Less design firm. More design.
Storyline Studio is a close-knit collaborative of design principals, drawn together by the common goal of creative excellence. Our collective resume spans more than 200 projects and 50 years of exhibit work: from master planning through project management, from brand identity through media production, from final design through fabrication supervision.
Professional Member IDSA, SEGD Storyline Studio is an expression of the talents, creativity, experience and philosophy of its founder, Bill Smith. Bill has specialized in exhibition design for more than 25 years. For 11 years he was partner and design director of West Office Exhibition Design in Oakland, California, where he designed and led teams for history, cultural, and science museums; traveling exhibits; and corporate visitor centers. The projects Bill has been responsible for have won multiple awards including those from the Industrial Designers of America, the American Association of Museums Curatorial Committee, the Society of Environmental Graphic Design, and the American Association for State and Local History.
Exhibition Strategy and Planning
Tim Willis has led the development of more than 100 exhibitions including several ‘permanent galleries’ in his 25-year career as head of exhibitions with two Canadian museums. Tim led the development of a new visitor experience – part of the Royal Alberta Museum’s $180 million renewal project before accepting a position of Director of Exhibitions and Visitor Experience at the Royal BC Museum. His work there focused on the creation of a long-term vision for exhibitions. He also teaches exhibition planning and design at the University of Victoria.
Brand Identity and Graphic Design
Bill Chiaravalle worked at Landor Associates for 12 years as both a Design Director and Creative Director. He created and directed graphic programs for such companies as AT&T, Bell Atlantic, Bell South, Bacardi, Microsoft, Sunkist, Smucker’s, Federal Express, Hyatt Hotels, Motorola, Proctor & Gamble, Sutter Home, and United Airlines. Prior to joining Landor Associates, Bill worked as a graphic designer for West Office Exhibition Design and The Burdick Group on exhibits such as The Heart Exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry; The Arab Heritage exhibit for ARAMCO Saudi Arabia; The Recyclery in Berkeley, California; and The Primate Discovery Center at the San Francisco Zoo. Bill founded his own firm Brand Navigation in 1999, forming a highly skilled team of specialists who serve up world-class design solutions.
Howard Litwak’s career spans 25 years of exhibition planning, design, and project management, and considerable work in such areas as oral history, documentary production, management consulting, online media, and journalism. Howard was the managing principal at Boston-based Joseph A. Wetzel Associates for 12 years, serving as principle-in-charge for such projects as the Florida Aquarium, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the American Jazz Museum, and the California Science Center. He has also served as Senior Project Manager for Content for Seattle’s Experience Music Project.
Stuart Lee brings 15 years of experience in exhibition design working with both non-profit and corporate clients. With a BFA in Graphic Design from the Art Center College of Design, Stuart took his knowledge of graphics off the printed page and applied it spatially, leveraging his minor in industrial design. For nearly a decade Stuart worked as a senior designer at West Office Exhibition Design, creating a variety of interactive exhibit experiences for both permanent and traveling installations.
The most recent addition to the Storyline Studio team, Jenelle Thompson is our content researcher, artifact coordinator, and curatorial liaison. Jenelle manages the exhibition database for each project, ensuring that the designers have easy access to every facet of information about artifacts, ephemera, and images that is necessary to creating effective and efficient exhibitions.
Athena Panos, PLLC manages the accounting and administrative side of Storyline Studio single-handedly, making sure that all of our business operations run without a hitch. After receiving a business degree from the University of Washington, Athena went on to earn her JD/MBA from George Washington University. She is currently an independent attorney and licensed CPA specializing in small business practices.
Warren is Storyline Studio’s secret weapon when it comes to the lost art of making scale models. Sometimes nothing communicates a concept as well as a real three-dimensional model of an exhibition — that’s when we call up Warren and his miniature bag of tricks. Warren has created Storyline Studio models for El Paso Museum of History, Chapman Cultural Center, Jefferson County Museum, and The Annenberg Foundation.