03.26.2017

Nick Brucker Named in WHIRL Magazine’s”Pittsburgh 13 under 30″

PITTSBURGH – In February 2017, CEO and President of Sparq Designs Nick Brucker was named one of WHIRL Magazine’s “13 Under 30” in Pittsburgh.

Each year, WHIRL selects 13 individuals that are ambitious go-getters who spread progress throughout the city or Pittsburgh.

Brucker boasts a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing, as well as a master’s degree in mass media and communications. This training and education gave him all of the tools needed to create Sparq Designs.

At Sparq Designs, Brucker has cultivated a team to develop and execute strategic marketing plans for regional, national and global brands. He has grown his team of creatives from two to 16 in just four years. With this group, Sparq has landed eight national brands.

“We’ve been extremely fortunate when finding great people who have helped develop a corporate culture for the company. The most gratifying part of starting this business is building a team to scale and grow at a larger level,” said Brucker. “I enjoy the opportunities that Pittsburgh has to offer. It is a great place to start a business, and meet driven and passionate people who are willing to help one another out. It is a city that has a great deal of talent when it comes to art, culture, food, and music.”

The next goal for Sparq Designs is to become one of the top marketing agencies in Pittsburgh in the next three years, as well as expand into more verticals to reach clients more effectively in different areas of marketing, such as sports, retail and medical.

Sparq Designs is a full-service marketing agency based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sparq Designs caters to clients of all industries, but specifically in the medical, sports & entertainment, and consumer world. 2018 is Sparq’s fifth year in business. Since 2013, Sparq has grown rapidly into a team of 16+ employees. Sparq Designs’ services include but are not limited to: Web Design, Web Development, Search Engine Optimization, Graphic Design, Social Media Management, Email Marketing and Video Production.

11.30.2016

My Summer in the Bullpen

In baseball, the bullpen is where pitchers warm-up and prepare before entering a game. The bullpen is a critical and essential space for pitchers because if they don’t properly prepare before entering the game, they could injure their arm and/or give up hits that may cost their team the win.Internships for students are like the bullpen for pitchers. An internship provides students with a taste of “real world experience” by working in a career that they hope to pursue after graduation.

sparq-designs-bullpen

The Bullpen at Sparq Designs

It is a stepping stone to network with industry thought leaders, an opportunity to apply the skills you’ve learned in the classroom directly to the working environment, and to contribute your unique skills to the company as it flourishes in success. Getting a job these days is very competitive and having an internship will not only set you apart from other candidates, but they are important for college students to gain valuable experience before entering the workforce.

At the beginning of the summer, Nick, President of Sparq Designs transformed a hallway storage closet into a revolutionary and modern looking office where the interns could work collaboratively to create and execute ideas. From that point on, Jim, the company Vice President, declared the interns’ office to be known as “the bullpen.” As an intern I shared the bullpen with Andrew, the other Sparq intern for the summer, and we had many laughs, meaningful conversations, and were able to help and advise each other with various tasks and projects. It was such a rewarding experience to not only learn alongside Andrew, but to also gain a true and genuine friendship.

As the Digital Marketing Intern for Sparq Designs, my responsibilities included designing content that would be displayed across various social media platforms, being sent out on photo shoots, updating content on websites, and a parachute of additional tasks. It was so rewarding to see an idea that you thought of in a brainstorming session being displayed in a business or the utilization of meaningful engagement created for social media. Even though I was an intern I felt like a valued member of the team and was contributing to the overall mission, vision, and success of Sparq Designs.

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Sparq’s Summer 2016 Interns, Bri & Andrew

An instance that I remember vividly in my mind is when we developed a marketing video concept in a morning meeting for one of our clients, Glass Gone Wow. By mid-day, we shot and edited the video and by the end of the work day, we were able to see audience engagement from the video across their social media accounts. It was amazing to see the birth of an idea in a morning meeting and then see it come to fruition in a matter of hours.

Some of my favorite memories from the summer included the adventures we had walking to Whole Foods on our lunch break, conversations over $10 salads and Guru Energy Drinks. Having the chance to get to know the Sparq team on a personal level outside of the working environment made my internship experience even more enjoyable.  

After completing my summer internship at Sparq Designs, I feel that the experience I gained has prepared me for when the manager calls the bullpen, and tells me, it’s my time to enter the game.


