Substance Architecture


Julie Severson Hon. AIA IA

Creative Director
515 699 1651

Julie Severson joined substance in 2005 as the firm’s Creative Director. Her skills in both graphic design and architectural marketing enable her to lead the firm’s communications efforts. Julie is responsible for creating and maintaining the firm’s unique visual identity – our brand. In addition, she serves as a liaison to the local and professional press and maintains the firm’s visual archive. In short, she is the maven of all things visual. Julie also works closely with clients. She has created wayfinding signage for the Faegre Baker Daniels Law Firm, as well as graphics for Principal Financial, Capital Square Office Building, and the Des Moines Public Library, including the iconic “airplane” of the New Central Library which has become a very recognizable symbol for this important civic building. In 2016, she designed and executed the interior and branding of the restaurant Magnolia Wine Kitchen in just six weeks. It has become one of the most Instagrammed interiors in Des Moines. In addition, she has created memorable books for clients documenting the unique interaction between client and architect involved in any successful design process. Her past experience included an 18-year career with Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture. In 2014, Julie received an AIA Iowa Honorary Membership for her distinguished service to the profession of architecture in Iowa.

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