFCON: ICS Village
Digital Silence
Frontal Boundary
HackWest
no starch press
NolaCon
OWASP
PumpCon
Shostack + Associates
South Florida ISSA
Sticker the Planet
The CISO Track
The Diana Initiative
WPScan

 

Autonomic Controls
Bounce (P&G)
BSidesJXN
bugcrowd
Canon
Cedar Fair (FunTV)
Cellular One
Chiquita Foods
ClearOne Comm.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
DEFCON Group 201
DEFCON: SpeakerOps
Epson
F+W Media
Kodak
Mead Westvaco
NuVo Technologies
Ogilvy & Mather
OGIO
SAP
SeaPak
Slack

I am humbled by words people have written about my work. Here are some of those words.


brilliant

She’s brilliant and can do anything and do it beautifully.

—Serene Han
Senior Software Engineer, Google


amazing designer

[Melanie] is an amazing designer who makes some amazing $#!t

Meadow Ellis
hacker


razor-sharp strategic thinking

Melanie has an incredible grasp of brand strategy within--and beyond--design. Part brand designer, part marketing sherpa, she offers clients razor-sharp strategic thinking, guiding them to new, effective levels of integrated branding. Her special passion for technology helps tech clients hit the ground running without that grinding climb of the learning curve.

—Janice Hughes
Strategic Copywriter & Consultant
Hughes Writing & Consulting


organized creative leader

Melanie is an artful, organized, and detail-oriented creative leader. She is skillful in pursuing collaborative endeavors and always aims to achieve the best results for any challenge she faces while also listening to outside perspective as a means to arrive at the best solution. Her creative skill, experience, and expertise and sense provides a clear articulation of ideas which makes her a well-rounded, design-driven entrepreneur who is always hungry for the next big opportunity.

Jon Pacio
Brand Design Manager, Incase


build something meaningful

Melanie has great design approach and the drive to build something meaningful.

Tristan Bel
Founder, The Founder Institute


perfectionist

If I have to describe Melanie in one word, she is a perfectionist. Her attention to detail is hard to go unnoticed even if you are with her on non work related things. Her thoughts about Technology and entrepreneurship always echoed mine. We went to meetup groups, always chat about the next wave of technology and generally talk about how to constantly update/retool ourselves to keep pace with technology. She never sees an issue or a task as a single encapsulated entity but how it fits in the overall picture and that I think is very important quality that hardly gets noticed.

Rakesh Mandalapa
Web Developer, MTV Networks


an invaluable partner

Melanie is responsible for the identity of my company - she worked in her beautifully intuitive way to create just what I needed for my logo, web design, and all of the elements of design for the interior and exterior of my first book. She has been an invaluable partner.

—Jenifer Madson
author and entrepreneur


meets technical challenges head-on

Melanie is smart, very talented, and possesses a deep knowledge of human centered design and user experience. She is very comfortable meeting technical challenges head-on, is a resourceful collaborator, and is deeply curious about how things work. She has a tireless work ethic and is always committed to getting things done and having a real impact.

Doug Muise
Senior User Interface Design Specialist, SAP


knowledge of branding

Melanie has been a guest lecturer in my NYU course on "Positioning & Brand Development" several times, as well as an advisor on my brand consulting work. While her background is mainly in graphic design, she is unique for her comprehensive, yet practical knowledge of marketing and branding and her extraordinary creative talents. Compared to most designers who just focus on artful executions, Melanie starts with the brand concept and creates new themes and ideas that reflect the core brand personality and impression, so that ALL touchpoints and communication vehicles consistently reflect the brand message. The holistic impact is captivating and memorable. Melanie would be an ideal advisor to any company seeking a fresh creative approach to re-position a brand and/or market their product or services successfully.

Jay Grönlund
President, The Pathfinder Group, Inc.
Adjunct Professor, NYU-SCPS


dedication unlike anyone

Melanie is one of the very few people I've worked with that I would recommend to anyone. Her design sense, attention to detail and most importantly, her immense dedication is unlike anyone I've worked with.

Chris Heile
VP of Advertising, Hyperquake


top-quality work

Talented, knowledgeable, thoroughly professional. Melanie’s always delivered top-quality work for us, and I'd gladly hire her again.

Rob Simpson
VP, Creative Director, GJP Advertising


immaculate craft

Melanie's attention to detail and immaculate craft in production was really a lifesaver. She's definitely a pleasure to work with.