At Sparq Designs we thrive on our ability to create and foster relationships; relationships between brands and consumers, and the relationships between our clients and ourselves. Internships are one of the most valuable experiences a student can gain during their undergraduate studies. While classroom work is important, real experience can help get your foot in the door when you enter the workforce. Learn about internship opportunities at Sparq Designs here.
10.26.2016

How to Boost Creativity in the Workplace

Creativity is not limited. Often more than not there are people from various industries who insist they are “not creative” and that is usually followed up with the notion that they are “not artistic.” Surely they do go hand in hand. However in the broad spectrum of “the workplace,” creativity is useful in any industry and is not whatsoever limited to just art. Creativity is where ideas come about and then are crafted into something productive. No matter the type of workplace you are coming from, there are a few suggested ways of how to boost creativity in the workplace.

Add color to your office.

Imagine a dentist’s office. Immediate anxiety, right? If your working environment looks similar, consider adding some color, graphics, and warm colors. An office that consists of charts, numbers and white space restricts the mind and its creative capabilities. With the addition of color, people naturally thrive and are inspired by the atmosphere. 

Workplace Creativity

Wall decals are a simple and effective way to add a creative spark to the office.

Take a look at the emotions associated with the colors below and consider adding accents of different colors to your office space.

  • Red- Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, and determination as well as passion, desire, and love. It is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. It is a color found in many national flags. It brings text and images to the foreground. Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions.
  • Orange- Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, the sunshine, and the tropics. It represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. It increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity.
  • Green- Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. It has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money. Green has great healing power. It is the most restful color for the human eye.
  • Blue- Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

It is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. It is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.

Think Outside the Box

Use the “Hot Seat” method.

There are plenty of people who are disgusted by the thought of being attached to the same desk and chair every day. Let’s finally fix this. Employees are going to work better when they are comfortable and can sit (or even stand) somewhere that will help them be more productive. When people are having a mental block or need a change of scenery it is nice to have the option of moving to a different spot. Whether that is sitting at the conference table, sitting outside, pulling a chair up to a bookshelf or even sitting on the floor. People naturally thrive in environments that make them feel comfortable.

Make time for brainstorming.

This is where the magic happens- when one idea blossoms into the award-winner. Set aside time each day or week for everyone to come together and brainstorm. This is the time for people to voice ideas, opinions and general thoughts. To take advantage of this brainstorming opportunity, employees can catch up on each other’s projects and progress. With input and discussion, ideas are often unleashed that would have maybe been overlooked and can now be put into motion.

Be critical.

If people are not constructively critical of each other’s work, then that certain project may be missing out on its full potential. Throughout a project or assignment, it’s useful to schedule critiques or spontaneously initiate them if the individual working on the project is stuck. Some people are hesitant to give critiques to their peers and some take criticism to the heart, but it is an extremely useful tool when developing an idea or project. People who participate in critiques expose their work to numerous pairs of eyes, skill-sets, and backgrounds that can pick out details that were overlooked and suggest alternative ideas that will push the project in a positive direction.

Create a safe environment for questions.

Remember when you were in the third grade and every single kid’s hand was raised high and proud? Then as you approach higher levels of education, those hands slowly started to lose confidence and then eventually there were no more curious questions or answers for the teacher’s questions. After being told “no” for numerous years of education, and when kids discover embarrassment, the hands go down. So, naturally, the average person becomes nervous when they have a question and sit silently.

For people who are in leadership positions – it is important to not only encourage people to ask questions and voice their ideas but to avoid saying the big “no.” Even if the thought is absolutely absurd, it is important to take a moment to ponder it. Either work off of the idea and morph it into a realistic opportunity or try saying something such as “That is interesting, what brought you to that?” instead of initially writing it off. When employees develop this confidence to voice their ideas and questions, the team will develop as a whole.


Jacqui Holiday Headshot

Jacqui Holiday is a Digital Marketing Intern at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. Learn more about her, here. If you have questions about our intern experience, contact the  Sparq team today.

Follow Jacqui on LinkedIn Instagram

09.19.2016

Q&A with Jacqui Holiday

Get to know one of Sparq’s fall interns, Jacqui Holiday! 

Q: Where do you attend school and what are you studying there?
A:I am attending Westminster College. I primarily study Media Art & Design and always include marketing & social media classes in my schedule as well.

