Messenger is the boutique design studio of award-winning Designer and Creative Director Laura Wills. Originally trained as a branding and packaging designer, Laura founded Messenger in 1999 in Toronto, Canada – the studio began as a digital agency that specialized in dot-com era start-ups, and evolved over the years into a well-versed branding studio with a love for design and ideas of all kinds.
Laura is first and foremost a Design Thinker, dedicated to question-asking, strategic investigation, and clear, compelling storytelling. Her clients consider her a valuable, collaborative partner, helping them to articulate and crystallize their vision, and bringing their dreams to life with skilled and beautiful visual systems.
Laura holds a BFA Specialized Honours in Visual Communication Design, with Distinction, from York University.
Beyond the Studio
In the last few years, Laura has been exercising her creative muscles beyond her client work, as a product designer on a couple of special projects near and dear to her heart.
Drawn Together and The Sketchbook Tour:
Laura created two signature projects out of her love of sharing creative experiences with the kiddos in her life. Drawn Together is now a product line of creativity kits including the much-loved Advent Calendar and Hanukkah calendar for families to share during the holidays. And the Sketchbook Tour, which began as a weekend drawing trip with her niece, has expanded into a fun, creative bonding event for groups of kids and adults alike.
In 2016, Laura’s brother Jeff was in a serious bicycle crash and broke his neck while cycling the Cent Cols Challenge (the world’s toughest amateur cycling tour) in the Pyrenees mountains. While he was recovering over the next few months, they hatched the idea for Jeff's “second-life” dream project and formed a new design collective called The Wills Kids. Less than a year later, they had designed and manufactured the first full season of high-end, super-cool cycling apparel and gear called REGGIE… which is now worn and loved by Reggie Riders all over the world.
Laura's work spans many disciplines – brand identity, packaging design, print, websites, environmental graphics, illustrations and more. Over the years, she has worked with big and small brands; with clients like Southbrook Vineyards, Butterfield & Robinson, UBC, Real Food for Real Kids, The Royal Conservatory, CBC Canada, and Nestle, as well as some of the most exciting artists and performers in Canada.
Awards & Recognition
Messenger has received awards and recognition from design competitions and publications all around the world, including Communication Arts, The Advertising & Design Club of Canada, Applied Arts Magazine, the London International Advertising Awards, Coupe Magazine, the National Post Design Exchange Awards, Marketing Magazine, HOW Magazine, Vines Magazine and a few big fat coffee table books about wine labels.