How old is MTRL DSGN?

We opened up in the Mastercraft building of N Downtown Omaha in September 2012.

What all do you guys do?

We make ideas happen. We like to collaborate with architects, designers, artists, and creative professionals of all types across a wide variety of mediums. We have backgrounds in brand strategy, retail branding, fine art, direction & curation, industrial design and architectural design.

I hear you have a laser?

She has a name.

Oh, what's her name?


Why'd you name her Helga?

Because she's a big bad Austrian beast, with a soft side.

Helga is our Trotec SP1500 laser. She has a 4 x 5 foot working area, and can cut through over one inch thick woods and other materials.
She's an eco-friendly production machine. She applies graphics to material (accurate to about 1/1000th of an inch) by vaporizing bits of the surface instead of applying inks or pigments. Once she's done with that, she can cut out detailed shapes and parts with an extreme degree of accuracy.

Doesn't she sound like a "Helga" to you?

What kind of material can Helga work with?

She can cut and engrave a wide variety of materials, including but not limited to:

•Wood (solid, plywood, MDF, HDF, cork, particle board, others)

•Plastic (Acrylic, plexiglass, lucite, ABS, Delrin, Mylar, others)

•Fabric (cotton, canvas, polyester burlap, leather, tweed, others)

•Paper (plain paper, matte board, chipboard, cardboard, others)

She can also engrave but cannot cut the following:

•Metals (aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, brass, anodized, powder coated, others)

•Glass, tile and ceramics

Helga cannot work with PVC, polycarbonates or any material with chlorine as an ingredient. Laser vaporization of these materials releases chloride gas in the plastics, which turns into gaseous hydrochloric acid in the engraver. No bueno.

What's your favorite type of project?

One where we can build a strong trusting relationship with our client, centered around a subject we're all passionate about, and work from conceptual design all the way through to execution.

What's your design process like?

We have a very holistic design process that begins with enough applicable research to enable us to move forward in an informed and efficient way. To us, every project is different, and requires a fresh approach. Whether we're putting together a new identity package, an interior signage system, or branded surfaces for a new restaurant or retailer, your project gets a fresh, informed perspective backed by sufficient research into your market and competitors, as well as a plan for timely execution and delivery.

How tall is Josh?

He stands a mighty 6 foot 6 inches.

How much do you charge?

That's like walking into a Macy's and asking "How much are pants?"

Do you want denim, khaki, or leather pants? Wrangler or Levi brand? Pleats?

There are many variables that go into our pricing, because every job is different. If you'd like to learn more, start by filling out our New Project Form.

Why Omaha?

Both Josh and Nick are from the area (SW Iowa). Friends and family are here, as is a strong economy and a buzzing start-up community. Omaha has a great balance of several key attributes that are enticing to young businesses - a central US location makes shipping and travel to anywhere quick and easy, a large population (nearly 1 million folks) means there's a lot of talent to tap into, rent is affordable, the music and art scenes are wonderful, steaks are cheap, the nation's best Chamber of Commerce is a huge help to local businesses, and the community is open-minded, accepting, and supportive of new businesses and ideas.
Do I need to go on? Why NOT Omaha?

Do you take on small projects?

Kinda depends on how busy we are at the moment. Just shoot an email to and we'll let you know.