Christopher Ritter
Designer, Hyperquake


a dream to work with

Melanie has been a dream to work with on every project and position she has accepted from Creatives On Call. She provides our clients with great design options and provides the reps at Creatives On Call with peace of mind that the clients will be thoroughly satisfied. I would recommend her time and time again.

April Dimig Rainbolt
Owner and President
Creatives On Call


expertise in branding

I cannot recommend Melanie highly enough for her creativity and expertise in the area of brand design. She listens closely and offers more than one concept after thoroughly interviewing the client to assess the client’s vision of their business and its future. Hotiron Creative is a highly professional, yet thoroughly personable company to work with!

Lori Pierce
Owner, Lula's for Lunch... and More!


truly an out-of-the-box thinker

Melanie is a very creative person. She's incredibly talented and very good at what she does. She's extremely passionate about design and everything design-related as well as a typography expert (a.k.a. typography geek). She's open minded and very intelligent. Has a great personality and is someone you want to know. I would recommend anyone who has the chance to meet her, to do so, as she has a whole lot to offer in terms of personality and creativity. She's truly an out-of-the-box thinker.

—Natalia Pérez Wahlberg
Graphic Designer, Ormiga Design


superb production skills

Melanie's production and prepress skills are superb. She has a strong attention to detail and the ability to meet even the most pressing deadlines. It is always a pleasure to work with her.

Ruth Preston
Prepress Manager, F+W Media


professional, passionate

I have known Melanie Warner for two years as a business associate and fellow member of AIGA Cincinnati. Melanie is a highly professional, ethical and passionate designer. She offers clients truly creative solutions to a variety of visual communication needs. Her design savvy distinguishes her work offering sophisticated graphic concepts to her clients. She is an active member of AIGA Cincinnati participating and supporting events and programs that promote the field of design and give back to the community at large.

Mark Thomas
Education Director, AIGA Cincinnati
Professor, Art Academy of Cincinnati
Co-author of
Exploring the Elements of Design with Poppy Evans


the logo I am getting tattooed

It's f@¢%ing sexy. I'll have you know, that is the logo. THAT logo is the one I am getting tattooed on me.

Brendin Ross
Musician and Audio Engineer
Frontal Boundary


amazing layouts that sell

Melanie designed some amazing magazine layouts on really short notice for me when I worked at Writer's Digest. She also designed several entire special-interest publications for me, again, on really short notice. The SIPs had a very fresh, modern look and, as such, sold quite well.

Kara Uhl
Managing Editor
Writer's Digest magazine


legend

Melanie is a legend; best artist in our industry.

Steve Ragan
infosec journalist & researcher


exactly what you need

Melanie is extremely talented. What I value most about designers are those who can take a creative brief and breathe new life into an otherwise run-of-the-mill project. Her designs are sophisticated and she pays attention to every single detail. Moreover, she's extremely pleasant to work with and in this fast-paced, high-stress business. Melanie is exactly what you need!

Catherine Clay
Account Executive, GJP Advertising


part of the client’s team

Melanie works as part of the client’s team. When freelancing for Memory Makers Books, she was a creative problem-solver and an excellent communicator, working with us to figure out how we could get the jobs done together, either on tight budgets or tight deadlines or both. I feel confident entrusting her to projects because I know they will be done well and on time. Highly recommended.

Christine Doyle
Editorial Director, F+W Media


overwhelming feedback

Melanie is an expert in the graphic design field, so much so that we not only interviewed her for an article about design on Cincy Chic, we let her write the entire article from a subject matter expert standpoint because we value her expertise and credibility so much. The article got an overwhelming amount of positive feedback and is still one of most read/searched-for articles on our Web site. I recommend Melanie to anyone who wants to hire a leader and expert in the design industry.

Amy Storer-Scalia
Editor/Publisher, Cincy Chic


emphasis on client needs

Melanie is a super sharp and creative marketer who puts more emphasis on client needs and objectives versus just good design. Once she knows her clients, she then creates outstanding designs that represent them perfectly. I gladly recommend her.

Jennifer Panepinto
Owner, Market Write


produces the job successfully

I have known Melanie for quite awhile and recently had the opportunity to produce a printing project for her. She did an outstanding job making sure we had everything we needed to produce the job successfully, such as properly prepared computer files, mockups, and clear instructions. She is very conscientious, is quite knowledgeable, and pays very close attention to all the details. Melanie is definitely the person you should work with if you want to make sure your project is a success. I look forward to continue working with her in the future.

