Our point of view.

McCulley Design Lab is a multi-disciplinary San Diego design firm practicing at the intersection of brand strategy and communication, interior design, graphic design, exhibit design and architecture. Founded in 1988, we work with forward-thinking clients who respect the design process and from the start are an integral part of the creative implementation.

Whether an organization wishes to craft an entirely new brand voice and visual style or refresh an existing brand, we offer skillful, thoughtful expertise in the areas of brand strategy, graphic and environmental graphic design, branded environments and marketing communications.

Our research-driven approach enables us to first understand the needs of our clients, engage in meaningful conversations, build consensus and implement great design solutions. As a result, our methodology is inclusive and collaborative, resulting in powerful and timeless design.

McCulley Team Photo

The Principals

John McCulley

John McCulley founded McCulley Design Group, now McCulley Design Lab, in 1988 with the vision to integrate the disciplines of interior design, product design, graphic design and environmental design into a total design resource for progressive companies. McCulley also consults in the custom design of residential environments, furniture and architectural products. Residential project locations have included Rancho Santa Fe, CA; La Jolla, CA; Cardiff, CA; Del Mar, CA; Palm Springs, CA; Telluride, CO; and Jackson Hole, WY.

Prior to founding McCulley Design Group, John established and directed the award winning Retail Environments Resource at Fitch + Richardson Smith, an international product and retail design firm with offices in London, Columbus and Boston. As well, John has served as an Assistant Professor of product design, graphic design and interior space at The Ohio State University, Montana State University, and taught industrial design at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.

John holds a BFA in Industrial Design and MFA with a concentration on Japanese Philosophy and Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.

Janet McCulley

Janet McCulley has developed her unique brand of creative expression through 20 years of progressive marketing, creative and experience design projects. Janet finds her joy in collaborating with dynamic clients on everything from naming and brand development to strategic planning, creative design direction and experience design.

Prior to joining McCulley Design Lab, Janet served as founder and CMO of specialty retailer Muttropolis and Chief Trend Correspondent and “Trendologist” for Discovery Communications’ AnimalPlanet.com. Janet also served as a Senior Marketing Executive at the multi-unit restaurant chain Jack in the Box, Inc., where she was responsible for brand and product marketing as well as creative development for print and broadcast advertising.

Janet holds a BA in Communications from The University of California, San Diego.

Our Mantra

  1. Good ideas are usually simple ideas.
  2. Design in the absence of thoughtful content is decoration.
  3. A strategic design process takes discipline for all parties involved.
  4. Design the experience first... not the objects.
  5. Great design connects with people on an emotional level.
  6. Dogs are good.
Let's talk about your next project!