Mark SchwartzMark Schwartz

“If family is defined by generosity, loyalty and constancy, Mark constructed a family of many. Yet, we knew with certainty that the three of us were at Mark’s center. He fell in love with each of us in order: Tina, Sophie + Emma. Just as surely, we loved our man in black. Together, it has been a hilarious, exhilarating ride. We will miss you forever.
M + T = S + E.”

Bettina Katz, Sophie Schwartz, + Emma Schwartz

Focused on Images

  • Photo Submitted by Herb Ascherman (1981)
  • Photo Submitted by Herb Ascherman (1981)
  • Photo Submitted by Herb Ascherman (1981)
  • Photo Submitted by Herb Ascherman (1981)
  • Photo Submitted by Herb Ascherman (1981)
  • Photo Submitted by Scott Heller
  • Photo Submitted by Olivia Chartier
  • Photo Submitted by Sarah Kracke
  • Photo Submitted by Laura Ruth Bidwell
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Laura Ruth Bidwell
  • Photo Submitted by Greg Oznowich
  • Photo Submitted by Greg Oznowich
  • Photo Submitted by Kaitlin Pethtel
  • Photo Submitted by Kaitlin Pethtel
  • Photo Submitted by Kaitlin Pethtel
  • Photo Submitted by Michelle Moehler (2004)
  • Photo Submitted by Michelle Moehler (2005)
  • Photo Submitted by Michelle Moehler (2002)
  • Photo Submitted by Chloe Koslen
  • Photo Submitted by Sara Hollabaugh
  • Photo Submitted by Maude Schuyler Clay
  • Photo Submitted by Lois Conner
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
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Focused on Thoughts

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  • How to capture the incomparable Mark Schwartz in a few sentences? A daunting, nay an impossible task. There are so many memories but they all begin with the first one over 15 years ago. Laurel School wanted a new graphic identity that would lead into new admissions materials. We were looking for someone who knew how to get us to where we needed to go—but who also understood who we were. As a school that had recently celebrated its Centennial, tradition was, and is, embedded in our very fiber.

    My initial conversations with Mark differed completely from those with the other designers who had responded to our Request for Proposals. Beyond the standard background info, he wanted to know who would be attending his presentation, who the decision makers would be in the room. And, shrewdly, he requested having the last slot in that marathon day of presentations. Mark arrived, dressed in his standard all-black ensemble, and from the outset he captivated us. Quite simply, he “owned” the room and made it very clear that we needed to think BIG. He asked us lots of questions, some tough ones, and what he proposed was bold—literally, figuratively, creatively. We never looked back.

    When Laurel School hired Nesnadny + Schwartz, we got more than Mark’s razor sharp wit and amazing acumen. We got his heart. We were partners on the same path. From day one he wanted to know everything about Laurel and, more importantly, who Laurel girls were. More than a dozen years later, with his own Sophie on the cusp of graduating from Laurel, Mark still talked about the post-presentation, student-led tour of the school that not only affirmed his decision to take us on as a client but that made Tina and him realize they wanted their daughters to grow up as Laurel girls. And so they have.

    Working with Mark was a crash course in aesthetics and asking the essential questions—who are we, what do we want to accomplish, how do we get there? In not being afraid to challenge assumptions and in learning the fine art of negotiating between “free” and truly “free-free.” And in always, always being authentic and staying true to one’s self. He fought for every font, every photo. The result was, of course, award-winning materials. But it was never just about design. No, our collaboration was much bigger than that. With Mark, it was about defining who we were and helping us successfully tell our story.

    Whip smart. Strategic. Opinionated. Observant. Loyal. Generous. Supportive. Exacting. Larger than life, Mark was a force of nature who “got” us and told us what we needed to hear. No sugarcoating. No beating around the bush. I look back to that presentation and the subsequent 15-year conversation. I will miss the to-the-point emails signed simply “Best, M”, the raised eyebrow over the eyeglasses during our insightful, amusing and even exhausting conversations. Especially those conversations. I will miss him. RIP, my friend.

    Julie Donahue, 07.23.14

  • Mark was the wizard of ideas. Bold, brilliant ideas.

    I was fortunate to have orbited the warm sun of Mark's creativity. I’ve worked alongside many creative people in my career -- truly exceptional people. Mark, though, was a lone brilliant star. High standards. A keen visual eye. A nimble mind. Always exacting, always demanding. A true pain in the ass at times … but always for the right reasons: the work, the end product.

    It's hard for me to imagine a world without Mark. But then I realize his brilliance, his legacy continues in his beloved family and in his talented staff. Yes, indeed, the wizard of ideas lives on.

    Elizabeth McIntyre, 07.23.14

  • Creativity, heart, hilarity, insight — and devilry. Mark was a big man because his magnitude couldn’t fit a smaller case. And the void he leaves behind is equally big. Life seems like it's lost a color without him. Thank you, Mark, for all you were and all you did and for Sophie and Emma, who carry on your gift to the world.