Gregg MacMillan
President, TechneGraphics


style, chemistry, flexibility

Melanie shows creativity, style, skill, chemistry, reliability, flexibility, and speed. She works hard at getting it right and attention to detail. Truly enjoyed working with her!

Sandra Vogel
President, VCC, Inc.


versatile + creative artist

Melanie is one of the most versatile and creative artists I know. Her work is both beautiful and modern and she has a real knack for expressing complex ideas in a clean design.

Melanie is extremely easy to talk to and takes great notes, which makes working through the initial visionary stages very comfortable and efficient. Throughout the project she asks great clarifying questions and is very accommodating in the revision process.

It is always a joy to work with Melanie and I look forward to having the opportunity to bring her in on a project again. I feel very fortunate to be able to recommend her to clients who desire to work with an extremely competent business woman who is also an award-winning artist.

Marjorie Signer
Owner: Austin, Berry, Sidders


keen eye for type + color

I hired Melanie to perform an array of design tasks as part of a very fast-paced new magazine launch. She delivered what I needed--and then some--on time and always with an awareness of how the work was going to be incorporated into the whole. She has a keen eye for type and color, great attention to detail, and is dedicated to delivering superior work.

Jane Beard
Editor, F+W Media


extremely pleased

Melanie for the past two years has designed our invitation and reply card and we have been extremely pleased with the results. She works was able to secure a paper donation and helped keep the cost down on each invitation. In the non-profit world that is huge. I would recommend Melanie to anyone wanting superior work.

Annemarie Barnett
Events Director
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation


unparalleled work ethic

Melanie went above and beyond on a recent project we worked on. I asked her to do "X" and she completed "Y" and "Z" before I had even thought of them! She's extremely proficient at design and her work ethic is unparalleled.

—Peg Stookey
Founder, The Legacy Center


heart for information security

Melanie has a great eye for design and a heart for the information security community. She has the ability to tie several themes in her designs and logos to tell a story. She created the design for the BSidesJackson 2016 logo, incorporating music themes along with hacking themes that perfectly represented the conference. I highly recommend Melanie to anyone looking for creative and meaningful designs in the security industry.

Chris Sistrunk
Principal Consultant,
Mandiant®, A FireEye® Company


detail, integrity, dedication

Melanie took on a deep project [Bounce, P+G] with fine detail and artistic integrity, and helped us put a strong product redesign on shelf with a great new look, and we couldn't have done it without her dedication. Her attention to detail through both the creative and production process was phenomenal.

Dan Barczak
Senior Brand Designer, Hyperquake


professional acumen

As President of AIGA Cincinnati, I have had the opportunity to interact with Melanie Warner on multiple occasions; most recently Melanie offered her insight and professional acumen having been chosen as a select participant in this year's Roundtable Discussion. AIGA Cincinnati has utilized the annual roundtable discussions as an effective way to gather and focus feedback from members at the local level on issues that are addressed while later meeting collectively at the local and national level.

As the Principal of Hotiron Creative, LLC, Melanie has been proactive in supporting AIGA Cincinnati and the design community at-large through her continued participation and willingness to offer her input and opinion which is always solicitous and genuine. I have come to recognize Melanie as a significant professional in the Cincinnati marketplace; it is without reservation and at the highest endorsement that I recommend Melanie Warner.

Patrick Schreiber
President, AIGA Cincinnati


on time + on budget

Melanie is a highly creative individual who always comes up with excellent concepts and follows through with great attention to even the smallest details. She has always delivered on time and on budget.

Michelle Perry
Owner, Incite Visual Communications


attention to detail

Melanie is an excellent designer and has a tremendous attention for details. She produces an excellent product and is a strong advocate for her customers. We enjoy working with Melanie.

Dave Sperry
Owner, Speedpro Imaging


makes graphic sense of it all

Melanie is able to take a general idea, and make graphic sense of it all. She is detail oriented, EASY to work with, creatively sound, and brings structure to almost every situation into which she is placed. I would heartily recommend Melanie as a design resource at pretty much every level.

Kenny Snowball
Design Director, Rocket Science


fabulous logo design

Melanie did a FABULOUS logo design and ad layout work. Very well done.

