Absolute value

Our name, Studio Absolute, is born from the mathematical term, “absolute value” meaning distance from zero. We begin every new project as if we are starting from zero—taking nothing for granted and evaluating all possible directions to realize a creative and practical solution.


Russ McIntosh

Principal + Creative Director + Designer

So how does a ranch hand, Hawaiian tour guide, forestry technician, log home builder, butcher and electrician end up in a design career?

Your guess is as good as his… it would have been a lot easier to have known what he yearned to do, went to college and landed a design job. Instead, he took the winding adventure of life that landed in design and ultimately shaped his approach to his work.

Russ’ entry to the design world began at a small local newspaper in his hometown where on his first day, he struggled to coax a CD from a Mac and had to teach himself QuarkXpress in two weeks (the equivalent of learning a foreign language in the same time frame). In the process, he realized, “Hey, maybe I have an aptitude for this?” Yes, organize things, set type, use the grid, obsess over the details… It was here that his passion for design began to unfold.

Russ grew up constantly sketching inventions. He was always curious about photography, signage, industrial design, dimension, order… yes things neatly placed. The Reagan administration probably didn’t know what hit them when Russ’ sketch arrived for the new battleship the government didn’t know they needed.

As Creative Director and Designer at Studio Absolute and over 20 years after fumbling with the Mac CD drive and sending sketches to the President, Russ’ portfolio includes work recognized in the Oregon Addy’s and the publications, Visual Marketing, Logolounge Books 7, 9 and 10 and Master Library editions. Russ is self-taught and credits his success in design and typography to years of mentorship under a skilled and talented Creative Director in the branding field. Russ’s emphasis on strategy-driven design and strong typography drives the successful projects that channel through the studio.

When Russ isn’t at his desk or in front of the whiteboard he enjoys time fly fishing and in the outdoors with his friends and family exploring the wonders and inspiration of the Pacific Northwest.


Cheryl McIntosh

Photography + Marketing

Cheryl’s career in marketing began in resource development over eight branches of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Oregon. She later went on to manage a nationally renown design agency where she was responsible for client and project management over hundreds of creative assignments at various stages of completion.

Cheryl helps clients plan and execute their marketing strategy by crafting the words and imagery of their brand. Her focus centers on brand research & strategy, copywriting and commercial and architectural photography. Studio Absolute partners with Cheryl through her company, DONE Photography + Marketing. 

Cheryl has named and helped develop the brand strategy for several companies and organizations such as Lenity Architecture, Abilitree, Windsong Senior Living and Kahoot. As part of her exhaustive brand discovery process, Cheryl crafts the strategic messaging that helps companies shape their brand identity while directing their long term marketing strategy.