Kris Lindquist, Little

Title: Design director

Age: 42

Kris Lindquist is blending strategy and creative thinking in assignments for Fortune 500 clients and others as the new design director at Minneapolis design and branding firm Little.

Lindquist brings more than 20 years of design experience to leading the creative aspect of projects for Little clients including Wells Fargo, Target and Lowe’s.

“I have admired Little’s ability to solve creative problems in a way that is both strategic and unique for their clients,” Lindquist said. “In addition, their strategy of branding from the inside out is sound, creating authentic stories that resonate with the employees first and then the consumer [to] ensure the development of a strong and credible brand.”

Through the nonprofit EPIC — Engaging Philanthropy, Inspiring Creatives — Lindquist led a multiagency creative team in rebranding a local nonprofit youth development organization that received $100,000 in donated time and services in one of a continuing series of “eight-week creative rallies.” Lindquist also serves as creative director for Forgotten, a social enterprise that produces T-shirts to help farmers and textile workers in Africa and urban youth in Minneapolis.

Lindquist, who has a marketing degree from Bethel University, describes himself as a self-taught creative. His marketing background has helped him address client problems from a strategic perspective rather than from only a creative one.

Lindquist previously worked as design director at Minneapolis brand marketing agency Fame and was a lead designer at VSA Partners, a branding firm headquartered in Chicago.


Q: What’s your approach to design and branding with retail clients?

A: Finding a unique approach that is both strategically sound and creatively spirited. Branding has the unique responsibility of introducing and consistently representing the DNA of its author, so we (as creatives) can’t stray too far from that core. But we can create an allure for the consumer. That’s an exciting challenge for me and my colleagues and a great opportunity for our clients.


Q: What drew you into design?

A: I’ve always been a creative person, but I think it was a required advertising course that triggered my initial interest. Approaching business and marketing from a creative perspective brought more excitement to the process of analyzing experience, behaviors and data.


Q: How did you get involved in philanthropy?

A: I’ve always had a heart for people. Empathy and compassion for those less fortunate. But the tug on my heartstrings started feeling a bit stronger after a trip to El Salvador to build houses with a group of other like-minded folks.