About Us

We build brands through effective design, working together to unleash your confidence through image and voice. Our team at Bark works with you, from strategy through deployment, to discover solutions that distinguish your brand and deliver your message.

what we do


You’re already doing great work. Design is the catalyst that will get you noticed. At Bark, we create your unique voice—your “bark”—to help you lead the pack. From creating your brand to print to web, we work together to make the difference.


  • Brand strategy and positioning
  • Brand development
  • Leadership and team brand  workshops
  • Campaign design
  • Logo / identity development
  • Naming
  • Tagline
  • Stationery systems
  • Brand audits


  • Communication strategy
  • Campaign messaging and development
  • Mission and vision development
  • Message design and development
  • Content marketing strategy
  • Copywriting and editing
  • Social media strategy and implementation


  • Annual reports
  • Collateral
  • Book design
  • Editorial
  • Packaging
  • Invitations
  • Manuals
  • Toolkits
  • Strategic Plans
  • More…


  • Website design and development
  • UI / UX design
  • Information architecture
  • Content Management System (CMS) development
  • Mobile app design
  • Email campaigns
  • Intranet design and development
  • Digital presentations
  • Video


  • Product design and development
  • Environmental signage
  • Custom photography
  • Data visualization
  • Information graphics
  • Variable data reports
  • Apparel
  • Your need here!

how we do it


Our process begins with discovery, where we gain a clear understanding of your objectives. As we weave through our proprietary process, we continuously uncover the unexpected that leads to extraordinary results.


Our Clients


At Bark, we believe in our clients and the limitless promise of design. We’re fortunate to work with amazing people and organizations—some of whom we’ve been working with for almost 20 years. Our clients span a wide spectrum of industries including museums, education, technology, the arts, and healthcare, to name a few. These are the clients that make coming to work fun »

  • A Better Chicago
  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
  • After School Matters
  • AJENDA Interactive Media
  • American Academy of Periodontology
  • American Association Pediatric Dentistry
  • American Dental Association
  • American Osteopathic Association
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • Bottom Line
  • Build Healthy Places Network
  • Canadian Music Centre
  • Cedille Records
  • Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
  • ChiCrossCup
  • Chicago History Museum
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Chicago Youth Centers
  • City of Chicago Mayor’s Office
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Elgin Community College
  • Field Museum
  • Forest Preserves of Cook County
  • Francis Parker School
  • Genesys Works
  • Great Life Music
  • Hired Pen
  • Hive Chicago
  • Illinois Cycling Association
  • Illinois Medical District
  • Infant Welfare Society of Chicago
  • Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
  • Kennedy Mann Architecture
  • Larry Brilliant
  • Latin School of Chicago
  • Leapfrog Online
  • Logan Square Neighborhood Association
  • Longford Construction
  • Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • March of Dimes
  • MHA Labs
  • New Age Logistics
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Nomadic Pictures
  • One Million Degrees
  • Pillars Fund
  • Randall Architects
  • Resurrection University
  • Rush University Prevention Center
  • Science & Entrepreneurship Exchange
  • Site Design Group
  • Spinforce
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • Third Coast Percussion
  • Tre Kronor Restaurant
  • University of Chicago Graham School
  • UChicago Medicine
  • Vidar Law Group
  • Wavecrest Films

“Design is everything and Bark is everything MHA Labs. Bark’s design capabilities have the single largest contributing force to the spread and scale of our skill-building innovations. Our initial tool, a simple yet perfectly designed skills keychain, has been an instrumental force in skill-building with over 50,000 youth. We consider the Bark team not only part of our company but part of our family.”

Leslie Beller, Founder & CEO at MHA Labs

Our Team


We all have a similar mindset—do great work and have fun. We’re passionate about what we do and we bring that passion to every project we undertake to produce work we’re proud of, that delivers results, and brings clients back to us time and time again.

John Bistolfo Founder, Design Strategist

In 1997, John founded Bark based on the belief that great design can have a positive impact for companies and organizations that are making a difference in our communities—a philosophy that continues today. John’s unique ability to tell an inspiring story adds a refreshing twist to everything we do. He’s known around the office as a pun-master and his “grandpa jokes” never disappoint. Passionate about telling our clients’ stories, you’ll often hear him say, “This is a really cool project. Let’s do something awesome.”

Edwin Carter Designer / Developer

Edwin is an amazing designer and developer. His career has taken him from San Francisco to MoMA in New York and he applies his wealth of experience and knowledge into all of our projects. Edwin defines well-rounded and his ability to design and develop always brings a new way of thinking to Bark. His anything’s possible attitude is always followed with “cool cool, brb…”

Anne Marie Mitchell Communications Strategist

Anne Marie brings her incredible energy and excitement to all Bark projects. Her vast experience and background are hard to capture in this brief description, but a few of her accolades include living and working as a bi-lingual communications leader in Spain, France, and around the U.S., she’s worked for a deep-sea treasure hunter, fortune 50 companies and non-profits, and is currently an Associate Professor of Communications at Columbia College Chicago. Her wealth of experience and energy helps Bark make the difference.

Shaun Rowe Partner, Lead Developer

Shaun is one of Bark’s first employees. Since joining our team, he’s strengthened Bark’s vision and impacted our future by pushing us forward into new technologies and ingenious solutions for our clients. We joke that he’s read the entire internet because his knowledge of just about everything is uncanny. Shaun’s influence on our technology and his web development and programming expertise brings all of our projects to life.

Steve Shanabruch Designer

Steve is an incredible illustrator and designer. His passion project, The Chicago Neighborhoods, has earned him local and national attention, including features in the Chicagoist, DNAinfo, and Fonts in Use. He possesses a unique quality and drive to bring the unexpected to Bark projects, except for between 11 and 11:05 am everyday while he eats his PB&J for lunch. Every. Day.

Jon Skaggs Partner, Lead Designer

Jon’s creativity and insight bring life to words and pictures. With Bark since 2010, Jon’s passion to make a difference with design is present in all of his work. He’s been instrumental in developing Bark’s unique ability to deliver extraordinary and unexpected results that delight our clients and distinguish their brands. Being the tallest in the office often leads to his taller tales of foosball and Ping-Pong victories, however, his creative inspiration is second to none.

Atticus and Johnny Creative Catalysts

Atticus joined Bark in 2010 and quickly excelled at his role as creative catalyst. His ever-present optimism helps to remind us that everything can be #prettymuch great. Johnny plays a key role in helping to catalyze creativity with the team. He’s a tenacious collaborator who’ll bite into #whatever we throw at him.