California Riding Magazine • September, 2009

Sara Schultz: Topline Design
Graphic design firm has just the right hand for equestrian businesses.  

As a graphic designer, Sara Schultz blends the best of two worlds. Her free hand illustration skills allow her to quickly bring concepts to life on paper, while her education and work experience have given her all the technical skills needed to digitize those ideas for today’s design demands.

Designs for logos, brochures, print and marketing materials of any kind are Topline Design’s featured services. Whatever the project, the end result will be a high-end look appropriate to her client’s requests. Ads and marketing campaigns for stallions, stables, trainers and competitions are the areas Schultz is targeting.

In launching Topline Design, based in San Luis Obispo, Schultz welcomes clients from all walks of life, but, as the company’s name implies, she’s a horse person and looks forward to developing a niche in the equestrian field. The “topline” reference to a horse’s poll-to-tail shape is typically used in a dressage context and indeed, that is Schultz’ current riding style of choice for herself. However, as a graphic designer, she’s equally at ease working with horse people from any and all disciplines. “I have enjoyed all types of riding in
my life and that helps me in my business,” she comments.

Schultz graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2005 with a graphic design degree. During that time and since then she has gained valuable experience working for various firms and accounts. Two especially beneficial internships were in the niche market for wine label design. “That experience has guided me in the direction and philosophy of my business,” she explains. “It’s all about high-end design with an emphasis on strong branding that is memorable and effective.”

In a later post, she greatly enjoyed her assignment to the Platinum Performance account, creating designs for its line of equine supplements. “That secured the idea of specializing in equestrian design in my business,” she says. At presstime, Schultz was finishing up a logo for the therapeutic riding program, Partners in Equestrian Therapy, in San Luis Obispo.

For logos in particular, Schultz enjoys working in a traditional manner. “I start by conceptualizing ideas in my sketch book,” she explains. “It’s nice because I can whip out design ideas on the spot.” The best of those are then digitized for incorporation into the next steps of the design process. It was her free-hand drawing skills that set her on this career path. “My teachers encouraged my drawing skills, which led me to illustration and to where I’m going now.”


Schultz’s logo design for Partners in Equestrian Therapy.


Schultz plans to be an increasing presence on the Central Coast’s bustling and ever-growing equestrian scene. “Client relationships are really important to me and I’m not afraid to drive out and meet people where they are.” Today’s technology removes geographical restrictions for Schultz’ clientele. Meeting people in person is always ideal, but working over the phone, e-mail and the Internet are equally effective ways to create the right image for customers, she notes.

For more information on Topline Design, call Sara Schultz at 805-748-8782, e-mail her at sara@toplinegraphicdesign.com, or visit
www.toplinegraphicdesign.com.