DesignHammer’s three founding partners - David Minton, Robert Weeks, and Frank Yonnetti — met at NetworkArts, a successful web development agency in Durham, NC during the peak of the dot-com boom. Times were good, and everyone was happy. Then imploded in November of 2000, and everyone in the tech industry got very nervous.

As NetworkArts fell victim to the bubble burst, David, Robert, and Frank saw a vision for their future founding their own agency. Despite the uncertain economic climate, they had a plan and in 2001 launched DesignHammer, landing internationally renowned Durham Bulls Baseball Club as their first client. DesignHammer was bound for a great opportunity.

Over the next five years, DesignHammer picked up additional high profile clients, including RTI International, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology. Work was getting more than the three partners could handle, so it was time to get more space, and hire some staff.

Twenty years later DesignHammer is a well-established website strategy, design, and development agency recognized locally and nationwide. Our experience and involvement in the free and open-source software community are well noted, and our projects have consistently taken awards in international competitions. We are also nationally acknowledged for workplace flexibility and for providing a positive work-life balance for our staff.  

As DesignHammer embarks on the next phase of our journey, we look forward to exploring and embracing new opportunities to help clients solve business problems through technology. We plan to expand our product and service offerings, hire new staff, and continue to refine our documented, repeatable process to make the world a better and more sustainable place by helping clients achieve success.  


  • DesignHammer founded
  • Became an early adopter of the initial release of WordPress
  • Landed Durham Bulls Baseball Club as first client
  • High profile candidates RTI International, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology helped the company transition from lean startup to established website development firm


  • Hired new developers, designers, account and project managers to support increased service demand
  • Added additional prominent local clients such as Carolina Theatre, Duke University Corporate Education, and Measurement Incorporated
  • Engaged in projects with internationally known entities such as IntraHealth International, and Cisco
  • Began developing in Drupal version 5.0 and custom PHP
  • Developed first fully native iOS app and on-premise integration for Carolina Theatre
  • Started presenting at regional and national conferences including Internet Summit, Drupal GovCon, and The NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference 


  • Stabilized and developed core staff team, many of who are still with the company
  • Developed strong experience in tech stack, ranging from Javascript, CSS, and custom PHP to CodeIgnitor and more
  • Began to establish a national client base with steady work in Massachusetts, Utah, California, Michigan, and Georgia
  • Exercised thought leadership and strategic consulting for user-accessible websites
  • Completed work for National Institute of Statistical Sciences, Investors Title, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and NC Biotechnology Center, among others
  • Fine-tuned our documented, repeatable process to help our partners solve key business problems
  • Provided project work in the higher education space for Duke University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Emory University
  • Awarded a S\string of workplace flexibility recognition by Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and became a founding member of the Durham Living Wage project


  • Officially transitioned from primarily a development shop to a full-service digital agency
  • Added to tech stack, completing client projects in Scala, Python, Django, Vue, Angular, Electron, Laravel, Typescript, and more
  • Helped develop 3rd party integrations for marketing communications and sales software like Salesforce, Hubspot, Mailchimp, and Zapier
  • Began shipping applications in Docker, Amazon, and more
  • Developed non-profit websites in association management systems such as MemberClicks and Wild Apricot 
  • Partnered with local digital marketing agencies to provide specialized white label work for multiple Fortune 100 companies
  • Developed sites for national organizations such as Divers Alert Network, Mansfield Energy, and Highland Industries
  • Began to offer strategic consulting as an ala carte service as well as part of our discovery process
  • On-boarded multiple Duke University & University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill departments to assist the growing need for site refreshes and platform transitions
  • Gained recognition with more than fifty awards in international competitions including Communicator Awards, Summit Awards, and the W3 Awards
  • Acquired additional office space to accommodate staff growth

Future & Beyond

  • Embrace and invest in emerging technologies like AR/VR, TypeScript, custom backend sites with reactive front ends, and more
  • Expand product and service offerings
  • Continue to help clients solve business problems for the next twenty years.