XPLANE combines words and pictures in innovative ways to convey information. We create presentations, courtroom diagrams, educational materials, textbook illustrations, sales and marketing tools, strategic planning aids, maps, charts and diagrams.

XPLANE was founded in 1993 and is committed to following these ten principles on every project:

  • Set clear goals
  • Maintain a spirit of inquiry
  • Challenge all assumptions
  • Research and investigate rigorously
  • Respect the reader
  • Let the content drive the design
  • Innovate
  • Respect the integrity of type
  • Keep information hierarchies clear and distinct
  • Measure final presentation against original goals

XPLANE’s founder and president, Dave Gray, has spent his life searching for ways to make complicated ideas easier to understand. Beginning in 1987, he served as an information designer and graphic journalist at several newspapers, including the Los Angeles Daily News, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, the Seattle Post- Intelligencer and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He has also taught visual communication and information design at Washington University in St. Louis.

His interest in the mechanics of conveying information has led him to the study of perception, cognition and human-computer interaction as well as his native field of graphic design.

Mr. Gray has received numerous honors from the Society of Newspaper Design and the Associated Press for his design work.

Senior designer Billy Keaggy has been a graphic designer and art director for nearly 10 years, making it his mission to conceive and execute compelling, appropriate and creative design solutions. A dedicated student of the rich history of graphic design, he approaches the future with a quote from the past – famous art director Alexey Brodovich's creed, 'Make it new.'

His experience includes award-winning magazine, poster and billboard design; newspaper design, identity, black & white photography and journalism; as well as current work in WWW design and navigational interfaces.

A graduate of Ohio University's VisCom department, with a BFA in Picture Editing and Page Design, Mr. Keaggy blames a childhood accident with yard tools for his unflagging dedication to the world of visual communication.

Illustrator Brian Kaas, an Eliot scholar, graduated from Washington University School of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration in 1997. While in school, he was an illustrator and editorial writer for Student Life, the campus newspaper, interned at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago as an illustrator/designer, and worked in the theater.

He is interested in visually communicating ideas in such a way that they can be understood instantly but are also aesthetically satisfying. This interest goes back to early childhood, when he began his career illustrating complex narratives in the margins of his math textbook. He continues to cultivate this skill whenever XPLANE meetings begin to run a little long.