Q: What’s your dream job?
A: My dream job would be creating trailers for movies. I love going to the movie theatre… just to watch the trailers! If Hollywood doesn’t pick me up then I would love to be a travel blogger/photographer. Getting paid to not only travel but share my experiences in those places would be awesome.

Q: At which store would you like to max-out your credit card?
A: I could definitely max-out my credit card at REI, especially when they have their “garage sales”. I’d head straight for Patagonia, North Face, then the wool socks. In that order.

Jacqui Holiday

Fall Intern Jacqui Holiday

Q: Which storybook/cartoon character do you relate to?
A: That’s a tough one- I’m not sure who I relate to the most, but my all-time favorite character is Sodapop from The Outsiders. “He has a finely drawn, sensitive face that somehow manages to be reckless and thoughtful at the same time. His eyes are dark brown— lively, dancing, recklessly laughing eyes that can be gentle and sympathetic one moment and blazing with anger the next. He has Dad’s eyes, but Soda is one of a kind. He can get drunk in a drag race or dancing without ever getting near alcohol. In our neighborhood it’s rare to find a kid who doesn’t drink once in a while. But Soda never touches a drop— he doesn’t need to. He gets drunk on just plain living. And he understands everybody.”

Q: What’s your favorite part of the digital marketing industry?
A: I love the fast-paced creative atmosphere. The different projects are so diverse so there’s never a dull moment. I like how the industry has a foundation of idea generation, and from there you can run with those ideas and execute them with any visual tool so there’s never a straight line you have to walk on. Living and working “out of the box” is a dream come true.

Q: What was your favorite TV show when growing up?
A: It’s a toss-up between Full House and That 70’s Show. I definitely spent way too much time watching those after school instead of doing my homework.

Q: Do you have any strange phobias/fears?
A: I don’t think I have any “strange” fears but I am deathly afraid of heights. Last summer I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower AND looked down, so I’ve put in my time. No more heights.

Q: What is the best thing you’ve crossed off your bucket list?
A: Last summer I spent a month in Europe. I traveled through seven different countries! I did, however, definitely catch the travel bug while I was there so my bucket list has just about doubled since then. I can’t wait to go back for more European adventures.

Q: NSYNC or Backstreet Boys?
A: NSYNC- I still have their Christmas album in my Itunes!

Q: How do you take your coffee?
A: I’ve actually come a long way with my coffee. I used to have to use an absurd amount of creamer, and just the other day I had my first cup of straight black. However my ideal cup of coffee would be Seattle’s Best with a splash of Hazelnut creamer.

Q: What is your favorite part of interning at Sparq?
A: Interning at Sparq has kicked off the first chapter of my life where I actually look forward to Monday mornings. It’s hard to pick just one favorite thing, but it’s a wonderful feeling to be in a place where your passion can truly come out. I love creativity and the impact it has on the world, and it’s awesome to be in an environment where everyone’s talents, ideas and creative vibes can thrive.


At Sparq Designs we thrive on our ability to create and foster relationships; relationships between brands and consumers, and the relationships between our clients and ourselves. Internships are one of the most valuable experiences a student can gain during their undergraduate studies. While classroom work is important, real experience can help get your foot in the door when you enter the workforce. Learn about internship opportunities at Sparq Designs here.
07.13.2016

Behind the Design – Lizz Venanzi

Learn a little more about the crew ‘Behind the Designs’ with our newest Q&A series. Next up up is our NEW Social Media Manager, Lizz Venanzi.

Lizz is a recent graduate of Westminster College where she majored in both Public Relations and English and completed internships with CBS Radio, The Globe Newspaper, and Howard Hanna Real Estate. With skills in writing and media relations, Lizz will bring a new angle to the digital marketing department working with content curation, editing, social media advertising, and Google Adwords.

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Sparq’s new Social Media Manager, Lizz Venanzi

Get to know her a little better!

Q: Give us some insight into your morning routine!
A: Someone once told me that one’s morning routine can tell a lot about a person. I never thought too much about it until I realized how much waking up and having a cup ofcoffee drives my day. Every morning I wake up and I make myself a cup of coffee with Italian sweet creamer and that’s all I need to feel ready to take on the world.

Q: Three apps that help with your work…ready go!
A: I am an avid “brain-stormer” so Pinterest and Instagram are definitely two apps that help get my creative juices flowing. Buzzfeed is also my guilty pleasure. As much as a quick Buzzfeed quiz can make me laugh, I really enjoy the voice that most Buzzfeed writers take on and it helps me loosen up and get comfortable writing.

