Tenderling is a hands-on design studio providing all the full-service benefits of a large agency but with small firm advantages. We collaborate with each client to create effective content- and context-specific work from concept to execution. We thrive at building strong client relationships and creating beautiful, tangible results. And, we love what we do.
Tenderling’s founding partners have 40+ years of combined experience launching brands from the ground up—from marketing collateral and positioning to identity systems and websites.
AIGA 365 Design Award
Art Directors Club
Barnsdall Art Gallery (Los Angeles, CA)
California Design Biennial (Los Angeles, CA)
Ford Gallery (Detroit, MI)
Ginza Graphic Gallery (Tokyo, Japan)
Notre Dame’s Snite Museum of Art (South Bend, IN)
Pasadena Museum of California Art (Pasadena, CA)
Print Regional Design Annual
Print Typography Annual
Redesigning Identity and New Design
Samwon Paper Gallery (Seoul, Korea)
Society for Environmental Graphic Design
Type Directors Club, Award of Excellence
Type Directors Club, Judge’s Choice Award
Lead Creative Team
Owner & Creative Director
Penny’s focus on research, branding and creative form-making allows her to transform ideas into effective design solutions with style and precision. With a focus shifting between overall project goals and specific details, Penny oversees creative direction while managing the unique branding needs of each Tenderling client.
Founding Tenderling in 2004 for personal creative projects, Penny has grown Tenderling into a full-service design studio focused on long-lasting client relationships. Prior to Tenderling, Penny worked for ReVerb Studio and Ogilvy & Mather’s Brand Integration Group in Los Angeles—working on brands such as Motorola, Yahoo!, Mattel and Neutrogena. In addition, she has taught typography courses at California Institute of the Arts and Otis College of Art and Design.
A native Texan, Penny holds a MFA in Visual Communication from California Institute of the Arts and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.
Owner & Creative Director
James’ skill set combines creative strength, exceptional design craft and natural team leadership to guide every Tenderling project. With 20+ years of design experience, his unflappable disposition and nimble approach to problem-solving consistently create effective design solutions.
Before Tenderling, he was Creative Director at ReVerb Studio in Los Angeles where he provided the creative vision for the firm. He was also the Associate Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather’s Brand Integration Group contributing to brands such as Motorola, Mattel and Lionsgate.
James holds a BFA in Visual Communication from California Institute of the Arts.
Rachel has spent the last 10 years perfecting skills in form-making and storytelling as fundamental elements in her approach to creating visually impactful design solutions. Working at Tenderling since 2013, Rachel puts her creative juices to work tackling the studio’s wide-ranging project needs. Along with overseeing the day-to-day design details for Tenderling, she also manages production planning for the studio’s print and interactive projects.
Before finding her place at Tenderling, Rachel started her design career in publishing—creating multimedia campaigns for the Austin American-Statesman and designing for Green Leaf Publishing in Austin.
Born and raised in Austin, Rachel received a BFA in Graphic Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in addition to her BS in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin.
As a designer at Tenderling, Sonia's talent lies in her collaborative spirit and analytic approach to tackle client needs. She can design eye-catching graphic solutions that are quick at the draw to keep projects moving at a fast pace. Her dynamic aesthetic sensibilities combined with excellent attention to detail make her a true team asset in Tenderling’s print, environmental and digital marketing.
Sonia's passion for visual storytelling led her to Tenderling, where she works with a variety of clients including The University of Texas at Austin, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, The Resmark Companies, Viceroy Hotels, Residences and Resorts, Hyatt Hotels and many others.
Sonia received her BA in Graphic Design from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.
A recent addition to the Tenderling's team, Cece’s hard-working personality and passion for design is a perfect fit. She’s able to combine strengths in print and digital media to find creative visual solutions including rich form-making, social media and video editing skills. Balancing between Tenderling’s hospitality clients, she’s responsible for designing branded solutions that extend to a multitude of client deliverables.
Before Tenderling, Cece worked for George H.W. Bush Presidential Museum creating a range of print and digital materials. She also enjoys volunteering, which has taken her on mission trips to El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru.
Cece received her BS in Visualization from the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.