Jim Hyland
Owner, The Hyland Studio


the answer

The answer to logo designers is always [Melanie]

Ian Coldwater
hacker


knowledgeable, creative

Melanie is a fantastic graphic artist. Besides her amazing graphic art skills, she is an amazing Mac operator. Our company was having some challenges with a few of our Macs and she went above and beyond and was able to figure out the problem, which was no small task. She is a very personable, detailed and knowlegeable creative person. I would hire her again without hesitation.

Bill Landrum
Production Manager, dunnhumby


creative problem-solver

Melanie is an outstanding designer, with great creative problem-solving abilities. She is very knowledgeable about technology and production as well, so her designs are not only beautiful but effectively produced. It is also a pleasure working with her. I would highly recommend Melanie as a design professional.

Clare Finney
Senior Designer, F+W Media


innovative concepts

Melanie did a great job of coming up with an innovative concept, working within my budget, and meeting the production schedule. Her work is getting compliments from my consulting peers.

Heather Haley
Writer/Editor


among the best designers

Melanie is among the best graphic designers to work with. She not only does an excellent job with graphic design, I also relied on Melanie to be a project manager. I felt comfortable with Melanie being in charge of our largest client base, finding the right look/feel for the project, getting it done on time and in a professional manner. Great results, personable, expert in her field, excellent value, on time, high integrity and creative. Her attention to detail is remarkable and I highly recommend her.

Kristi Loeffelholz Edwards
Publisher,
Fons and Porter’s Quilting


ads that get results

I recommend Melanie to ALL my clients that need ads designed both for print and online properties. She is prompt, her ads create results and all my clients have expressed gratitude for recommending her.

Cristy Adamski
Advertising Manager, F+W Media


meets deadlines + budget

Melanie has completed multiple magazine projects for Writer's Digest. She's project-oriented, creative and consistently meets deadline and budgetary guidelines.

Maria Schneider
Editor,
Writer's Digest magazine


production, photography

Melanie is a hardworking professional who can efficienlty and effectively manage projects. She's very knowledgable about her craft and her attention to detail make her an asset for any design project. Her talents are many, from design, layout, digital production to photography, she approaches them all with the same artistic eye.

Jamie Markle
Publisher & Editorial Director
F+W Media


professionalism + creativity

I have had the opportunity of working with Melanie as a co-worker at Hyperquake and as a contractor for Hotiron Creative. Her level of professionalism and creativity made working with her a pleasure. I look forward to future collaborations and would highly recommend her to others.

KC Dunstan
Web Developer


incredibly talented

Melanie is an incredibly talented designer. She can take an industry she isn't very familiar with and can create an identity that meets her client’s every need.

Jo Moore
Owner, Jo's Sewing Studio


listens + understands

Melanie is a wonderful creative with the capacity to listen and understand what her clients want. Her work is on target and on message.

—Monika Roberts
Senior Account Manager
Creatives on Call

Design projects

Logo design, identity, brand guidelines, coins, stickers, ephemera, cheeseburgers, media kits, corporate stationery, sales and marketing materials, business forms, templates, packaging, product graphics, icons, diagrams, vector art, photography and art direction, exhibits, print and banner ads, publications, web and mobile interfaces, email newsletters, presentations, pitch decks, social media, promotional items, and conceptual, integrated campaigns.

Important notes
  1. Projects (and hence, design fees) do NOT include copywriting, code, audio, video, animation, or third-party commissions (such as photography or illustration).
  2. You are responsible for your own trademark search and filing.
  3. Your deposit is non-refundable.

How to hire Hotiron Creative

TL;DR: → Answer these questions. ←

After I receive your responses, we’ll kick off with a phone call, I’ll give you a cost estimate, and we’ll get to the heart of what your brand needs. You have all the answers, and it’s my job to ask the right questions, such as:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What three words best describe your company?
  • What makes you stand apart from your competitors?
  • What feeling should people get from your brand?
  • Where would your brand shop for clothing?
Please review the full questionnaire ahead of time, then get in touch.

How to pay

  1. PayPal
  2. Venmo
  3. Cash App
  4. Zelle, via email
  5. PO Box 5144, Jersey City, NJ 07305, USA
  6. cold, hard ca$h
  7. anything* but cryptocurrency

*not just anything

Design a hotter brand

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