Q: What music do you listen to while you’re working?
A: I like to listen to music that I have never listened to before. I have trouble staying concentrated when I am listening to songs that I know all the words to because it makes me want to bust out into spontaneous song and dance. Instead, I like to open Spotify and click “related artists” to the music I normally listen to and then give some new music a try! It helps me concentrate while also expanding my music library.

Q: What’s your dream job (besides working at Sparq =])
A: I would absolutely love to work for Starbucks’ Public Affairs team, specifically in their Corporate Social Responsibility group. I am incredibly interested in how green marketing and cause-related marketing can expand a business, oh – and (if it wasn’t too obvious) I love coffee!

Q: If you could sit down and have an hour-long conversation with any person alive or deceased who would it be? 
A: Ellen Degeneres!

Q:Who is your idol in the business world? Why? 
A: I am not sure if I have one specific idol. I have many people that have shaped my professional experience in a positive and defining way, specifically my dad and college professors. But, I tend to appreciate and lean towards people who are not afraid to do something out of the box and take risks.


The individuals at Sparq Designs believe in quality, and are huge advocates of setting ourselves apart from the competition. We do not believe in a cookie-cutter approach because we feel it’s more important to stand out in a crowd and we want our clients to do the same. We get excited about turning a concept into a design, developing a web presence, writing and optimizing content, and creating a buzz around a brand. Meet more of the team here.

07.07.2016

Behind the Design – Jenna Sasala

Learn a little more about the crew ‘Behind the Designs’ with our newest Q&A series. Next up up is our Lead Graphic Designer, Jenna Sasala. Get to know her a little better!

Q: Give us some insight into your morning routine!
A: I’m such a routine person. Every morning I make my coffee & breakfast, do my devotions, workout (usually a couple mile walk or a bike ride), then, no matter how much time I’ve given myself, I’m usually rushing to get out the door. 😉

Q: Three apps that help with you work…ready go!
A: Basecamp is my new obsession! It keeps me organized with my daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Other than that, I like to go old school – I’m always am jotting down to do’s, appointments, and notes in my hard copy planner.

Q: What music do you listen to while you’re working?
A: I’m a Disney nerd, so I love listening to soundtracks from “Bug’s Life,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Ratatouille,” and Pixar’s Greatest Hits. Occasionally I’ll throw in some Mumford Sons and/or Relient K.

Q: What’s your dream job (besides working at Sparq =] )
A: This is so tough, I feel like I get to do a lot of work I love to do already at Sparq! Honestly, I’d love to work for Pixar or Disney. I love their emphasis on quality over quantity, storytelling, and the way they value their employees.

Q: If you could sit down and have a hour-long conversation with any person alive or deceased who would it be?
A: Big surprise – Walt Disney. He overcame so much to find success, I feel like he’d have a lot of wisdom to share. In addition, his creativity was out of this world!

Q: Who is your idol in the business world? Why?
A: This is so hard, there are so many people who I love to follow! Promise Tangeman is one of my favorite web developers, Justin & Mary Marantz are my favorite wedding photography team, and Dave Ramsey is an all around outstanding business man. All of these individuals have a passion for their work and a drive to help people take their own projects and lives to the next level. They truly care about the success of others, which I very much admire.

To learn more check out our team page!


The individuals at Sparq Designs believe in quality, and are huge advocates of setting ourselves apart from the competition. We do not believe in a cookie-cutter approach because we feel it’s more important to stand out in a crowd and we want our clients to do the same. We get excited about turning a concept into a design, developing a web presence, writing and optimizing content, and creating a buzz around a brand. Meet more of the team here.

05.23.2016

Q & A with Andrew Henley

Get to know one of Sparq’s summer interns, Andrew Henley! 

 

Andrew Henley

Andrew Henley

Q: Where do you attend school and what are you studying there?
A: I attend Westminster College, where I am going to be entering into my senior year. My major is International Studies with a concentration in Cultural Studies: History and I have a minor in Information Systems.

 

Q: What’s your dream job?
A: My dream job is to work to the UNESCO for the benefit of preserving cultural heritage sites around the world. Either that, or just CEO of Ancestry.com.

