20U40 MATT VALUCKIS

20 UNDER 40: Matt Valuckis

2012-09-28T00:00:00Z 2012-09-29T14:57:03Z 20 UNDER 40: Matt ValuckisStory by Tricia Despres nwitimes.com
September 28, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Last summer, local graphic designer Matt Valuckis was stopped in his tracks.

As he was driving along Interstate 80/94, he glanced to his right, where he noticed a billboard that looked eerily familiar. It was an advertisement for one of his clients. A design that had awakened him from a sound sleep. A design he recreated on a computer screen. A design that the client loved and ran with.

Valuckis, known for his vivacious and vibrant personality, was suddenly speechless.

“You know that time when you are just falling asleep?” he questions. “That’s when I get my best ideas. That’s when ideas pop into my head, but most of the time I am too tired to reach over and get a pen to write it down. Those are the moments I pray to God that I will remember it in the morning. Well, that was an idea I remembered. It’s hard to explain what it’s like to see an idea you thought up that was on your computer screen not too long ago be up on a billboard. I just wanted to tell everyone I knew that I did that.”

Whether its billboards off the expressway or banners draping the Porter County Museum, Valuckis’ work throughout Northwest Indiana is hard to miss. As owner of V as in Victor Designs & Strategy in Hobart, Valuckis puts his creative juices to work each and every day in some of the area’s most well known advertising campaigns, helping transform NWI visions and missions into realities.

Through the years, he has worked with well known companies such as Church’s Chicken, U. S. Steel, Buffalo Wild Wings, Horseshoe Casino and White Hen Pantry along with organizations such as the Better Boys Foundation and The American Cancer Society. Indeed, helping with nonprofits is something that holds a special place in the heart of Valuckis, since his young life was filled with its own share of personal and financial struggles.

“I was a beneficiary of the wonderful work of these nonprofits when I was a kid, so finding a way to work with them has always been important to me,” says Valuckis, who serves as the Northwest Division Board Chair of the March of Dimes. “In fact, I would say 60 percent to 70 percent of my clientele right now are within the nonprofit sector.”

As a youngster, Valuckis found himself in the school theater far more often than on the football field. “I couldn’t catch a ball for the life of me,” he chuckles. “I loved being involved in theater, along with drawing and sketching. The wonderful part is that my parents were completely supportive. They weren’t the type to tell me to get into banking or whatever. They wanted me to follow my dream, and they would support me every step of the way.”

While attending school at Purdue University Calumet and pursuing a radio and television production degree, Valuckis took a part time job at Mike’s Sporting Goods in Merrillville, where he tried his hand designing T-shirts and random sales materials. It was there where the light bulb went off, and graphic design became a career. After working at a number of local agencies, V as in Victor was founded in 2009.

“I was scared as hell to open my own business,” he laughs. “My main goal was to build up a client list, and share with my clients my marketing and design ideas. I have always felt that it takes someone four or five impressions of a certain logo or piece of sales material for one to really understand who they are and what they could provide."

Yet, Valuckis’ initial fear has spelled widespread success, and countless clients speak of his vivaciousness and enthusiasm both inside and outside of the office.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Matt on a number of projects and his enthusiasm combined with his creative thought process always brings about exciting results,” explains Harry VandeVelde, CEO and President of the Legacy Foundation in Merrillville, someone who has worked alongside Valuckis on a number of marketing materials in recent months. “We often times hear about the brain drain in the region; well I can attest that this young man from Bishop Noll is a part of our brain gain. One of the greatest assets we have here in Northwest Indiana is the human treasure. It is always a victory for the region when they stay here and share their talents here.”

Valuckis also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Porter County Museum of History and works tirelessly as part of the United Way Regional Volunteer Center Advisory Council.

Of course, a creative mind is hard to put to rest. However, Valuckis says he does devote time to de-stress, often alongside his wife Keri Anne.

“She is the one who tells me to stop thinking and take 20 minutes to decompress,” he says. “There was a time when I used to love to mow the lawn. That was my time to get everything off my mind. Now, going to the park with my wife and our dogs works out just fine.”

Whether its billboards off the expressway or banners draping the Porter County Museum, Matt Valuckis’ work throughout Northwest Indiana is hard to miss. As owner of V as in Victor Designs & Strategy in Hobart, Valuckis puts his creative juices to work each and every day in some of the area’s most well known advertising campaigns, helping transform NWI visions and missions into realities.

Through the years, he has worked with well known companies such as Church’s Chicken, U. S. Steel, Buffalo Wild Wings, Horseshoe Casino and White Hen Pantry along with organizations such as the Better Boys Foundation and The American Cancer Society. Helping with nonprofits is something that holds a special place in the heart of Valuckis, since his young life was filled with its own share of personal and financial struggles.

“I was a beneficiary of the wonderful work of these nonprofits when I was a kid, so finding a way to work with them has always been important to me,” says Valuckis, who serves as the Northwest Division Board Chair of the March of Dimes. “In fact, I would say 60 percent to 70 percent of my clientele right now are within the nonprofit sector.”

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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