Cardinal Innovative Misson:
To create elegant and functional design work that effectively communicates to its intended audience. To playfully design with strict standards while respecting the vision of clients. To be constantly learning and refining skills.
Who are You?
A writer, climber, and graphic designer, McKenzie Long is intensely interested in editorial and publication design. Both writing and design require critical thinking and inventive problem solving with the aim of presenting information in a clear and engaging format. This is what appeals to her about climbing as well: the intrigue of the sport is that it is problem solving with risk. Whether she is developing a complicated layout for a guidebook or is high off the deck fiddling in gear before pulling a spicy move, McKenzie is familiar with creatively solving problems.
Combining her love of climbing, writing, and design, McKenzie authored and designed the second edition of SuperTopo’s High Sierra Climbing, which was published June 2013. She is also the co-author and creative director of Wolverine Publishing’s Bishop Bouldering Select, due on shelves January 2016.
McKenzie has run her own freelance business, Cardinal Innovative, since 2011. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in graphic design from the college of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning (DAAP) at University of Cincinnati in 2007. Since then, she has tenaciously pursued a career in writing and graphic design. McKenzie has worked on design projects for companies such as the National Park Service, Salomon SA, Alpinist Magazine, Cloudveil, The American Alpine Club, SuperTopo, and Wolverine Publishing. She is currently the designer for the American Avalanche Association’s winter publication The Avalanche Review.
Why the Strange Name?
In 2009 – 2010, McKenzie was honored to be a sponsored athlete at the elite training center, Mountain Athlete in Jackson, Wyoming. The coach, Rob Shaul, gave her the nickname “Cardinal”, but she didn’t know why. However, McKenzie grew to love this name and identify with it. Eventually the coach explained that to him the name symbolized “classy yet strong.” This is a very flattering description, but it is also is an accurate description of McKenzie’s outlook and what she strives to accomplish, in design, in climbing, and in life. Her design work has a sophisticated look with underlying structure and strength; the form of design follows the function and purpose of the content. She aims to climb with an awareness and respect of the sport and her partners as well as give it her physical all. She lives life appreciating others while staying strong through the challenges encountered along the way.