 

Q: At which store would you like to max-out your credit card?
A: If I were to choose a store to “max-out” my credit card [need to apply to get one first], it would be BestBuy or Forbush Ice Cream near New Castle [however, they only take cash].

 

Q: Which storybook/cartoon character do you relate to?
A: I believe the storybook/cartoon character I relate mostly to is Thomas Jefferson. [Here’s a storybook with Thomas Jefferson, but his head is disproportionate to his body].

 

Q: What’s your favorite part of the digital marketing industry?
A: My favorite part about the digital marketing industry would be how energized each individual is within the field. You must stay up-to-date with each of the multitude of fields and very active within your fast-changing career.

 

Q: What was your favorite TV show when growing up?
A: My favorite TV show growing up was Tom and Jerry.

 

Q: Do you have any strange phobias/fears?
A: I don’t believe I have any strange phobias, just the thought of ice cream falling on the ground kinda petrifies me.

 

Q: What is the best thing you’ve crossed off your bucket list?
A:  I think the best thing so far that I have crossed off my bucket list would have been going abroad, well, to Iceland. However, I will be going abroad to study in Poland in the fall.

 

Q: NSYNC or Backstreet Boys?
A: Yes

 

Q: How do you take your coffee?
A: Two creams & two sugars.

 

Q: What is your favorite part of interning at Sparq?
A: My favorite piece about interning at Sparq is how invested everyone is with their work, while also being able to express great energy in getting to know you as an individual, or so it seems.

At Sparq Designs we thrive on our ability to create and foster relationships; relationships between brands and consumers, and the relationships between our clients and ourselves. Internships are one of the most valuable experiences a student can gain during their undergraduate studies. While classroom work is important, real experience can help get your foot in the door when you enter the workforce. Learn about internship opportunities at Sparq Designs here.
03.31.2016

Choosing an Online Marketing Company in Pittsburgh

Choosing an Online Marketing Company in Pittsburgh to Grow Your Business

Do you own a business in Pittsburgh or the surrounding areas? If so, you’re well aware of the importance of growing your business online. Over 80% of people conduct research online before purchasing products or committing to your service, and potential customers are doing the same about your business. The problem arises when those potential customers are unable to find you online—and you eventually find yourself needing an online marketing company in Pittsburgh to help grow your business and gain visibility in the search engines.

There are numerous ways that you can grow your business with the help of an online marketing company in Pittsburgh. Sparq Designs has multiple services to choose from, and your marketing strategy is customized to fit the unique goals of your business.

Business owners in Pittsburgh can grow their business in the following ways with Sparq Designs:

Brand Development

Finding your voice and telling your unique story is crucial for cutting through the noise. According to CBS news, the average American can see up to 5,000 ads per day. In order to make your business stand out, you’ll need to transform your establishment from a run-of-the-mill business to a standout brand.

Sparq Designs specializes in helping brands perfect an influential voice across all mediums, from your website content to your next Tweet.

Web Development

Poorly designed and outdated websites can actually make potential customers disengage from your business. If your company website is hard to navigate or doesn’t offer exceptional user experience, an online marketing company in Pittsburgh such as Sparq can help increase customer interaction. Furthermore, you can make updates to your website all on your own with the ultra user-friendly WordPress platform.

When you need the perfect balance of professionalism, functionality, and trendy design, Sparq Designs hits the mark every time.

Social Media

The average online marketing company in Pittsburgh will only update your social media account when you have a special or promotion. Unfortunately, this technique does not engage your customers and rarely results in sales.

Instead, Sparq Designs creates a custom social media strategy for your business in order to:

● Increase traffic to your website
● Build a social media following
● Encourage customer engagement
● Establish a voice for your business
● And more

Search Engine Optimization

At the end of the day, your Pittsburgh business needs to be visible in the search engines. Scoring top spots on Google can take a lot of time and effort, but Sparq Designs is up to the challenge of helping customers easily find your website online.

As your online marketing company in Pittsburgh, we only use SEO (search engine optimization) techniques that are recommended by Google. This includes implementing a keyword research strategy, supplying great content, and creating the ultimate user experience through your website.

Contact Sparq Designs: An Online Marketing Company in Pittsburgh

When you’re ready to grow your business online and cut through the noise, Sparq Designs can put you on the right track. Get in touch with us today to get started with your next project or address questions or concerns—we’re standing by to help your Pittsburgh business grow and thrive online.