A Hot Mesh.
Ian McCullough, Nate Mucha and Alex Catanese are the dynamic trio that make up AHM.
But being “A Hot Mesh” means more than just running a collaborative design shop. It’s a state of mind—one that incorporates the talents, vision and passion of its designers and clients into a creative, collaborative experience. As printers, designers and developers, Ian, Nate and Alex are a combination of unique pursuits, partnered in a venture built on a common passion for their craft and helping others achieve their goals.
Nate Mucha is a life-long Ohioan. He is part-designer, part-lumberjack (see the beard), which makes him 100 percent hands-on craftsman. Nate fell in love with both woodcut printing and his now-wife, Amy, at Grove City College in western Pennsylvania, where he majored in philosophy. He then moved on to Kent State University and earned Kent’s Visual Communication Design Master of Fine Arts degree. At Kent, he met Ian McCullough and turned a vision for A Hot Mesh into a reality.
Now between cups of tea and the next great idea for what item can be screen-printed, Nate designs and develops, teaches at Grove City College and manages the expansion of AHM—all while watching “Mad Men” over a Bloody Mary (or whatever beer Ian’s brought over). With an expertise in design, development and printmaking, Nate doesn’t bother to ask how to complete a task because he’s bound to have more fun figuring it out himself.
Ian McCullough grew up in western Pennsylvania, where he found an affinity for art somewhere between charcoal drawings and watercolor paintings at West Middlesex High School. Ian boasts a varied career that has taken him from kitchen work at a pizza shop and supporting PennDOT’s ill-fated efforts to create drivable roads to being a top-notch designer. He is finishing his last year in Kent State University’s design program, where he joined creative forces with Nate Mucha to found A Hot Mesh.
Now, aside from classwork and making a killer cup of Earl Gray (hint, it’s all in the soy milk), Ian lives AHM where he specializes in texture and typographic design. He also has a hankering for picking a good beer. As a designer, Ian is a hands-on worker who tries to “remove the computer as much as possible” to achieve a design that is slick but unprocessed.
Alex Catanese is the newest designer to join the ranks of A Hot Mesh. A design student at Kent, he fell in with Nate and Ian, and now competes with Nate for AHM’s best beard. Since high school, where he participated in his first art show – 30.30.30 in his hometown of Akron – Alex has been pursuing art and design. His artistic passion complements one of his favorite pastimes: reading. The contemplative writings of Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Martin Luther King and C.S. Lewis have helped not only round out his spiritual and intellectual life, but also inspired him to work on 2D poster and book cover design. It also gave him a pastime for when another love – snowboarding – left him injured and sidelined three times with a dislocated shoulder.