    Scott Chaikin, 07.23.14

  • Here at Nesnadny + Schwartz, Mark was an exacting, dynamic, generous, and challenging leader. Under his guidance, we became sharper and more astute. We asked more questions. We never settled for easy answers. And then we regrouped together, laughing in the communal kitchen over lunch (takeout Chinese is the team favorite), reading newspaper headlines aloud, and immersing ourselves in the big and little moments of our days. Mark lived a full, layered life, and we’re honored that he gave so much of himself to N+S.

    Thao Thai, 07.22.14

  • One of the many aspects of Mark that made working with him so much fun was his unapologetic liberal Democratic politics. On Election Night 2008, he was the first person I emailed when Obama was projected to win Ohio, and therefore the Presidency. I sent him a message that read “Thanks, y’all” and he immediately shot back, “You are VERY welcome!” The next day, with both of us back in our respective offices, he sent me a routine work email with the header “Budget Revised #2 (Sent from a BLUE state).”

    Four years later, I think he was determined not to let me get in the first word. At the crucial moment of Election Night 2012, I got an email from him with header “Ohio ...” When I opened it up, it read: “Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio” … actually there were about 650 “Ohio”s in the email, but you get the picture. I already miss Mark a great deal, but what on earth am I going to do without him on Election Night?

    Lance Ringel, 07.22.14

  • I had the fortune of working with Mark on an almost month long project. He was such a larger than life character with such a deep and exciting passion for photography... a person I'll always remember with great fondness. And I've always been touched by the Valentine's cards... they were a sweet gesture from an over the moon dad. My condolences to all.

    Dan Borris, 07.22.14

  • Bon voyage to a great spirit. Kaddish.

    David Q Rosen, 07.22.14

  • I will deeply miss Mark Schwartz, the man behind the camera who always seemed to capture me at my most outrageous moments, including my hilarious junior prom hair fiasco. Years ago, as I grew closer with Sophie Schwartz, I soon realized that Mark and Sophie were a package deal, and I could not be happier for that to be true, because I got to know someone who was genuinely the funniest and most loving person I have ever met. His humor and ability to make me uncontrollably laugh at the most inappropriately funny things is something I will always remember. Spending a great deal of time with Mark, whether on photography excursions, at haunted houses or casual dinners, and in NYC, I learned so much from him. Things about life, things about photography, things about family and even things that no one would never need or want to know. He put all he had into everything he did and because of that he will always remain an influential person in my life. Many of my best middle school and high school memories are from times with Mark (and Sophie, Emma and Tina) and I am thankful for the time I got to spend with him. I love you Sophie and Emma Schwartz, and your dad loved you more than a measurable amount.

    Sara Hollabaugh, 07.22.14

  • We are so saddened to hear of the loss of our friend and champion Mark Schwartz.

    It is because of his vision and determination that we were able to create this artwork in the city of Cleveland. For this, we will always be grateful. Mark was one of those truly unique forces in the universe. The world is a little less interesting without him and he will be greatly missed. Miss you Mark Schwartz!

    Love to your beautiful family, Tina, Sophie and Emma.

    The Bowler-Tunicks, 07.22.14

  • We will miss you Mark, the world will never be the same.

    Bryce Taylor, 07.18.14

Focused on Words

Articles

Cleveland Graphic Designer and Arts Supporter Mark Schwartz has Died at Age 57

Cleveland Graphic Designer and Arts Supporter Mark Schwartz has Died at Age 57

“Mark Schwartz, the Cleveland graphic designer whose firm, Nesnadny + Schwartz, earned a national reputation over the past 30 years, died Sunday at the Cleveland Clinic at age 57 after a brief battle with cancer.”

Nesnadny + Schwartz Letter

Nesnadny + Schwartz Letter

“Goodbye, boss. We’ll miss your vitality, your political tenacity, your philanthropic generosity, your love of family, your lust for life, your humor, your mind, and the creative light you so generously shared.”

Guy Leaves $1000 Tip So Server Can Take Her Dream Trip to Italy

Guy Leaves $1000 Tip So Server Can Take Her Dream Trip to Italy

Does that handwriting look familiar? Could it be...? “This man who we have never seen before tipped her 1000 dollars for a trip to Italy. Walked out, not another word.”

Framing a Friendship

Framing a Friendship

“With Schwartz behind the wheel of his black Range Rover and Maria in back, Friedlander aimed his Hasselblad camera through the windshield at the ArcelorMittal plant, houses in Slavic Village and other subjects.”

More than Flattery

More than Flattery

“Three years ago, a representative from Clestra Hauserman’s Cleveland office heard about Nesnadny + Schwartz walking away with 10 of the 38 awards presented that year by the Cleveland Advertising Association.”

Intelligent Design

Intelligent Design

“Schwartz tends to attract clients who may have different backgrounds, personalities and professions but believe, as N+S does, that the work comes first—and that a little ruckus is part of the creative process.”

Mark, in a Word

Describe Mark Using One Word