Veteran Comox Valley graphic designer home at last — at home

Havers Design first opened its doors in 1983 on Fourth Street in Courtenay with about 200 square feet of space in a section of the building that is now home to Michael’s Off Main.

NEIL HAVERS shows off his new state-of-the-art Mac

Havers Design first opened its doors in 1983 on Fourth Street in Courtenay with about 200 square feet of space in a section of the building that is now home to Michael’s Off Main.

“I had a burning desire to make a living in a community I had recently fallen in love with,” Neil Havers says now. “Equipped with a drafting table, technical pens, pencils and paper I offered my graphic design services in a marketplace that was accustomed to receiving design services from sign shops. Needless to say it was a tough go at first but persistence prevails.”

This was not only before the age of computers, it was also before the age of fax machines.

“Pretty much everything I created back then was a combination of hand drawing on artboards combined with ‘letraset’ lettering,” adds Havers.

One of his first projects was a poster for the Renaissance Fair in 1984, the precursor of today’s Vancouver Island MusicFest, which he has been intimately involved with for many years.

“I have seen an amazing amount of change in the delivery of marketing services over the years,” he notes.

“It all started with the fax machine. My first one cost me $2,500. On purchasing it I was disappointed to realize that no one else had one yet! Not much later we were able to work with businesses throughout the Island and Lower Mainland, faxing design concepts back and forth, that was cutting edge back then. “

Then the personal computer came along. Havers started working on Macs in 1985, which cut down production costs immensely as well as allowing for more creative freedom. Then along came the internet and the use of email, slow at first but very exciting.

Needless to say the $2500 fax machine wasn’t looking so special anymore. This was soon followed by the introduction of websites, online purchasing, FaceBook, Twitter and other forms of social media. It became a whole new marketing world with its own language.

“Learning and understanding these new marketing delivery systems has been both a challenge and highly rewarding. The print industry has been dramatically reduced over the past ten years.

“Today. most of my time and energy, besides working on traditional branding and graphic design projects, is spent on website development, social media marketing and search engine optimization,” says Havers.

“What hasn’t changed is relationship building with clients, many of whom have become good friends over the years. Taking the time to get to know a client and understanding his or her vision of the direction they want their business to grow and earning their trust is very important. All the technology in the world can’t help you there.” adds Havers.

Now, 27 years later, Havers Design is making another move, this time to join the ranks of home-based businesses. Leaving his office on 11th Street, Neil is working out of his condominium, which offers a stunning view of the Courtenay River.

‘Technology (for better or worse) dramatically reduces the frequency of face-to-face meetings with clients, making the need for a storefront operation redundant. The delivery of marketing services may have changed dramatically over the years but my desire to express myself creatively hasn’t,” adds Havers, “I look forward to working with existing and new clients for many more years to come.”

— Havers Design

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Comox Valley Horseshoe Society all about friendly competition

Feeling lucky? Do you have horseshoes? The Comox Valley Horseshoe Society is… Continue reading

Fanny Bay residents fed up with problem house

A delegation from Fanny Bay has appealed to regional district directors to… Continue reading

Merville’s annual Garlic Fest a ‘stinking good time’

Once again, it is time to hold your nose and prance on… Continue reading

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Pitt Meadows woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

VIDEO: B.C. community rallies to save snared eagle

Revelstoke climber scales tree to save the raptor

Most Read